\ ˈkrü \

Definition of crew 

(Entry 1 of 3)

chiefly British past tense of crow


\ ˈkrü \

Definition of crew (Entry 2 of 3)

1 archaic : a band or force of armed men

2a : a group of people associated together in a common activity or by common traits or interests

b : gang sense 1a

3a : a company of people working on one job or under one foreman or operating a machine

b : the whole company belonging to a ship sometimes including the officers and master also : one who assists the skipper of a sailboat

c : the persons who have duties on an aircraft in flight

d : the rowers and coxswain of a racing shell also : rowing


crewed; crewing; crews

Definition of crew (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to act as a member of a crew

transitive verb

: to serve as a crew member on (a ship, an aircraft, etc.)

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from crew


crewless \ˈkrü-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for crew

Synonyms: Noun

cabal, conspiracy, gang, Mafia, mob, ring, syndicate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of crew in a Sentence


a skilled member of a ship's crew the flight's passengers and crew the ship's captain and crew A construction crew will begin work on the house next week.


She spent a couple of years crewing on a British ship. The ship was crewed by 12 men.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nearby residents cheered last December as a crew tore down the tank, which was sold by the company for $10 in 2005 and has been an eyesore ever since. Brian Slodysko, The Courier-Journal, "Cleanup of Pence family's failed gas stations cost Indiana taxpayers $20M," 13 July 2018 Nearby residents cheered last December as a crew tore down the tank, which was sold by the company for $10 in 2005 and has been an eyesore ever since. Brian Slodysko,, "Cleanup of Pence family gas stations cost Indiana more than $20 million," 13 July 2018 The Queen and Prince Philip hosted him at Buckingham Palace and exchanged signed photos of themselves, while a television crew captured the occasion for a documentary called the Royal Family, broadcast later that year. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Here's How Every Meeting Between the Queen and a U.S. President Went," 12 July 2018 In between the two San Diego robberies, Rojas and Ortiz were convicted as part of a robbery crew in Los Angeles that had targeted a jewelry salesman in 2015. Pauline Repard,, "Robber gets 15 years for $1.5M jewel theft, assault in University Town Center," 12 July 2018 Inside Roberts’ office, a film crew was ready for his arrival. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling makes All-Star team; Max Muncy doesn't win fan vote," 12 July 2018 Launched in 2004 and operated by a crew out of Penn State, Swift was the first responder to home in on the source. Ian Haydon,, "For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes," 12 July 2018 Cleanup continues in the kitchen past 11 p.m., and then a different cleanup crew will be there first thing in the morning. star-telegram, "A day in the life of Joe T. Garcia's," 11 July 2018 The larger-than-life satire Hammer was describing follows a ragtag crew of Oakland young people who begin working as telemarketers at a shadowy company called RegalView. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Has an Eerily Familiar Villain," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The challenge also continues the agency's legacy of providing valuable experience to students who someday may be responsible for planning future space missions, including crewed missions to other worlds. Bob Gathany,, "NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge," 14 Apr. 2018 Most of the ships that will arrive in New Orleans are crewed by young people who are embarking on long-leg sails to shape their skills and see different parts of the world. Jennifer Larino,, "Visiting the tall ships in New Orleans this weekend? Here's what to know," 19 Apr. 2018 Anter, 56, of Port Huron, will crew with eight others, including four teenagers. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "How 5 Port Huron-to-Mackinac racers feed sailboat crews," 13 July 2018 El Faro was one of just a few ships allowed to service the mainland-Puerto Rico run because it was designated a Jones Act vessel — American-owned, American-built, and crewed predominantly by American mariners. Rachel Slade,, "How cheap is too cheap?," 13 May 2018 The El Faro was a 40-year-old ship crewed with 33 mariners — eight of whom were New Englanders — that mysteriously steamed into a Category 3 hurricane and vanished off the Bahamas in October 2015. Rachel Slade,, "How cheap is too cheap?," 13 May 2018 The Hard French crew always does right by Pride and throws one of the best parties of the weekend. Ryan Kost,, "Ryan Kost’s off-the-radar picks, week of June 24," 22 June 2018 But SpaceX is no longer planning on using the Heavy or crewed missions, SpaceNews reported. Nina Godlewski, Newsweek, "Watch: Falcon Heavy Launch From SpaceX Set to David Bowie Song," 13 Mar. 2018 Whether from members of the field crew themselves or people researchers need to work with in remote places, Su says, there is often an underlying assumption that women aren’t as skilled, tough or driven as the men. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "The Many Ways Women Get Left Out of Paleontology," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crew.' 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 crew


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1935, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for crew


Middle English crue, from Middle French, reinforcement, literally, increase, from crue, feminine past participle of croistre to grow, from Latin crescere — more at crescent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crew

Dictionary Entries near crew





crew chief

crew cut


Phrases Related to crew

cast and crew

eat crow

motley crew

pit crew

Statistics for crew

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crew

The first known use of crew was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crew



English Language Learners Definition of crew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the group of people who operate a ship, airplane, or train

: the people who work on a ship except the officers and captain

: a group of people who do a specified kind of work together



English Language Learners Definition of crew (Entry 2 of 2)

: to work as a member of a crew that operates a ship or airplane


\ ˈkrü \

Kids Definition of crew

1 : the group of people who operate a ship, train, or airplane

2 : a group of people working together the news crew

3 : a gathering of people Mom feeds a large crew on holidays.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on crew

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


characteristic trappings or dress

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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