\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.)

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Other Words from crew


crewless \ ˈkrü-​ləs \ adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to People, the crew consisted of Jenner, Bella Hadid, Tyler the Creator, Joan Smalls, and Justine Skye. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Bella Hadid Threw Kendall Jenner a 23rd Birthday Bash—and It Looked Amazing," 4 Nov. 2018 Even more impressive, the gold medal crew contained just one Olympic veteran—21-year-old Simone Biles—with younger athletes filling the other spots, showcasing the depth of up-and-coming talent on Team USA. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The USA Women's Gymnastics Team Won Its 4th Straight World Championship—Here's How to Watch the Final Events," 31 Oct. 2018 This was normal, the crew told her, just incoming fire from the Taliban. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 Together, the crew celebrated Leah getting her Master's degree with big plates of meatballs and pasta. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo Celebrates First Milestone Without Larry in Emotional Premiere," 9 Oct. 2018 The crew also got a number of shout outs, as did snacks, a good book, and cell phones. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The One Thing Outlander Stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe Can't Live Without," 1 Oct. 2018 Initially, the company planned for that launch to happen sometime this year, but the Dragon crew capsule is still under development. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Found a Passenger for Its Lunar Flight," 14 Sep. 2018 In total, Fedak and the crew tagged seven elephant seals found on dry beaches near Pine Island. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 Cliven, who wasn’t present in Oregon, and LaVoy Finicum were among the only actual ranchers in the crew. Jake Bullinger, Outside Online, "Trump’s Pardon Condones Western Rebellion," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shelby’s crew tinkered with the cars, trying out different body parts, engines and transmissions. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "'Little Red' 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 found after 50 years, could be worth millions," 17 Aug. 2018 Apparently the cameras will start rolling in August, when the tourist season in Mykonos is at its height, and continue as Lohan and crew open the club in Rhodes. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Is Lindsay Lohan on Her Way to Becoming Our Next Lisa Vanderpump?," 23 July 2018 SpaceX’s crewed test flight is slated for December, after an uncrewed flight in August. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "SpaceX and Boeing Slated for Manned Space Missions By Year's End," 14 Jan. 2018 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

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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Learn More about crew

Dictionary Entries near crew





crew chief

crew cut


Statistics for crew

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Time Traveler for crew

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

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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.

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