- 1A line on the surface of something along which it has split without breaking into separate parts: a hairline crack down the middle of the glassMore example sentences
- Calmer now, Jack stepped over to the window and drew a line along the crack with his bare finger.
- It's surface was not impressive; cracks ran along the wall and the paint was slowly being peeled off by the weather.
- I ran my finger along the cracks in the wall as I walked.
- 1.1A narrow space between two surfaces, especially ones that have broken or been moved apart: he climbed into a crack between two rocks the door opened a tiny crackMore example sentences
- The terrain is easy to move over, hard mud with deep narrow cracks, easy to cross, but wide enough to hide in.
- The guards opened the slightest crack in the door enough for her to slip through and beckon her closer.
- As soon as the slightest crack was opened, the being started to move toward it.
- 1.2A vulnerable point; a flaw: the company spotted a crack in their rival’s defensesMore example sentences
- They saw the flaws and cracks in the system. [But] we have to move on and think beyond one man.
- He wanted to find a crack, something left vulnerable between the duo.
- I've had to stop trying to look for cracks and flaws to prove that it's not as good as it seems.
- 2A sudden sharp or explosive noise: a loud crack of thunderMore example sentences
- She was thrown through the air and hit the pavement with a sickening crack.
- Lightning flashed again outside, followed quickly by a loud crack of thunder.
- She landed with a loud thud and a crack came from her ankle.
- 2.1A sharp blow, especially one that makes a noise: she gave the thief a crack over the head with her rolling pinMore example sentences
- What Montgomery conceived was a one-two punch, a British blow followed by an American crack.
- My dad would get the report from our mother, make his way into our room, take off his belt, and deliver the requisite number of cracks.
- 2.2A sudden harshness or change in pitch in a person’s voice: the boy’s voice had an uncertain crack in itMore example sentences
- The bottom lip started going and there was a crack in my voice.
- He adopts a half-sob crack in the voice with monotonous repetition.
- Singing in English at the impossibly low volumes she favors, syllables are often lost as her voice shows fine cracks.
- 3 • informal A joke, typically a critical or unkind one.More example sentences
- There were all sorts of cracks and jokes about diving off wardrobes etc.
- They continued to lazily watch Stine, exchanging cracks and small jokes about the dog.
- When he explains that the crack about encouraging homemakers to become lawyers was a joke, she chides him about his tone.
- 4 [in singular] • informal An attempt to gain or achieve something: I thought I had a crack at winningMore example sentences
- I've had a crack at taking some more pics, some have turned out OK.
- Our greatest living portraitist, Lucian Freud, had a crack at it in 2001.
- Two points later he had a crack at a second serve from Federer and took a big swing.
- 4.1A chance to attack or compete with someone: he wanted to have a crack at the enemyMore example sentences
- ‘He's dangerous,’ says Bungu, who opted to have a crack at the combative Yorkshireman.
- then you may as well have a crack at a test, if only for the heck of it.
- We want to do well in the Trophy and it would be great if we could get through this round and have a crack at one of the Conference clubs.
- 5 (also crack cocaine) A hard, crystalline form of cocaine broken into small pieces and smoked.More example sentences
- It will currently include, among many other substances, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, crack, LSD and ecstasy.
- Pot dealers report that there has been no discernible increase in trafficking of the harder drugs - crack, cocaine, and heroin.
- This suggested that marijuana use was not a necessary precursor to use of crack, powder cocaine, or heroin.
verbBack to top
- 1Break or cause to break without a complete separation of the parts: [no object]: the ice all over the lake had cracked [with object]: a stone cracked the headlight glass on his carMore example sentences
- Mark kicked the glass and it cracked, he kicked again breaking it.
- I put a glass of water outside just to see what would happen; not only did it freeze within minutes, but the glass cracked as well.
- All that was salvaged from the ruin was a brass barometer with its front glass cracked.
- 1.1Break or cause to break open or apart: [no object]: you can see how the landmasses have cracked up and moved around • figurative his face cracked into a smile [with object]: she cracked an egg into the frying panMore example sentences
- Its superstructure began to fissure and crack apart from the concentrated barrages.
