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The plate cracked when I dropped it, but it was still usable.
The branch cracked under the weight of the snow.
The whip cracked.
(of the voice) to break abruptly and discordantly, especially into an upper register, as because of weariness or emotion.
His confidence cracked under the strain.
They questioned him steadily for 24 hours before he finally cracked.
Chemistry. to decompose as a result of being subjected to heat.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to brag; boast.
Chiefly Scot. to chat; gossip.
The driver cracked the whip.
to break without complete separation of parts; break into fissures.
to crack walnuts.
The boxer cracked his opponent on the jaw.
to induce or cause to be stricken with sorrow or emotion; affect deeply.
to crack jokes.
to crack one's knuckles.
The new evidence against him cracked his composure.
to make mentally unsound.
to make (the voice) harsh or unmanageable.
to crack a murder case.
Informal. to break into (a safe, vault, etc.).
Chemistry. to subject to the process of cracking, as in the distillation of petroleum.
Informal. to open and drink (a bottle of wine, liquor, beer, etc.).
a break without complete separation of parts; fissure.
a slight opening, as between boards in a floor or wall, or between a door and its doorpost.
a sudden, sharp noise, as of something breaking.
the snap of or as of a whip.
He received a terrific crack on the head when the branch fell.
Informal. a witty or cutting remark; wisecrack.
a break or change in the flow or tone of the voice.
Give him first crack at the new job.
a flaw or defect.
Also called rock. Slang. pellet-size pieces of highly purified cocaine, prepared with other ingredients for smoking, and known to be especially potent and addicting.
Masonry. check1 (def 41).
a mental defect or deficiency.
At the first crack, the deer fell.
He was on his feet again in a crack.
Slang. a burglary, especially an instance of housebreaking.
Chiefly British. a person or thing that excels in some respect.
Slang: Vulgar. the vulva.
Chiefly Scot. conversation; chat.
British Dialect. boasting; braggadocio.
Archaic. a burglar.
a crack shot.
with a cracking sound.
The police are starting to crack down on local drug dealers.
crack off, to cause (a piece of hot glass) to fall from a blowpipe or punty.
- (of a sailing vessel) to sail in high winds under sails that would normally be furled.
- (of a power vessel) to advance at full speed in heavy weather.
- to suffer a mental or emotional breakdown.
- to crash, as in an automobile or airplane:
He skidded into the telephone pole and cracked up.
- to wreck an automobile, airplane, or other vehicle.
- to laugh or to cause to laugh unrestrainedly:
That story about the revolving door really cracked me up. Ed cracked up, too, when he heard it.
He hardly ever cracked a book.
crack a smile, Informal. to smile.
We tried to be serious, but he was always cracking wise.
In any inspection process some defective materials will fall through the cracks.
Also, slip between the cracks.
- to begin moving or working; start:
Let's get cracking on these dirty dishes!
- to work or move more quickly.
Origin of crack
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for crack
We will pull back the onion and explore every crack and crevice.
Details Emerge of Adam Lanza’s Life at School and Home Christine Pelisek December 15, 2012
Even if that truth involves flying brains, the crack of bones, and the sucking sound of meat pulled from meat.
The Art of the Pig Blake Gopnik October 30, 2011
HSBC's complicity in laundering money for Mexican drug cartels shows just how difficult it is to crack down on criminal cash.
HSBC Report Shows Difficulty of Stopping Money Launderers Malcolm Beith July 18, 2012
By then, pretentiously revolutionary political names had descended to the world of crack.
The End of 'Bad Boy' Thinking Stanley Crouch November 19, 2008
Plus, read Matthew Yglesias's take on the politically scandalous ways Democrats need to crack down on the budget.
What's in Obama's Budget? The Daily Beast January 31, 2010
“I see you are keeping watch through a crack in the door,” he said.
The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards Gerald Breckenridge
Its action was so terrific that it did not rend or crack metal or stone which it struck.
The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
It ain't any crib we're wantin' to crack, or nothin' like that.
The White Moll Frank L. Packard
The eagle left Loki there and flew within a crack in the mountain.
The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
Set one minute in a hot oven but not long enough to cause the fence to crack.
