crevice

noun
crev·ice | \ˈkre-vəs \

Definition of crevice 

: a narrow opening resulting from a split or crack (as in a cliff) : fissure A lizard emerged from a crevice in the cliff …— Tony Hillerman

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What's the difference between a crevice and a crevasse?

Crevice and crevasse are very similar words: both come from Old French crever "to break or burst" and both refer to an opening of some kind. In fact, you can say that the only notable distinction between the two is the size of the openings they denote—and that one of them—crevice—is far more common than the other.

A crevice is a narrow opening resulting from a split or crack. In nature, crevices exist mostly in rocks and cliffs, but writers sometimes use the word for similar openings found in other materials, as in "crumbs in the crevices of the cushion." The word also is used metaphorically, as in "the cracks and crevices of memory."

Crevasse refers to a deep hole or fissure in a glacier or in the earth. In most instances, the word appears with enough context that the depth of the opening is easy enough to figure out, as in "a climber who fell 30 feet into a crevasse."

You'll sometimes find crevice used where crevasse is expected—probably because it's the word people are more familiar with. One way to remember the distinction between crevice and crevasse is that the i in crevice, the smaller hole, is a thinner letter than a in crevasse, the larger hole. Or, should you step into a crevasse, perhaps you'll have time for a lot of "Ahhhs"?

Examples of crevice in a Sentence

steam escaped from a long crevice in the volcano

Recent Examples on the Web

Grab your compressed air, give it a quick burst away from the laptop to get rid of any condensation, then start blowing air into any cracks and crevices: the keyboard, the vents and even the USB ports. Whitson Gordon, New York Times, "How to Clean Your Filthy, Disgusting Laptop," 26 June 2018 Regularly run a canister vacuum, like the Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum, over the surface to remove dirt and debris from cracks and crevices. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean and Maintain Laminate Floors," 28 Mar. 2018 At times, the boys were harnessed to ropes and drawn across steep caverns to spare them from climbing up and down jagged crevices and were floated across pools of water in other chambers. Robyn Dixon, latimes.com, "Tears flow as Thai boys and parents see each other for first time since cave rescue," 11 July 2018 Stay locked onto the thickest part of the shrimp (the opposite end as the tail), and when the flesh at the base of that crevice turns from translucent to opaque, the shrimp is done. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "How to Not Overcook (or Undercook) Your Shrimp," 14 May 2018 The climbers shined lights up crevices from the inside of the cave system, which searchers on the outside tried to locate, said one person involved in the search. Wilawan Watcharasakwet And Phred Dvorak, WSJ, "Thailand Cave Rescue: Former Thai Navy SEAL Dies After Diving Operation," 6 July 2018 The next line of defense is to seal up any cracks, crevices, or other entry points along baseboards with copper mesh and foam fillers. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "It has 30 legs and hides in your basement in summer. Don’t kill it," 26 June 2018 But 90s bitchification was like water flowing into every crevice. Allison Yarrow, Time, "How the ’90s Tricked Women Into Thinking They’d Gained Gender Equality," 13 June 2018 Then there was another iteration of midcentury drunks, a fixation on the male drunk genius as one way of looking for the fissures and dark crevices inside of post-war prosperity. Jaime Green, GQ, "Leslie Jamison Wants You to Rethink Your Drunk Literary Heroes," 2 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crevice

Middle English, from Anglo-French crevace, from crever to break, from Latin crepare to crack

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Dictionary Entries near crevice

crevasse

Crèvecoeur

crevette

crevice

creviced

crew

crew chief

Statistics for crevice

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crevice

The first known use of crevice was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for crevice

crevice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crevice

: a narrow opening or crack in a hard surface and especially in rock

crevice

noun
crev·ice | \ˈkre-vəs \

Kids Definition of crevice

: a narrow opening (as in the earth) caused by cracking or splitting : fissure

crevice

noun
crev·ice | \ˈkrev-əs \

Medical Definition of crevice 

: a narrow fissure or cleft an ulcerated periodontal crevice — see gingival crevice

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Comments on crevice

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