- One of the claws broke in the attempt to lift the submarine, and a large section of its hull cracked off and fell back to the ocean floor.
- It was as if someone had cracked open an egg on the top of my head.
- 1.2 [with object] Break (wheat or corn) into coarse pieces.More example sentences
- If you don't have access to a grinder to crack wheat for cereal, you can cook the wheat kernels.
- They can churn butter, crack corn and feed it to the chickens, and tend the garden.
- There is also a kit for a processor that can crack corn and remove seeds from cotton with simple attachments.
- 1.3 [with object] Open slightly: gingerly, he cracks open his doorMore example sentences
- I crouched down into the pilot seat and tried to gather enough courage to crack open the door.
- She cracked the door open slightly and listened, chuckling softly.
- I crack my eyes open slightly, only to be greeted by an almost blinding yellow light.
- 1.4Give way or cause to give way under torture, pressure, or strain: [no object]: the witnesses cracked and the truth came out [with object]: no one can crack them—they believe their storyMore example sentences
- Clearances were being returned instantly and, under relentless pressure, their defence cracked.
- A decorated Gulf War veteran, he was moulded into a killing machine, but cracked under the pressure of war.
- After his early promise first shown at the Monte Carlo Masters, he cracked under pressure.
- 2Make or cause to make a sudden sharp or explosive sound: [no object]: a shot cracked across the ridge [with object]: he cracked his whip and galloped awayMore example sentences
- She stretches, her stiff joints snapping and cracking loudly, sounding just like a firecracker when lit.
- The shot rang out, cracking loudly and landing in an unknown spot.
- He heard the ice cracking, the sound traveling up through the soles of his feet.
- 2.1 [no object] Knock against something, making a noise on impact: she winced as her knees cracked against metalMore example sentences
- She found herself falling hard, the floor cracking against her ribs and back.
- His toe cracked against something hard and out of place.
- Song's head cracked hard on the floor next to the welcome mat.
- 2.2 [with object] Hit (someone or something) hard, making a sharp noise: she cracked him across the foreheadMore example sentences
- I realised he wasn't breathing, so I turned him over face down across my arm and cracked him really hard on his back a couple of times.
- They want to see the police ‘go in hard and crack some heads on the terraces’.
- While I bent down the door swung to and cracked me hard on the forehead.
- 2.3 [no object] (Of a person’s voice, especially that of an adolescent boy or a person under strain) suddenly change in pitch: “I want to get away,” she said, her voice crackingMore example sentences
- I yelled, my voice cracking and squeaking through my panic.
- The story takes Pat Williams back almost 23 years, and even now, his voice cracks and quivers over the telephone as he tells it.
- ‘Um yeah I'll be out in a minute,’ Cassie quickly answered hearing her voice crack.
- 3 [with object] • informal Find a solution to; decipher or interpret: a hacker cracked the codes used in Internet softwareMore example sentences
- Otherwise, you're making it much easier for someone to crack your code.
- This might be a hard fact to crack, but you're growing up - and fast!
- The lyrical logic is hard to crack, but the record proves maddeningly infectious.
- 3.1Break into (a safe).More example sentences
- A tourist attraction will invite visitors to race a motorised gondola, crack a safe and save the world by defusing a bomb.
- And, if he had to worry about beating the box, would he be able to crack the safe without zoning out?
- She cracks safes as well as her father.
- 4 [with object] Tell (a joke): he cracked jokes which she didn’t find very funnyMore example sentences
- Hang on, weren't we cracking the same joke last year?
- He cracked a few jokes as he became comfortable with the podium.
- I'm just about to crack a rather forced joke to her when something over her shoulder catches my eye.
- 5 [with object] Decompose (hydrocarbons) by heat and pressure with or without a catalyst to produce lighter hydrocarbons, especially in oil refining: (as noun cracking) catalytic crackingMore example sentences
- Palladium catalysts are used in refining and cracking petroleum.