My Pet Recipes, Tried and True Various
British Dictionary definitions for crack
to break or cause to break without complete separation of the parts: the vase was cracked but unbroken
to break or cause to break with a sudden sharp sound; snap: to crack a nut
to make or cause to make a sudden sharp sound: to crack a whip
to cause (the voice) to change tone or become harsh or (of the voice) to change tone, esp to a higher register; break
(informal) to fail or cause to fail
to yield or cause to yield: to crack under torture
(transitive) to hit with a forceful or resounding blow
(transitive) to break into or force open: to crack a safe
(transitive) to solve or decipher (a code, problem, etc)
(transitive) (informal) to tell (a joke, etc)
to break (a molecule) into smaller molecules or radicals by the action of heat, as in the distillation of petroleum
(transitive) to open (esp a bottle) for drinking: let's crack another bottle
(intransitive) (Scot & Northern English, dialect) to chat; gossip
(transitive) (informal) to achieve (esp in the phrase crack it)
(transitive) (Austral, informal) to find or catch: to crack a wave in surfing
(informal) crack a smile, to break into a smile
(Austral & NZ, informal) crack hardy, crack hearty, to disguise one's discomfort, etc; put on a bold front
(informal) crack the whip, to assert one's authority, esp to put people under pressure to work harder
a sudden sharp noise
a break or fracture without complete separation of the two parts: a crack in the window
a narrow opening or fissure
(informal) a resounding blow
a physical or mental defect; flaw
a moment or specific instant: the crack of day
a broken or cracked tone of voice, as a boy's during puberty
(often foll by at) (informal) an attempt; opportunity to try: he had a crack at the problem
(slang) a gibe; wisecrack; joke
(slang) a person that excels
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a talk; chat
(slang) a processed form of cocaine hydrochloride used as a stimulant. It is highly addictive
(informal, mainly Irish) Also craic. fun; informal entertainment: the crack was great in here last night
(obsolete, slang) a burglar or burglary
- the very instant that the sun rises
- very early in the morning
(informal) a fair crack of the whip, a fair chance or opportunity
crack of doom, doomsday; the end of the world; the Day of Judgment
(prenominal) (slang) first-class; excellent: a crack shot
See also crack down, crack on, crack up
Old English cracian; related to Old High German krahhōn, Dutch kraken, Sanskrit gárjati he roars
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crack
Old English cracian "make a sharp noise," from Proto-Germanic krakojan (cf. Middle Dutch craken, Dutch kraken, German krachen), probably imitative. Related: Cracked; cracking. To crack a smile is from 1840s; to crack the whip in the figurative sense is from 1940s.
"split, opening," 14c., from crack (v.). Meaning "try, attempt" first attested 1836, probably a hunting metaphor, from slang sense of "fire a gun." Meaning "rock cocaine" is first attested 1985. The superstition that it is bad luck to step on sidewalk cracks has been traced to c.1890. Adjectival meaning in "top-notch, superior" is slang from 1793 (e.g. a crack shot).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for crack
- A try; attempt; shot: It looks impossible, but I'll take a crack at it (1836+)
- A brief, funny, pungent, and often malicious remark; wisecrack: One more crack like that and I'm going to sock you (1725+)
- The vulva; cunt (unknown date, but very old)
- The deep crease between the buttocks (unknown date, but very old)
- (also crack cocaine) Cocaine freebase, a very pure crystalline cocaine intended for smoking rather than inhalation; coke: Crack's low price and quick payoff make it especially alluring to teenagers (1985+ Narcotics)
- To open a safe or vault by force (1830s+)
- To go uninvited to a party; crash (1950s+)
- To gain admittance to some desired category or milieu: He finally cracked the best-seller list (1950s+)
- To solve; reveal the secret of: They never cracked the case (1930s+)
- (also crack up) To suffer an emotional or mental collapse; go into hysteria, depression, etc: After six months of that it's a wonder she didn't crack (1880s+)
- To break down and give information, or to confess, after intense interrogation: Buggsy cracked and spilled everything (1850+)
- To speak; talk; make remarks: Listen, Ben, quit cracking dumb (1315+)
fall between the cracks, give something a shot, have a crack at something, wisecrack
[all senses are ultimately echoic; narcotics sense fr the sound of breaking crystals or the cracking sound the crystals make when smoked]
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with crack
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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