\ˈkrāv \
craved; craving

Definition of crave 

transitive verb

1 : to ask for earnestly : beg, demand crave a pardon for neglect

2a : to want greatly : need craves drugs craves attention

b : to yearn for crave a vanished youth

intransitive verb

: to have a strong or inward desire craves after affection

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Other Words from crave

craver noun

Choose the Right Synonym for crave

desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean to have a longing for. desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim. desires to start a new life wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable. wishes for permanent world peace want specifically suggests a felt need or lack. wants to have a family crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need. craves sweets covet implies strong envious desire. covets his rise to fame

Examples of crave in a Sentence

Like many celebrities, he craves attention. I was craving french fries, so I pulled into the nearest fast-food restaurant.

Recent Examples on the Web

New research suggests that your brain is hard-wired to crave foods that combine fat and carbohydrates, such as the fries and shakes that beckon from the drive-thru menu. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "How to make your fast food habit healthier," 20 June 2018 Obsession -- loving or poisonous -- has helped fuel the most dedicated fan bases, whose fervor is craved and cultivated by billion-dollar brands. CBS News, "Racist, misogynistic messages show dark side of "Star Wars" fandom," 9 June 2018 Sachdev explained that people crave so much information on the shooters and naturally want to know why the person committed a heinous act. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brookfield Central student to host an evening of solidarity to honor victims of gun-violence," 23 May 2018 Your body's natural response is to crave foods that trigger instant happiness — aka high-fat, high-sugar, high-carb EVERYTHING. Kim Tranell, Seventeen, "6 Ways to Make Your Period Suck Less," 27 Oct. 2017 There's something about this time of the year that makes people crave pruning more than vampires yearn for blood. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "Why You Should Stop Pruning Your Trees In The Fall," 15 Sep. 2017 Meanwhile, anyone craving something a little more lighthearted should check out bass guitar wizard and irrepressible goofball Thundercat (5 p.m.). Terence Cawley,, "Too many choices at Boston Calling? Here’s some help.," 23 May 2018 The royal wedding, a poignantly joyful ceremony with a jolt of diversity, given the new Duchess of Sussex's mixed race American background, was beamed to a world that craved a good news story. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand," 21 May 2018 Now, new ways of conquering sleep apnea, and the explosive snoring that comes with it, are vying for a place in the bedrooms of millions of people craving a good night’s sleep. Washington Post, "New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crave.' 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 crave

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crave

Middle English, from Old English crafian; akin to Old Norse krefja to crave, demand

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Statistics for crave

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crave

The first known use of crave was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for crave



English Language Learners Definition of crave

: to have a very strong desire for (something)


\ˈkrāv \
craved; craving

Kids Definition of crave

1 : to want greatly : long for crave chocolate The stray dog craved affection.

2 : to ask for earnestly “Sire, there is a messenger from the enemy who craves audience.”— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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Comments on crave

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