- Methanol and ethanol are most commonly derived from cracking petroleum into smaller hydrocarbons.
- Amorphous alumina-silica composites are used to crack or split hydrocarbon chains in petroleum refining.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- Very good, especially at a specified activity or in a specified role: he is a crack shot crack troopsMore example sentences
- But the Marines are different; they are crack troops, as trained physically as we are intellectually.
- A superb siege by sea was planned and he was given six thousand of the best Syrian crack troops to accomplish the feat.
- Mounted on horseback, a small team of crack troops are aware that locals know they are coming well in advance.
crack a book
- North American • informal Open a book and read it; study.More example sentences
- Try cracking a book occasionally or move to a country where they make special accommodation for ignorant protesters such as yourself.
- Relax in a hammock, crack a book under a tree, drink iced tea on the front porch.
- There are cheat codes to the universe, as anyone who's cracked a book on differential calculus can tell you.
crack of dawn
- A time very early in the morning; daybreak.More example sentences
- In fact, I was at a sunrise service at the crack of dawn earlier today, service for Easter Sunday.
- I would wake up early in the morning at the crack of dawn, go to Shivaji Park and watch the children play for hours.
- We started our journey, at the crack of dawn, as the early morning sun shone behind the morning mist.
crack of doom
- A thunder peal announcing the Day of Judgment.More example sentences
- His comments regarding America ‘till the crack of doom,’ told the world exactly where they stood.
- Hammond remarked that ‘He comes off the pitch like the crack of doom.’
- Thus was Hollywood given the maniacal sense of its own importance that will continue to inflate until the crack of doom.
be cracked up to be
- [with negative] • informal Asserted to be (used to indicate that someone or something has been described too favorably): life on tour is not as glamorous as it’s cracked up to beMore example sentences
- As far as U.K. saviours go, the band aren't what they'll surely be cracked up to be.
- Life as a Telephone Sales Representative, surprisingly, is not all it may be cracked up to be.
- Religious services and ceremonies never strike Miss Manners as being as funny as they may be cracked up to be.
- North American • informal Make jokes; wisecrack.More example sentences
- But the freedom to live involved more than cracking wise.
- The international news is so unrelentingly grim I don't feel like cracking wise about the situation.
- He cracks wise but can't hide the grimace each taste brings.
fall (or slip) through the cracks
- Escape from or be missed by something organized to catch or deal with one: fatherless kids were not allowed to fall through the cracksMore example sentences
- I'm not voting because I fall through the cracks and nobody will miss me, but I will not go down fighting.
- Unfortunately, there are going to be those who fall through the cracks, into a life of bass fishing and stockcar racing.
- Without them, some of our overlooked students (ESL, special needs, etc.) would fall through the cracks.
- • informal Act quickly and energetically: most tickets have been snapped up, so get cracking if you want oneMore example sentences
- I got bored very quickly and slipped off to the study to get cracking on the current chapter of the book.
- If you can, then I expect you to get cracking on an Internet decision soon so you can reap the rewards!
- This building used to be a power station and was where Hitchcock got cracking on his early stuff.
crack down on
- • informal Take severe measures against: we need to crack down hard on workplaces that break safety regulationsMore example sentences
- Sydney police have promised to crack down on all such surreptitious snapping.
- Labour has taken tough measures to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour.
- The Executive has introduced measures through the police bill to crack down on knife culture.
crack up • informal
- 1Suffer an emotional breakdown under pressure.More example sentences
- I was short-tempered and I was cracking up a bit under the pressure of it all.
- ‘If I had not had Diana and the children I would have cracked up and had a mental breakdown by now,’ he said.
- His stylish arthouse flick looks at three women as they crack up.
- 2 (also crack someone up) Burst or cause to burst into laughter.More example sentences
- He cracks up into laughter, his shoulders heaving uncontrollably.
- I really cracked up in laughter when I read the headline ‘Protest is the backbone of democracy’.
- Before I knew it I was buzzed and cracking up with laughter.
Old English cracian 'make an explosive noise'; of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kraken and German krachen.