Definition of crest in English:

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Pronunciation: /krest/


1A comb or tuft of feathers, fur, or skin on the head of a bird or other animal.
Example sentences
  • Some males also have elegant ornamentation such as bright throat gorgets, crests and elongated tail feathers.
  • Some species have crests or tufts of feathers on their head.
  • Colourful crests make birds in breeding plumage easy to identify.
comb, plume, tuft of feathers
1.1A thing resembling a tuft, especially a plume of feathers on a helmet.
Example sentences
  • In the French service they wore helmets with horsehair crests but in Saxony they wore the square-topped national cap of Poland called a czapska.
2The top of something, especially a mountain or hill: she reached the crest of the hill
More example sentences
  • Just as the trek started to take its physical toll, we reached the crest of the hill and the Blue Nile Falls appeared in theatrical splendour.
  • As she reached the crest of the hill she gasped at the sight.
  • As they reached the crest of the hill, they could see the actual site, already cordoned off with yellow tape.
summit, peak, top, tip, pinnacle, brow, crown, apex
2.1The curling foamy top of a wave.
Example sentences
  • Abruptly she also swerved to the right, dicing the crest of a tidal wave as she did so.
  • Below in the glittering blue Pacific half a dozen dolphins were playing in the surf, skimming in just below the face of the breakers then flipping out over the crest as the wave broke.
  • And he was up against Marcus who was on a crest of a wave.
2.2 Anatomy A ridge along the surface of a bone.
Example sentences
  • The iliac crest bone marrow biopsy is the gold standard for detecting of bone marrow metastases in small cell lung cancer.
  • The standard procedure consists of an iliac crest bone graft.
  • The bone can also be taken from several places, commonest being the iliac crest (pelvic bone).
2.3The upper line of the neck of a horse or other mammal.
Example sentences
  • Here they no longer need to balance their upper bodies on the horse's crest.
  • The skull of pangolins is smoothly conical, lacking the ridges and crests found on most mammalian crania.
3 Heraldry A distinctive device borne above the shield of a coat of arms (originally as worn on a helmet), or separately reproduced, for example on writing paper or silverware, to represent a family or corporate body.
Example sentences
  • The two ornate crests represented the families of Ivor's grandfather and grandmother respectively.
  • The shoulders are scrunched up while the king is leaning against the family crest above the fireplace.
  • The tomb bears the family crest, as does the Parr Chapel ceiling.
insignia, regalia, badge, emblem, heraldic device, coat of arms, arms


[with object]
1Reach the top of (something such as a hill or wave): she crested a hill and saw the valley spread out before her
More example sentences
  • He was travelling through the mountains with a buddy in a car when they crested a hill and hit a sheet of glassy ice.
  • Within moments she was waving back at Guiseppe and Maria as she crested the hill in the direction that Pietro had taken her, and was soon following his trail down the other side.
  • I was now desperate to slow down, but every time I rounded a corner or crested a hill there were more walkers and cyclists to witness my discomfort.
1.1 [no object] US (Of a river) rise to its highest level: the river was expected to crest at eight feet above flood stage
More example sentences
  • The National Weather Service says, the river should crest 4 feet above flood stage.
  • The following lists locks and dams along the Allegheny River, its flood stage, what the river crested and when after the remnants of Hurricane Ivan stormed through the region.
  • Swollen rivers have crested over their banks, and there are problems with blocked roads, and also with some homes that are being flooded out.
1.2 [no object] (Of a wave) form a curling foamy top.
Example sentences
  • How many people would notice small waves cresting on Pacific seas, and steer for a hidden island?
  • On the straining embankments of Dongting lake - which is the size of Luxembourg - an army of one million peasants were mobilised to support the efforts of 115,000 troops as waves crested over the top of levies.
  • With winds so fierce you couldn't breathe, rain that felt like razors, and waves cresting over the boat, he was able to move the boat out from among the pilings, rocks, seawall and docks while the storm raged on, tying it off bow-to-sea.
1.3 (be crested) Have attached or affixed at the top: his helmet was crested with a fan of spikes
More example sentences
  • I was at the head, my mum and dad by my side, Wang's mum and dad sat beside him, the table was crested with gems and I felt this meal was going to be the best in my life.
  • The dark sky was crested with a sliver of a moon and faded stars that could barely be seen through the city's light pollution.
  • He was holding a staff that was a bronze color, and was crested with a bronze moon.



Example sentences
  • The crestless head is dark green, the bill is red, and the eye is dark.
  • These crestless firebacks are also very striking birds but are not very common in captivity.
  • The image is of an adult-size Corinthian crestless helmet which can be used for display or re-enactment purposes.


Middle English: from Old French creste, from Latin crista 'tuft, plume'.

  • Crest comes from Latin crista, meaning ‘a tuft or plume’. Crestfallen (late 16th century), meaning ‘dejected’, is an extension of its original use to describe an animal or bird with a drooping crest. Crease (late 16th century) is probably an alternative form of crest, the idea being that a fold in a length of cloth forms a ridge or crest.

Words that rhyme with crest

abreast, arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, digest, divest, guest, hest, infest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, molest, nest, northwest, pest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, west, wrest, zest

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crest

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