crack

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English crakken, craken, from Old English cracian (to resound, crack), from Proto-Germanic *krakōną (to crack, crackle, shriek), from Proto-Indo-European *gArg-, *grā- (to crow, shout), from Proto-Indo-European *gerh₂- (to resound, cry hoarsely). Cognate with Scots crak (to crack), West Frisian kreakje (to crack), Dutch kraken (to crunch, creak, squeak), Low German kraken (to crack), German krachen (to crash, crack, creak), Lithuanian gìrgžděti (to creak, squeak), Old Armenian կարկաչ (karkačʿ), Sanskrit [script?] (garjati, to roar, hum).

Verb[edit]

crack (third-person singular simple present cracks, present participle cracking, simple past and past participle cracked)

  1. (intransitive) To form cracks.
    It's been so dry, the ground is starting to crack.
  2. (intransitive) To break apart under pressure.
    When I tried to stand on the chair, it cracked.
  3. (intransitive) To become debilitated by psychological pressure.
    Anyone would crack after being hounded like that.
  4. (intransitive) To yield under interrogation.
    When we showed him the pictures of the murder scene, he cracked.
  5. (intransitive) To make a cracking sound.
    The bat cracked with authority and the ball went for six.
  6. (intransitive, of a voice) To change rapidly in register.
    His voice cracked with emotion.
  7. (intransitive, of a pubescent boy's voice) To alternate between high and low register in the process of eventually lowering.
    His voice finally cracked when he was fourteen.
  8. (intransitive) To make a sharply humorous comment.
    "I would too, with a face like that," she cracked.
  9. (transitive) To make a crack or cracks in.
    The ball cracked the window.
  10. (transitive) To break open or crush to small pieces by impact or stress.
    You'll need a hammer to crack a black walnut.
  11. (transitive) To strike forcefully.
    She cracked him over the head with her handbag.
  12. (transitive) To open slightly.
    Could you please crack the window?
  13. (transitive) To cause to yield under interrogation or other pressure. (Figurative)
    They managed to crack him on the third day.
  14. (transitive) To solve a difficult problem. (Figurative, from cracking a nut.)
    I've finally cracked it, and of course the answer is obvious in hindsight.
  15. (transitive) To overcome a security system or a component.
    It took a minute to crack the lock, three minutes to crack the security system, and about twenty minutes to crack the safe.
    They finally cracked the code.
  16. (transitive) To cause to make a sharp sound.
    to crack a whip
    • 2001, Doug McGuinn, The Apple Indians
      Hershell cracked his knuckles, a nervous habit that drove Inez crazy []
  17. (transitive) To tell (a joke).
    The performance was fine until he cracked that dead baby joke.
  18. (transitive, chemistry, informal) To break down (a complex molecule), especially with the application of heat: to pyrolyse.
    Acetone is cracked to ketene and methane at 700 °C.
  19. (transitive, computing) To circumvent software restrictions such as regional coding or time limits.
    That software licence will expire tomorrow unless we can crack it.
  20. (transitive, informal) To open a canned beverage, or any packaged drink or food.
    I'd love to crack open a beer.
  21. (obsolete) To brag, boast.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.4.1.v:
      Cardan cracks that he can cure all diseases with water alone, as Hippocrates of old did most infirmities with one medicine.
    • Shakespeare
      Ethoipes of their sweet complexion crack.
  22. (archaic, colloquial) To be ruined or impaired; to fail.
    • Dryden
      The credit [] of exchequers cracks, when little comes in and much goes out.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • crazed (exhibiting fine-line cracks)

Noun[edit]

crack (plural cracks)

