\ 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.)

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Friday, the crew was able to shine a high-powered flashlight into the elevator shaft but could not see anything at the bottom, where there is 8-to-10 feet of water, Mura added. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky coal mine explosion knocks worker down 380-foot shaft," 2 Aug. 2019 For more than a year, construction crews have been digging in front of Harry’s and the half-dozen other mom-and-pop shops on Blackstone Street. Maria Cramer,, "This cheese shop’s a slice of old Boston," 1 Aug. 2019 Bock said search and rescue crews were on the scene of the crash, east of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Navy fighter jet crashes in the California desert," 31 July 2019 But crews are still busy in the Upper Yukon and Tanana fire zones, as well as the Chalkyitsik Complex east of Fort Yukon. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Kenai Peninsula fire that made for smoky skies through much of the summer is winding down," 31 July 2019 In a Facebook post Thursday, complex management said crews had been on-site since July 15 to inventory and pack apartment contents so that they could be taken to a storage facility and reclaimed. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "7 weeks after Dallas crane collapse, homes are still off-limits for fed-up apartment residents," 27 July 2019 What O'Connor didn't realize was that the crew was talking about Queen Elizabeth. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Durrells in Corfu," 23 July 2019 By the end of the fourth episode of the 10-episode season, the crew of the Salvare is ready to finally do something that relates to the alien artifact. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Another Life starts as Arrival, then turns into Star Trek," 23 July 2019 George Jozens, a Coconino National Forest spokesman, said crews have been working on thinning that area to avoid exactly what's happening now. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "Flagstaff residents on edge as 800-acre Museum Fire grows closer," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The International Space Station is constantly crewed. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Back story: Don’t forget San Diego when celebrating Apollo 11," 21 July 2019 But in the late 1960s, NASA blew past Roscosmos with the Apollo program, with the first crewed mission to the moon and, of course, the mission that enabled the first people to walk on the moon. Time Staff, Time, "Here's Every Single Mission to the Moon in One Chart," 18 July 2019 The eighth crewed mission in the United States Apollo program, Apollo 14 was the third to land on the Moon and the first to touch down in the lunar highlands. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Across Indiana, trees are growing from seeds that went to the Moon. Here's where you can find them.," 17 July 2019 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

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


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 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!