\ 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

Synonyms for crew

Synonyms: Noun

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

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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 the Carnival website, the Carnival Victory can hold up to 1,100 crew members and 2,764 passengers. Laurel Weibezahn,, "Man, 37, missing after falling from the Carnival Victory cruise ship 30 miles off Cuba," 4 July 2019 The pilot smiles and waves hello as his crew members descend into the night. Susan Dunne,, "Hey, doubters, there’s been a real 'Space Invasion!’ in downtown Stamford," 3 July 2019 One crew member has not yet been publicly identified. Jennifer Emily, Dallas News, "Cockpit thrown into 'confusion' seconds before 10 died in Addison plane crash," 2 July 2019 Eight passengers and two crew members died shortly after taking off for St. Petersburg, Florida, that morning when the luxury twin-engine Beechcraft BE-350 King Air veered to the left, rolled over and clipped the nearby hangar, WFAA reported. Char Adams,, "Family of 4 Among the Dead After Plane Crashes During Takeoff at Texas Airport: 'It's Horrible'," 1 July 2019 Remaining crew members fired flares and other vessels arrived to help search but the man had not been found. Anchorage Daily News, "Search underway for fisherman overboard in Nushagak Bay," 1 July 2019 Two life-sized human dummies in orange jumpsuits are perched on the ship’s bridge, posing as crew members keeping watch. The Economist, "The Gulf of Guinea is now the world’s worst piracy hotspot," 29 June 2019 Those crew members remain detained, yet Trump opted to forge ahead with the Osaka meeting. Jonathan Lemire And Zeke Miller,, "Trump jokes to Putin: ‘Don’t meddle in the election’," 28 June 2019 Our ship maneuvers alongside the instrument and a crew member leans over the side, hooks the instrument on a long pole and pulls it back on board. Emilie Hooft, The Conversation, "We probed Santorini’s volcano with sound to learn what’s going on beneath the surface," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When the Stranger Things crew first wrapped season 1 — and long before the sci-fi series was a phenomenon — the cast had no idea what was next. Ariana Romero,, "Stranger Things Star Natalia Dyer On The Upside-Down Of Fame," 4 July 2019 During the ten-day flight, the astronauts tested the craft's descent engine while coupled to the command module, lifting both spacecraft to a lofty 300-mile orbit and marking the first crewed throttling of an engine in space. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Travel With Apollo 9 As They Launch to Space 50 Years Ago," 1 Mar. 2019 One of the reasons is the 1920 Jones Act, a post-World War I national security undertaking, requiring that vessels moving cargo between two U.S. ports be U.S. built, owned and crewed. Debra Cagan, Houston Chronicle, "Comment: In maintaining Jones Act, the winner is Putin," 19 June 2019 North was crewing for Brun years ago when the skipper brushed a mark on the race course. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Innovator North always pushed the envelope, but ‘wasn’t afraid to fail’," 5 June 2019 The agency has contracted with SpaceX and Boeing to fly future crewed missions to the space station. Washington Post, "Long-distance trip: NASA opening space station to visitors," 7 June 2019 The book follows the story of Cal and Leon, two sons of astronauts who fall for each other amid the drama of the world's first crewed mission to Mars. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The Gravity of Us," 8 May 2019 The Coast Guard originally placed a 1,500-yard safety zone around the mine after it was spotted by a state Department of Natural Resources crew drifting 400 yards east of the Brownsville Marina. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Unexploded ‘device’ floating near Brownsville Marina – described as a mine – detonated by Navy," 28 Aug. 2018 It’s crewed by alien researchers known as the Ynaa, and the novel follows Mera, a Ynaa ambassador, and her human assistant, Derrick. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 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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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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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