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See also: -crate



From Dutch krat (crate, large box, basket), from Middle Dutch cratte (basketware, mold), from Old Dutch *kratta, *kratto (basket), from Proto-Germanic *kratjô, *krattijô (basket), from Proto-Indo-European *gretH- (plaiting, wicker, basket, cradle), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (to bind, twist, wind).

Cognate with West Frisian kret (wheelbarrow), German Krätze (basket), Old English cræt, ceart (cart, wagon, chariot), Old Norse kartr (wagon), modern English cart. Wider cognates include Sanskrit ग्रन्थ (grantha, a binding).

Alternatively from Latin crātis (wickerwork), perhaps from the same PIE root.[1]


  • IPA(key): /kɹeɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪt


crate (plural crates)

  1. A large open box or basket, used especially to transport fragile goods. [from 1680s]
    Synonym: packing case
  2. (slang, mildly derogatory) A vehicle (car, aircraft, spacecraft, etc.) seen as unreliable.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:old car
    • 1936 November, Joseph R. James, “More Gates Air Circus Antics”, in Popular Aviation:
      They shook the head of the unconscious pilot and when the latter opened his eyes, blinking wildly, the other members of the family lifted up the tail of the overturned crate sufficiently high enough to enable the dazed pilot, after releasing his belt, to fall out of the cockpit head first and disengage himself from the crack-up.
    • 2010, Gillian Coleby, Knocking on the Moonlit Door, page 99:
      I will make this box of electronics and computer chips fly like no other spaceship has ever flown. Mission Control wanted to see what this crate could do.
  3. (programming) In the Rust programming language, a binary or library.
    • 2017, Jim Blandy, Jason Orendorff, Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development, "O'Reilly Media, Inc.", →ISBN, page 166:
      And Rust never compiles modules separately, even if they're in separate files: when you build a Rust crate, you're recompiling all of its modules.

Derived terms[edit]



crate (third-person singular simple present crates, present participle crating, simple past and past participle crated)

  1. (transitive) To put into a crate. [from 1871]
    • 1968, Kwang-chih Chang, The Archaeology of Ancient China[1], Yale University Press, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, →OL, page 51:
      Then, in 1941, decision was reached between the Chungking and American authorities to transport these fossils to the United States for safekeeping, and they were crated and moved to a warehouse in Ch’in-huang-tao, a small port city northeast of Peking, into the custody of the U.S. Marines.
  2. (transitive) To keep in a crate.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “crate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.





  1. ablative singular of crātis