\ ˈkrəd How to pronounce crud (audio) \

Definition of crud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a deposit or incrustation of filth, grease, or refuse
b : something disgusting : rubbish
c slang : a contemptible person
2 : a usually ill-defined or imperfectly identified bodily disorder
3 dialect : curd


crudded; crudding

Definition of crud (Entry 2 of 2)


Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from crud


cruddy \ ˈkrə-​dē How to pronounce crud (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for crud

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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: Noun Poole, who wasn’t involved in the study, said that food suctioning might be somewhat uncommon in the wild, where snuffing up vegetation off the ground could ferry all manner of dirt and crud into the airway as well. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 June 2021 But when chromium is added to a steel alloy and the metal is heat treated, protective chromium oxide turns back crud, making stainless blades easier to care for. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 5 Mar. 2021 And forget closing the bag if a bit of crud gets stuck in there. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2021 Merino wool has a natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial property that keeps feet warm even when wet, helps eliminate scent, and reduces the chance of any kind of creeping foot crud on the trail. The Editors, Outdoor Life, 29 Aug. 2019 The spod flies through the air-centripetal force holds the crud glob in place until splashdown-then the rocker rights itself, raining a sloppy food cloud onto the lake bottom. Kirk Deeter, Field & Stream, 5 Dec. 2020 Preclean your surface to ensure any visible crud or grime is removed. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 29 Oct. 2020 There is a fear that COVID-19 cases along with cases of camp crud, which could be mistaken for COVID-19, could severely deplete firefighter numbers. Luke Montrose, CBS News, 17 Sep. 2020 Scrubbing out the crud from mass murderers and enslavers. Ishmael Reed, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crud.' 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 crud


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crud


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."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crud

Time Traveler for crud

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for crud

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crud



English Language Learners Definition of crud

: a dirty or greasy substance
chiefly US : something unpleasant or worthless

More from Merriam-Webster on crud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crud


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!