1 of 2


cruder; crudest
: marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity
a crude stereotype
crude tools
crude jokes
: existing in a natural state and unaltered by cooking or processing
crude oil
crude ore
: rough or inexpert in plan or execution
a crude shelter
: lacking a covering, glossing, or concealing element : obvious
crude facts
: tabulated without being broken down into classes
the crude death rate
archaic : unripe, immature
crudely adverb
crudeness noun


2 of 2


: a substance in its natural unprocessed state
especially : unrefined petroleum
Choose the Right Synonym for crude

rude, rough, crude, raw mean lacking in social refinement.

rude implies ignorance of or indifference to good form; it may suggest intentional discourtesy.

rude behavior

rough is likely to stress lack of polish and gentleness.

rough manners

crude may apply to thought or behavior limited to the gross, the obvious, or the primitive.

a crude joke

raw suggests being untested, inexperienced, or unfinished.

turning raw youths into polished performers

Examples of crude in a Sentence

Adjective They built a crude shelter out of branches. a crude summary of the country's history She first described the procedure in crude terms, and then went into more detail.
Recent Examples on the Web
During the same time, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell from around $100 a barrel to under $40, disrupting the shale boom and leading to the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of oil field workers. Joseph Lawler, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 11 June 2024 Michael DiGiacomo, a high-ranking member in the State Guard, is accused of making crude remarks about the woman’s genitalia and body and uttering other demeaning comments in front of other State Guard members. Ana Ceballos, Miami Herald, 30 May 2024
West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, has stayed in the mid $70s a barrel over recent weeks – closing at under $78 a barrel June 10. Wyatte Grantham-Philips, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 June 2024 West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, has stayed in the mid $70s a barrel over recent weeks, closing at under $78 a barrel on Monday. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for crude 

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

Word History


Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Latin crudus raw, crude, undigested — more at raw

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1904, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near crude

Cite this Entry

“Crude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
cruder; crudest
: being in a natural state and not changed by cooking or refining : raw
crude oil
: not having or showing good manners : vulgar
: planned or done in a rough or unskilled way
a crude drawing
crudely adverb
crudeness noun


2 of 2 noun
: crude oil

More from Merriam-Webster on crude

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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