crev·​ice ˈkre-vəs How to pronounce crevice (audio)
: 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

Did you know?

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 The brush nozzle is great for pet hair and sweeping dust off computer keyboards, while the crevice tool easily reaches into nooks and crannies to grab hidden debris. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 17 July 2024 Inspect any seams, folds, or crevices on the front and back of chairs, couches, pillows, and cushions. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 14 July 2024 Normally, the Wall is a polyglot place as Jews—and others—from around the world come to share their thoughts with God, to kiss an ancient stone and squeeze a paper plea into a crevice. David Faris, Newsweek, 9 July 2024 At a small graveyard in Mexico, a stinging creature perched in the crevice of a rock wall. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for crevice 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crevice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near crevice

Cite this Entry

“Crevice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


crev·​ice ˈkrev-əs How to pronounce crevice (audio)
: a narrow opening caused by a split or crack : fissure

Medical Definition


crev·​ice ˈkrev-əs How to pronounce crevice (audio)
: a narrow fissure or cleft
an ulcerated periodontal crevice
see gingival crevice

More from Merriam-Webster on crevice

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!