verb (used without object)
to break without complete separation of parts; become fissured:
The plate cracked when I dropped it, but it was still usable.
to break with a sudden, sharp sound:
The branch cracked under the weight of the snow.
to make a sudden, sharp sound in or as if in breaking; snap:
The whip cracked.
(of the voice) to break abruptly and discordantly, especially into an upper register, as because of weariness or emotion.
to fail; give way:
His confidence cracked under the strain.
to succumb or break down, especially under severe psychological pressure, torture, or the like:
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.
verb (used with object)
to cause to make a sudden sharp sound:
The driver cracked the whip.
to break without complete separation of parts; break into fissures.
to break with a sudden, sharp sound:
to crack walnuts.
to strike and thereby make a sharp noise:
The boxer cracked his opponent on the jaw.
to induce or cause to be stricken with sorrow or emotion; affect deeply.
to utter or tell:
to crack jokes.
to cause to make a cracking sound:
to crack one’s knuckles.
to damage, weaken, etc.:
The new evidence against him cracked his composure.
to make mentally unsound.
to make (the voice) harsh or unmanageable.
to solve; decipher:
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.
a resounding blow:
He received a terrific crack on the head when the branch fell.
Informal. a witty or cutting remark; .
a break or change in the flow or tone of the voice.
Informal. opportunity; chance; try:
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. 1 (def 41).
a mental defect or deficiency.
a shot, as with a rifle:
At the first crack, the deer fell.
a moment; instant:
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.
crack down, to take severe or stern measures, especially in enforcing obedience to laws or regulations:
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.
crack on, Nautical.
crack up, Informal.
crack a book, Informal. to open a book in order to study or read:
He hardly ever cracked a book.
crack a smile, Informal. to smile.
crack wise, Slang. to wisecrack:
We tried to be serious, but he was always cracking wise.
fall through the cracks, to be overlooked, missed, or neglected:
In any inspection process some defective materials will fall through the cracks.
Also, slip between the cracks.
get cracking, Informal.
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
crack of dawn
(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
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).
fall between the cracks
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]
[kraks-muh n] /ˈkræks mən/ noun, plural cracksmen. Slang. 1. burglar; housebreaker. /ˈkræksmən/ noun (pl) -men 1. (slang) a burglar, esp a safe-breaker
- Crack someone up
verb phrase To make someone laugh uncontrollably: neighbor that cracks me up
verb (used without object) 1. to demand obedience, hard work, or efficiency from others in a harsh or stern manner. noun 2. Also called snap the whip. a game in which players in a line, each holding the next, run, roller-skate, or ice-skate for a distance until the leader veers suddenly in a new direction, […]
[krak-uhp] /ˈkrækˌʌp/ noun 1. a crash; collision. 2. a breakdown in health, especially a mental breakdown. 3. collapse or disintegration: the crackup of an alliance. noun