1 of 2


: a deposit or incrustation of filth, grease, or refuse
: something disgusting : rubbish
slang : a contemptible person
: a usually ill-defined or imperfectly identified bodily disorder
dialect : curd
cruddy adjective


2 of 2


crudded; crudding

Examples of crud in a Sentence

Noun I spent an hour scrubbing the crud off the old stove. He complains that there's too much crud on TV these days.
Recent Examples on the Web
He was prepared for Will Smith running up and slapping the crud out of somebody. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 12 May 2024 And later primaries would have provided additional time for crud to fall on Trump’s head, giving Republican voters an opportunity to come to their senses. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2024 The crud that forms there is a byproduct of cylindrical dandruff—a waxy, scaly substance that builds up at the follicle base around individual lashes—and collarettes, a.k.a., uh, mite poop. Ali Finney, SELF, 15 Mar. 2024 If some of the deposits do lift, using a product such as CLR or vinegar should remove some or all of the crud. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2024 And in 2020, new international rules aimed at reducing the crud spewing from ship smokestacks — specifically, sulfur emissions from burning fuel — took effect. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 And where the bottom part of it meets the top, there’s a giant seam that loves to collect crud. Wes Davis, The Verge, 21 Jan. 2024 Step one is to get any earwax or other crud, like dust and dirt, off your buds. Julia Ries, SELF, 27 July 2023 This will often dissolve the crud that’s causing the slow draining. Rachel Kurzius, Washington Post, 25 May 2023
The announcement, interpreted in the market as an oil price war, sent Brent and West Texas Intermediate crudes tumbling. Brian Wingfield,, 31 Mar. 2020 Just apply gentle pressure, rinsing the scraper or toothbrush off after each pass to avoid re-depositing all that crud back on your tongue. Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, 18 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crud.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English crud, curd (usually in plural cruddes, croddes, curddys) "coagulated milk, any thickened substance, dregs, lees" — more at curd entry 1

Note: The word crud in the sense "curd" is a regional and dialect variant in the British Isles (see note at curd entry 1). It has also been sparsely recorded in the U.S., usually as plural cruds in reference to cottage cheese, alongside cruddle for curdle and cruddy as either a noun ("curds") or an adjective "coagulating into curds"; the Dictionary of American Regional English, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA: 1985) labels crud in the dairy sense as "obsolescent." The word, however, displays a number of apparently derived informal or slang senses in American English, as "deposit of filth," "bodily disorder" and "contemptible person"; none of these appear to be attested before the 1930's. In part these senses may be back-formations from the adjective cruddy. This word in a derogatory sense is attested much earlier than parallel senses of crud, in The Molly Maguires and the Detectives (New York, 1877), one of a series of books with Allan pinkerton's name on the title page that purport to be memoirs of detective work and were almost certainly ghostwritten. In the text cruddy appears three times, associated with or in dialogue by Irishmen. It is difficult to judge how much exposure the unknown author had to Irish speech; in any case cruddy in a derogatory sense does not appear to be attested in Hiberno-English.


Middle English crudden, crodden, curdden "to curdle or make curdle (of milk), coagulate, congeal," perhaps going back to Germanic *kruttōn-/*krudōn- (whence also Norwegian regional krota "to curdle, clump," kroda "to huddle"), iterative derivative of *krūdan- "to press, push forward" — more at crowd entry 1

Note: Compare also Norwegian regional krodde (masculine) "dregs," (feminine) "boiled cheese." The hypothesis of an iterative derivative with an outcome of Kluge's Law is from G. Kroonen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Brill, 2013). The Oxford English Dictionary, third edition (2019), along with earlier dictionaries, treats the Middle English verb as derivative of the noun crud, curd (see curd entry 1), though if Kroonen is correct, the noun must be secondary. The Oxford editors regard the noun as either descending from an unattested Old English nominal derivative of *krūdan- (with unexplained u as a stem vowel) or as a borrowing from Scandinavian (based on the Norwegian evidence). Kroonen regards the sense "curds" as possibly secondary, given the sense "dregs" of Norwegian krodde, which would rule out an oft suggested relationship between crud/curd and Middle Irish gruth "curds, cheese."

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crud was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near crud

Cite this Entry

“Crud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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