\ ˈkrü How to pronounce crew (audio) \

Definition of crew

 (Entry 1 of 3)

chiefly British past tense of crow


\ ˈkrü How to pronounce crew (audio) \

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
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.)

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Other Words from crew


crewless \ ˈkrü-​ləs How to pronounce crewless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of crew in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb She spent a couple of years crewing on a British ship. The ship was crewed by 12 men.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 1898, the US battleship Maine mysteriously blew up in Havana Harbor, killing more than 260 crew members and bringing the United States closer to war with Spain., "This day in history," 15 Feb. 2020 Lane closures are a necessary part of providing a safe working environment for crews in the area. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday traffic: Fog, slick spots, for morning commute," 13 Feb. 2020 Police found a Spectrum cable crew in another resident’s driveway. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Four companies called off after house fire call turns out to be open burn: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 7 Feb. 2020 The Kentucky Department of Transportation said road crews in Jefferson County will start clearing the roadways around 1 a.m. Friday. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "With snow possibly on the way, will JCPS cancel school Friday?," 6 Feb. 2020 The returning firefighters — 18 men and two women — worked on different crews in Australia. Washington Post, "California firefighters return from battling Australia fires," 5 Feb. 2020 The company has crews in shale basins across the United States and Canada. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "BJ Services develops natural gas-fired turbine for frac crews," 4 Feb. 2020 In 2009, the Kremlin approved the development of a replacement to its Soyuz spacecraft, which was supposed to make its first test flight in 2015 and fly with a crew in 2018—but neither milestone came anywhere close to implementation. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Need To Know About Russia’s (Possibly Fictional) Super Heavy Rocket," 3 Feb. 2020 The chief executive of Thai Airways International PCL held a press conference on Wednesday to address a video that showed cleaning crew in hazmat suits spraying down the inside of an aircraft. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Airlines Brace for Coronavirus to Cut Into Revenue," 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The federal government brought in 36 naval warships crewed by 11,000 men to police the high seas. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "18 Things You Probably Don't Know About Prohibition," 17 Jan. 2020 The victory gave Bill Belichick’s crew their 11th straight AFC East crown and a hold on the No., "Patriots deny Bills, capture 11th straight AFC East title - The Boston Globe," 22 Dec. 2019 Even so, soft landings south of Chang’e-4 hadn’t been attempted before Chandrayaan-2, crewed or uncrewed—and as recent missions underscore, a lot can go wrong on the way to the surface. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "India’s first lunar lander falls silent just before touchdown," 6 Sep. 2019 These include flying scientific and technical experiments to the lunar surface to lay the groundwork for an eventual crewed mission. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, "Can NASA Really Return People to the Moon by 2024?," 9 July 2019 The previous record was set by former station commander Peggy Whitson, who crewed the ISS in 2016-17. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Astronaut Christina Koch Breaks Record for Longest Spaceflight by a Woman," 28 Dec. 2019 Our SunSail lead boat was crewed by three 20-something Britons who organized cocktail get-togethers and trivia contests in the evenings: the wiry Captain Dom, buff first mate Will and a gregarious hostess named Charlie. Washington Post, "In the Greek islands, a ‘slow travel’ sailing odyssey to the far Ionians," 29 Nov. 2019 But the neighborhood changed, and in 1964 the members put the clubhouse on a barge, crewed up a tugboat and floated the club to China Basin. Carl Nolte,, "A speck of old San Francisco desperately hangs on in the shadow of Chase Center," 9 Nov. 2019 But since March, when Vice President Mike Pence threw down a marker to achieve another crewed lunar landing by 2024, the work began ramping up fast. Time, "NASA Is Working With Private Companies to Go Back to the Moon. That's Riskier Than it Seems," 31 July 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for crew

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for crew

Cite this Entry

“Crew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for crew


How to pronounce crew (audio)

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 How to pronounce crew (audio) \

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on crew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crew

Spanish Central: Translation of crew

Nglish: Translation of crew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crew for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crew

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