crevice

noun
crev·​ice | \ ˈkre-vəs How to pronounce crevice (audio) \

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

Shining through cracks and crevices, exposing hope and compassion. Los Angeles Times, "Column: When cancer closed in, a photographer turned to Los Angeles to help see her through," 26 Aug. 2019 Place ant bait stations around the perimeter of your home, and block pest entryways by caulking cracks and crevices. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Gardening in the Bay Area: August to-do list," 22 Aug. 2019 If the nest is inside walls or inaccessible, cut off the paths ants follow by caulking cracks and crevices. Philly.com, "The annual home pest invasion is coming; here are tips to do it yourself or hire an exterminator," 28 Mar. 2018 These fish grow to about three feet long and spend much of their time on the bottom, hiding in crevices. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "These sharks glow underwater—thanks to tiny ‘lightsabers’," 8 Aug. 2019 Observing a long-standing tradition, Laura scribbled her hopes and wishes on a piece of paper and inserted it into a crevice between the stones. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Her 14-year-old daughter’s liver saved another woman’s life. Now their friendship offers a road map through grief.," 16 July 2019 Look in crevices for urchins, top snails, and true crabs. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "How low can you go? West Coast tides this summer should be astonishing," 3 June 2019 The poor ones on the street are just more honest and visible than the arrogant goobers in suits doing business in the dark crevices of Goat Hill. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al.com, "Montgomery panhandlers: Lock ‘em up! Start with Mike Hubbard," 12 July 2019 Indifferently strewn about in the crevices of our belongings, coins are seen only when needed to serve their economic purposes. Gail Fletcher, National Geographic, "See what Europe’s coins looked like before the euro," 28 June 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce crevice (audio) \

Kids Definition of crevice

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

crevice

noun
crev·​ice | \ ˈkrev-əs How to pronounce crevice (audio) \

Medical Definition of crevice

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on crevice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crevice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crevice

Spanish Central: Translation of crevice

Nglish: Translation of crevice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crevice for Arabic Speakers

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