  1. ​A thin and usually jagged space opened in a previously solid material.
    A large crack had formed in the roadway.
  2. A narrow opening.
    We managed to squeeze through a crack in the rock wall.
    Open the door a crack.
    • 2011 January 25, Phil McNulty, “Blackpool 2 - 3 Man Utd”, BBC:
      Dimitar Berbatov found the first cracks in the home side's resilience when he pulled one back from close range and Hernandez himself drew the visitors level with a composed finish three minutes later as Bloomfield Road's earlier jubilation turned to despair.
  3. A sharply humorous comment; a wisecrack.
    I didn't appreciate that crack about my hairstyle.
  4. A potent, relatively cheap, addictive variety of cocaine; often a rock, usually smoked through a crack-pipe.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Whitney Houston:
      I wouldn't use it, if I was going to use it I can afford real cocaine. Crack is wack.
  5. (onomatopoeia) The sharp sound made when solid material breaks.
    The crack of the falling branch could be heard for miles.
  6. (onomatopoeia) Any sharp sound.
    The crack of the bat hitting the ball.
    • 2011 June 28, Piers Newbery, “Wimbledon 2011: Sabine Lisicki beats Marion Bartoli”, BBC Sport:
      She broke to love in the opening game, only for Bartoli to hit straight back in game two, which was interrupted by a huge crack of thunder that made Lisicki jump and prompted nervous laughter from the 15,000 spectators.
  7. (informal) An attempt at something.
    I'd like to take a crack at that game.
  8. (vulgar, slang) vagina.
    I'm so horny even the crack of dawn isn't safe!
  9. (vulgar) The space between the buttocks.
    Pull up your pants! Your crack is showing.
  10. (Northern England, Scotland, Ireland) Conviviality; fun; good conversation, chat, gossip, or humourous storytelling; good company.
    • 2001, William F. Gray, The Villain, iUniverse, p. 214:
      Being a native of Northumberland, she was enjoying their banter and Geordie good humour. This was what she needed — good company and good crack.
    • 2004, Bill Griffiths, Dictionary of North East Dialect, Northumbria University Press (quoting Dunn, 1950)
      "his a bit o' good crack — interesting to talk to"
    • 2006, Patrick McCabe, Winterwood, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 10:
      By the time we've got a good drunk on us there'll be more crack in this valley than the night I pissed on the electric fence!
    The crack was good.
    That was good crack.
    He/she is quare good crack.
    The party was great crack.
  11. (Northern England, Scotland, Ireland) Business/events/news
    What's the crack?
  12. (computing) A program or procedure designed to circumvent restrictions or usage limits on software.
    Has anyone got a crack for DocumentWriter 3.0?
  13. (Cumbrian, elsewhere throughout the North of the UK) a meaningful chat.
  14. (Internet slang) Extremely silly, absurd or off-the-wall ideas or prose.
  15. The tone of voice when changed at puberty.
    • Shakespeare
      Though now our voices / Have got the mannish crack.
  16. (archaic) A mental flaw; a touch of craziness; partial insanity.
    He has a crack.
  17. (archaic) A crazy or crack-brained person.
    • Addison
      I [] can not get the Parliament to listen to me, who look upon me as a crack and a projector.
  18. (obsolete) A boast; boasting.
    • Burton
      crack and brags
    • Shakespeare
      vainglorious cracks
  19. (obsolete) Breach of chastity.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  20. (obsolete) A boy, generally a pert, lively boy.
    • Shakespeare
      - 'Tis a noble child.
      - A crack, madam.
  21. (slang, dated, UK) A brief time; an instant; a jiffy.
    I'll be with you in a crack.
Usage notes[edit]
  • (Scots language, common in lowland Scotland and Ulster, conviviality): In the last few decades the word has been adopted into Gaelic; as there is no "k" in the Irish language the spelling craic has been devised.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (vulgar: space between the buttocks): bum crack (UK), arse crack (UK), ass crack (US)
  • (cocaine that is heat-altered at the moment of inhalation): crack cocaine
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

1793 slang, of Unknown origin

Adjective[edit]

crack (not comparable)

  1. Highly trained and competent.
    Even a crack team of investigators would have trouble solving this case.
  2. Excellent, first-rate, superior, top-notch.
    She's a crack shot with that rifle.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Finnish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

crack

  1. crack (variety of cocaine)

Declension[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

crack m (uncountable)

  1. crack (variety of cocaine)

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

crack m (plural cracks)

  1. crack (variety of cocaine)
  2. excellent sportsman