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

Take the cabbage dish ($17) — two quarters of pale savoy cabbage with savory scallop butter massaged into its crevices and blackened on the grill. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The Mission’s Prairie switches gears, but is it better?," 3 July 2019 Pistachios are caught in its crevices; patches of cream surface, lunar white. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Celebrating America, Scoop by Frosty Scoop," 2 July 2019 In The Right Concealer Cover-up can be tricky to apply; many formulas sink into crevices, emphasizing every fine line. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 20 Best Instant Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets," 24 June 2019 Additionally, each piece is inspected for rivets, which attach handles to the pan, and create additional crevices that require cleaning. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Ceramic Cookware Sets to Buy in 2019, According to Kitchen Product Experts," 1 Mar. 2019 His lips never parted beyond a small crevice, but a look into the inside of his mouth would likely reveal an assortment of wiring and elastic bands. Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, "Zdeno Chara speaks, very gingerly," 9 June 2019 This year, the prize was hidden next to a trail north of Walker Road, in a crevice between stone and a fence. oregonlive.com, "Two-time Rose Festival Treasure Hunt winners find medallion in Beaverton," 9 June 2019 Multiple layers of oversight failed to catch the flaws until tiny microcracks grew into gaping crevices. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal to open July 1 after engineers give the OK," 11 June 2019 Some dig deep into particular crevices; others zoom out to try to make sense of grander patterns. Quanta Magazine, "The Strange Second Life of String Theory," 15 Sep. 2016

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

18 Jul 2019

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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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