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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Regularly run a canister vacuum over the surface to remove dirt and debris from cracks and crevices. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Laminate Floors (Without Ruining Them)," 28 Mar. 2019 Roaches dart into crevices and bats and other vermin have sneaked inside. Rick Rojas, New York Times, "Once a Getaway Where Bunnies Frolicked, Now a ‘Black Hole’," 8 Apr. 2018 Empty the vinegar from the tank and base and use a small brush to scrub crevices and remove any stuck-on mineral deposits. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Humidifier, According to the Good Housekeeping Institute," 4 Jan. 2019 Of course, there are also some potential opportunities for misuse, as a tiny, foldable drone could also just as likely be sent to spy in small crevices. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "A shape-shifting drone suggests the future of rescue missions," 20 Dec. 2018 Tolitoli police rescued the woman, who was only identified as HS, and who was trapped in a crevice between large rocks near Galumpang village, the Jakarta Post reported. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Elderly shaman tricked girl into having sex with him for 15 years while hiding her in cave, police say," 8 Aug. 2018 This review, though, argues for an alternate model: cavities grow in tiny crevices in the enamel that can’t easily be reached with a toothbrush or dental floss alone. Jeff Donn, The Seattle Times, "Experts question benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste," 7 Aug. 2018 While the animals enjoy freedom on the box, the small, crisp, sweet crackers themselves are of course still destined for human stomachs or perhaps the crevices of baby strollers. Matthew Haag, The Seattle Times, "In a victory for PETA, animal crackers roam free," 21 Aug. 2018 Bed bugs' relatively flat bodies allow them to fit into tight crevices, so look under buttons and at the seams of the furniture. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room," 10 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crevice

Dictionary Entries near crevice

crevasse

Crèvecoeur

crevette

crevice

creviced

crew

crew chief

Statistics for crevice

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crevice

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on crevice

What made you want to look up crevice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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