Definition of crisp in English:


Line breaks: crisp
Pronunciation: /krɪsp


  • 1(Of a substance) firm, dry, and brittle: crisp bacon the snow is lovely and crisp
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    • That and the fact that when all else fails, she spreads a dollop of honey over my slightly buttered, highly crisp slices of toast.
    • Another item that caught our eye was Wykeham Rarebit - smoked applewood cheese, topped with crisp bacon and salad garnish.
    • Tom and I dined together over plates of crisp bacon, toasted bread, strawberry jam, and poached eggs.
  • 1.1(Of a fruit or vegetable) firm and juicy: a crisp lettuce
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    • It's a medium to large, red- and green-striped fruit with a crisp, juicy, sweetly tart taste.
    • I prefer, however, to enjoy the crisp, juicy fruits in the cool of the morning - right from the tree.
    • More importantly, enjoy the experience of eating fresh, crisp vegetables you grew yourself!
    firm, fresh, unwilted, unwithered
  • 1.2(Of paper or cloth) stiff and uncreased: £65 in crisp new notes
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    • The girl's eyes widened at the sight of the crisp paper note being handed to her.
    • The dish was excellently presented on the crisp linen table cloth in plain white crockery with a Thai flower for decoration.
    • He could feel the letter's crisp paper in his coat pocket.
  • 1.3(Of hair) having tight curls.
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    • She felt the bare smooth skin of her stomach move against the dark crisp hair at the center of his body as he lifted her off the legs that nearly let her fall to the floor.
    • Muhammad was middle-sized, did not have lank or crisp hair, was not fat, had a white, circular face, wide black eyes and long eyelashes.
    • Her coat stood out full-length, conserving the warmth deep inside, with the tip of each hair seeming as crisp and sharp as the grass blades, and almost as cold.


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  • 1 (also potato crisp) British A wafer-thin slice of potato fried or baked until crisp and eaten as a snack: cut down on fatty snacks such as crisps
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    • Turn a potato into a potato crisp and you have gone from something with a tiny profit margin to a problematic foodstuff that has an enormous one.
    • Found in certain brands of potato crisp, it works because the body cannot absorb it.
    • I got off the coach with other passengers and was about 10 yards from the coach when I had the misfortune to slip on a discarded, shiny potato crisp packet.
  • 2A dessert of fruit baked with a crunchy topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour: rhubarb crisp
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    • Finally, when it comes to desserts, try the easy summer fruit cobblers and crisps on page 98.
    • Next came mofongo in a timbale of mashed plantains with breadfruit crisp.
    • The lavender berry crisp on page 159 won high praise from all of us lucky enough to taste it warm from the oven.


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  • 1Give (food) a crisp surface by placing it in an oven or under a grill: crisp the pitta in the oven
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    • Devon was evacuating because he'd crisped himself like bacon.
    • All that's left to do is give the confit legs a quick blast in the oven to crisp up the skin, sauté some greens and you're off.
    • Then you let the potatoes rest while you raise the heat of the oil and fry them again, briefly, to crisp up the outer surface.
  • 1.1 [no object] (Of food) develop a crisp surface in an oven or under a grill: open the foil so that the bread browns and crisps
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    • Less lettuce would have worked if the lonesome anchovy had been whizzed into the dressing and the bacon crisped up before serving.
    • Mrs. Donovan caught the aroma of broiling steak, bacon crisping in a frying pan, and onion slices sautéing with fresh mushrooms in butter from where she was relaxing in the basement.
    • They are now nicely browned and crisped and just need to be plated up with some coriander, tomatoes, baby onions (which have been soaked with beetroot in white wine vinegar for a week) and drizzled with curry oil.
  • 2 archaic Curl (something) into short, stiff, wavy folds or crinkles: there is a cooling breeze which crisps the broad clear river
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    • I stared: the fur covering the left side of his face, chest and left arm was crisped to short curls.


burn something to a crisp

Burn something completely, leaving only a charred remnant: it is better to cook it slowly than to burn it to a crisp
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  • As for my fear of the sun, well, only an idiot will stay out in the sun until they are burnt to a crisp.
  • When I emptied the chocolate into the bin the surface of the chocolate looked okay but underneath it was burnt to a crisp.
  • For some reason, the Batards burnt the bread to a crisp.



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  • There really is a clear answer on the ‘global test’ point, but Edwards is not making it crisply.
  • Thankfully, Jonathan Hunt has provided an English text which is crisply readable while maintaining a distinctive Italian flavour.
  • ‘We probably have everything to lose and nothing to gain,’ Sutherland crisply observes.


More example sentences
  • The crust has a substantial weight and nice crispness.
  • The Dublin-based writer has taken an age-old story and created a new perspective that sparkles with a crispness of writing that is breathtaking.
  • She can speak on any subject with such charm, clarity, crispness and conviction that her audiences are just hypnotised by her erudition and elegant eloquence.


Old English (referring to hair in the sense 'curly'): from Latin crispus 'curled'. Other senses may result from symbolic interpretation of the sound of the word.

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a small amount; a little