There are 2 main definitions of crew in English:

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crew 1

Pronunciation: /kro͞o/


[treated as singular or plural]
1A group of people who work on and operate a ship, boat, aircraft, spacecraft, or train.
Example sentences
  • In addition to training the ship's crew, there's the matter of getting the air crews shipshape.
  • One member of the train crew was killed, and two nearby residents asphyxiated from breathing the gas.
  • The railway is operated by fully trained crews and is open all day Monday to Friday, running each hour from 10 am to 4 pm.
1.1A group of people working on a ship, aircraft, etc., other than the officers: the ship’s captain and crew may be brought to trial
More example sentences
  • The professionalism of the captain, officers and crew of the Wecoma contributed greatly to the success of the cruise.
  • We thank the captains, officers and crew of the R.V L' Atalante and the Aguadomar and Caraval scientific teams for their efficient work at sea.
  • It was an honor to dine at the captain's table, and indeed all the officers and crew were exceptional.
sailors, mariners, hands, ship's company, ship's complement
1.2US The sport of rowing a racing shell.
Example sentences
  • Obviously, it's the primary action in many crew and paddling sports.
  • His one arena of success lay in rowing crew, setting the stage for a lifelong love of being on water.
  • Crew wasn't a school-sanctioned sport, so it had no money and no truck to haul the new boat to American Lake in Tacoma.
2A group of people who work closely together: an ambulance crew crews of firefighters from neighboring towns were called in
More example sentences
  • Residents had called the police who, together with a NSW Ambulance rescue crew, mounted a search in the drain.
  • It is the latest in a seemingly increasing phenomenon of attacks on ambulance crews and firefighters while on duty.
  • Emergency workers like firefighters, ambulance crews and nurses need to be fully protected.
team, group, company, unit, corps, party, gang
2.1 informal, often derogatory A group of people associated in some way: a crew of assorted computer geeks
More example sentences
  • I moved into a new place, started playing sports again, and I now have a totally great crew of close friends!
  • Oddly enough, when most of my friends and relatives were rooting for Dorothy and her crew, I was on the side of the Witch.
  • Don't invite your new gang to your old crew's annual end-of-summer outdoor bash.
crowd, group, band, gang, mob, pack, troop, swarm, herd, posse
informal bunch, tribe
2.2 informal, chiefly US A group of rappers, breakdancers, or graffiti artists performing or operating together.
Example sentences
  • The interactive animated drama, based on the lives of a crew of graffiti artists, attracted almost 40,000 unique user agents to the minisite.
  • Scutt follows a crew of Melbourne graffiti artists around for one night.
  • With the UK swarming with young grime crews and artists; can old skool feel-good music (as Luck calls it) survive?


[with object]
1Provide (a craft or vehicle) with a group of people to operate it: normally the boat is crewed by 5 people
More example sentences
  • The staff that crewed the vehicles worked for six weeks, on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, before they got a week off.
  • The purpose-built yacht is crewed by four to five professional sailors, out of whom only the skipper is paid a salary.
  • Once Jenna and Allison had sat down she said, ‘As you know this ship is primarily crewed by the engineering staff, rather than military crew.’
1.1 [no object] Act as a member of a crew, subordinate to a captain: I’ve never crewed for a world-famous yachtsman before
More example sentences
  • Anna tasted success on the world stage two years ago, when she crewed for her big sister Katie when they were the first all girl boat in the World Championships in Hobart, Tasmania.
  • Ed and Joe got involved with the round-Britain challenge when they crewed for the owners John and Lisa Forbes to bring the yacht to Plymouth.
  • Noyes, 47, crewed for Krause from 1983 to 1993 and didn't begin driving until 1994.


Late Middle English: from Old French creue 'augmentation, increase', feminine past participle of croistre 'grow', from Latin crescere. The original sense was 'band of soldiers serving as reinforcements'; hence it came to denote any organized armed band or, generally, a company of people (late 16th century).

  • When crew came into English in the 15th century it initially referred to a band of soldiers acting as reinforcements. The origin of the word is Old French creue ‘an increase’, ultimately derived from Latin crescere ‘to grow or increase’ ( see crescent). By the 16th century the word was being applied to any organized armed band or, more generally, a company of people. A crew cut is so called because this closely cropped hairstyle was first adopted by rowing crews at Harvard and Yale universities in the late 1930s. The crew neck came from the same source—rowers wore sweaters with close-fitting necks.

Words that rhyme with crew

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There are 2 main definitions of crew in English:

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crew 2

Pronunciation: /kro͞o/
chiefly British Past of crow2.
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