\ 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)


Other Words from crud


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

Synonyms for crud

Synonyms: Noun

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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 The Nordica engineers back in Austria set out to enhance that loose and surfy feel while maintaining the brand’s famous crud-busting and high-speed-bashing guts. Heather Schultz, Outside Online, 4 Mar. 2021 Despite all those head-shaking moments in the Beijing bubble, though, there were plenty of world records, broken barriers and soaring performances to stir the emotions of figure skating fans that stuck it out through the crud. Dave Skretta, ajc, 20 Feb. 2022 Winter riding comes with its own unique demands: icy roads and trails that make for dicey traction, slushy crud that sprays all over you and your machine, and short days calling for extra lighting. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 28 Jan. 2022 Unlike streaming networks, which can bury their junk and still win awards for its prestige content or broadcast networks that have to worry deeply about offending any of their increasingly fewer viewers, TLC lives in their crud. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, 5 Nov. 2021 For additional friction to remove pesky interior crud, add salt—large rock salt is especially effective—with the ice. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Sep. 2021 The kittens were cold, unable to shiver or cry, and their eyes were covered in crud. Maria Lopez, cleveland, 29 July 2021 Future archaeologists examining the leavings of the 21st century will likely find scads of toxic crud, along with plenty of plastic trash. Sam Kean, Science | AAAS, 2 July 2021 But those concerns often conveniently overlooked the tatty crud regularly published in the country’s reactionary right-wing tabloids, many of which are owned by Murdoch, which have had a profoundly deleterious effect on British society for decades. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 21 June 2021 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 See More

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.

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."

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

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Cite this Entry

“Crud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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