crater

noun (1)
cra·​ter | \ ˈkrā-tər How to pronounce crater (audio) \
plural craters

Definition of crater

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the bowl-shaped depression around the orifice of a volcano
b : a depression formed by an impact (as of a meteorite)
c : a hole in the ground made by the explosion of a bomb or shell
2 : an eroded lesion
3 : a dimple in a painted surface
4 Crater, astronomy : a constellation that is visible between the constellations of Corvus and Hydra and that is represented by the figure of a cup Both the cup and the snake are here in the sky. If you have dark enough skies, you can spot the faint stars of Crater the cup and Hydra the snake to the right of Corvus.— Kevin D. Conod

crater

verb
cratered; cratering; craters

Definition of crater (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to exhibit or form craters
2 : to fail or fall suddenly and dramatically : collapse, crash the deal cratered cratering stock prices

transitive verb

: to form craters in

crater

noun (2)
cra·​ter

less common spelling of

: a jar or vase of classical antiquity having a large round body and a wide mouth and used for mixing wine and water

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Other Words from crater

Noun (1)

craterlike \ ˈkrā-​tər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce crater (audio) \ adjective

Examples of crater in a Sentence

Verb The deal cratered when neither party could agree on the final price. Stock prices cratered after the companies' merger.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Earlier this year scientists discovered that water has been pooling in the Halema‘uma‘u crater since July 2019. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hawai’i’s Kīlauea Volcano Returns Dramatically With First Eruption in Two Years," 24 Dec. 2020 The eruption began late Sunday within the Halema’uma’u crater. Fox News, "Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island," 22 Dec. 2020 The eruption began late Sunday in the Halema’uma’u crater at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "What: $600 (for most). When? Next week (maybe).," 21 Dec. 2020 The northern fissure, pictured, was producing the tallest lava fountain at roughly 50 m (165 ft), and all lava was contained within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea caldera. NBC News, "Kilauea volcano erupts in Hawaii, residents asked to stay indoors," 21 Dec. 2020 The eruption began late Sunday within Kilauea’s summit crater, the U.S. Geological Survey said. chicagotribune.com, "Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island, produces steam cloud," 21 Dec. 2020 The eruption began late Sunday within the within Halema'uma'u crater, which is located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. CBS News, "Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts, then earthquake rattles area," 21 Dec. 2020 The mine will cause Oak Flat—an ancient burial ground and religious site of the San Carlos Apache—to collapse into a crater a thousand feet deep. The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 14 Dec. 2020 When the space agency crashed the 5,000 pound-LCROSS satellite into a southern lunar crater in 2009, water vapor byproducts permeated the resulting plume. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "The moon is (slightly) wet, NASA confirms. Now what?," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Live betting markets saw a massive cash infusion into calls for the president, and the Chinese yuan began to crater. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "The 2020 election and groyper osmosis," 10 Dec. 2020 Big Creek had adjusted to the pandemic, which caused timber sales for new-home construction to crater but brought a flurry of new business from do-it-yourself home projects. Heather Somerville, WSJ, "This Small Lumber Company Beat Back a Blaze. Rebuilding Is a Bigger Battle.," 14 Oct. 2020 The travel restrictions would see France’s already struggling tourism industry to crater. Fox News, "France declares Paris, Marseille at-risk zones for coronavirus," 14 Aug. 2020 The mission would launch in 2031 at the earliest, and would bring one hundred grams of material from the bottom of Occator crater back to Earth. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA Mission Shows Dwarf Planet Ceres Is Geologically Active," 13 Aug. 2020 The airport closed down one wing of its international terminal in April after the coronavirus pandemic caused demand for international flights to crater. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, "United Airlines, big SFO employer, may lay off 36,000 workers," 8 July 2020 The state’s four-year universities are holding their breath hoping that their fall enrollments don’t crater. oregonlive, "Community college enrollment craters in spring quarter, schools hope for usual recessionary bounce," 6 June 2020 Obama was already beginning to emerge from political hibernation to endorse Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential bid when the coronavirus pandemic swept across the U.S., killing more than 100,000 people, and the economy began to crater. Time, "Obama Holds Town Hall Event as Nation Confronts a Confluence of Crises," 4 June 2020 Obama was already beginning to emerge from political hibernation to endorse Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential bid when the coronavirus pandemic swept across the U.S., killing more than 100,000 people, and the economy began to crater. Julie Pace, Anchorage Daily News, "Obama steps out as nation confronts confluence of crises," 4 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crater.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crater

Noun (1)

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1884, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crater

Noun (1)

borrowed from Latin crātēr, crātēra "mixing bowl, basin of a fountain, bowl-shaped depression around the mouth of a volcano," borrowed from Greek krātḗr "mixing bowl, bowl-shaped depression around the mouth of a volcano," from krā-, variant stem of keránnȳmi, kerannýnai "to mix, mingle (as wine with water)" (going back to Indo-European *ḱerh2-, *ḱr̥h2- "mix," whence also Sanskrit ā́-śīrta- "mixed," Avestan sārəṇtē "[they] meet, unite") + -tēr, instrumental suffix

Verb

derivative of crater entry 1

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Time Traveler for crater

Time Traveler

The first known use of crater was in 1613

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Statistics for crater

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crater.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crater. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for crater

crater

verb

English Language Learners Definition of crater

US, informal : to fail or fall suddenly

crater

noun
cra·​ter | \ ˈkrā-tər How to pronounce crater (audio) \

Kids Definition of crater

1 : the area around the opening of a volcano or geyser that is shaped like a bowl
2 : a hole (as in the surface of the earth or moon) formed by an impact (as of a meteorite)

crater

noun
cra·​ter | \ ˈkrāt-ər How to pronounce crater (audio) \

Medical Definition of crater

: an eroded lesion of a wall or surface ulcer craters

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