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 Quickly and easily transform it into a handheld sucking up stair dust, or use it as a crevice-creeper in the car and on the sofa. Cortne Bonilla,, "You Can Save Up To $150 On Cult-Favorite Dyson Vacuums," 23 Nov. 2020 Rome Taylore: enjoys impractical shoes, caper G and Ts, and dusting @diormakeup strobing powder into every possible crevice Tinkerbell-style. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "Beauty Editors on Their Signature Winter Fragrances," 30 Oct. 2020 After the landing, a bright spot appeared in that crevice, as if surface dust had been removed to expose water ice in the boulder. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Doomed Philae lander accidentally did a science by denting the comet," 30 Oct. 2020 Also in the box: a range of attachments, including a crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush, and more. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "The best sales to shop today: Anker, Calvin Klen, Hasbro and more," 28 Oct. 2020 The team stuffed dense foam padding into a crevice above and below the nest entrance and wrapped the tree with cellophane, leaving just a single opening. CBS News, "Scientists kill 85 "murder hornets" and capture 13 alive: "This is only the start"," 28 Oct. 2020 Since its arrival two years ago, OSIRIS-REx has orbited the asteroid several times and has mapped every crack, crevice, and boulder on the rocky body in 3D. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "A Spacecraft Is Going to Punch an Asteroid Tonight. Here's How to Watch.," 20 Oct. 2020 Nuthatches pluck a seed from the feeder, wedge it in a tree-bark crevice and pound it with their beaks to break it open. Paul Stenquist, New York Times, "Get the Birds To Come To You," 17 Oct. 2020 Dragging the goose into a crevice, the cub attempted to eat its prize while blocking access to the others. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Winners of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020," 14 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for crevice

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for crevice

Last Updated

4 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crevice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for crevice


How to pronounce crevice (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crevice

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


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


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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