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From Middle English cruste, from Anglo-Norman and Old French cruste, from Latin crusta (hard outer covering), from Proto-Indo-European *krustós (hardened), from *krews- (to form a crust, begin to freeze), related to Old Norse hroðr (scurf), Old English hruse (earth), Old High German hrosa (crust, ice), Latvian kruvesis (frozen mud), Ancient Greek κρύος (krúos, frost, icy cold), κρύσταλλος (krústallos, crystal, ice), Avestan𐬑𐬭𐬎𐬰𐬛𐬭𐬀-(xruzdra-, hard), Sanskrit क्रूड् (krūḍ, thicken, make hard).


  • IPA(key): /kɹʌst/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌst


crust (countable and uncountable, plural crusts)

  1. A more solid, dense or hard layer on a surface or boundary.
  2. The external, hardened layer of certain foodstuffs, including most types of bread, fried meat, etc.
  3. An outer layer composed of pastry
  4. The bread-like base of a pizza.
  5. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Northeastern US, Upper Midwestern US) A slice of bread cut from the end of a loaf; the heel.
  6. (geology) The outermost layer of the lithosphere of the Earth.
    • 2012, Chinle Miller, In Mesozoic Lands: The Mesozoic Geology of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Kindle edition:
      The crust (a mere 1% of the Earth's volume) is made of lighter melt products from the mantle.
  7. (astronomy, by extension) The outermost layer of any terrestrial planet.
  8. The shell of crabs, lobsters, etc.
  9. (Britain, Australia, informal) A living.
    Synonyms: daily bread, income, livelihood
    to earn one's crust
    • 1999, Norman Longworth, Making Lifelong Learning Work: Learning Cities for a Learning Century, Psychology Press, →ISBN, page 1:
      Like most of us, I am frequently asked by friends and people I meet in business situations or round the dinner table what I do to earn my crust.
  10. (uncountable, informal) Nerve, gall.
    You've got a lot of crust standing there saying that.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XVIII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
      “Oh?” she said. “So you have decided to revise my guest list for me? You have the nerve, the – the –” I saw she needed helping out. “Audacity,” I said, throwing her the line. “The audacity to dictate to me who I shall have in my house.” It should have been “whom”, but I let it go. “You have the –” “Crust.” “– the immortal rind,” she amended, and I had to admit it was stronger, “to tell me whom” – she got it right that time – “I may entertain at Brinkley Court and who” – wrong again – “I may not.”
  11. (UK, Australia, slang, dated) The head.
    • 1918, Norman Lindsay, The Magic Pudding, page 90:
      “Well, all I can say is that if yer don't take yer dial outer the road I'll bloomin' well take an' bounce a gibber off yer crust.”
  12. (music) Ellipsis of crust punk (a subgenre of punk music)

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crust (third-person singular simple present crusts, present participle crusting, simple past and past participle crusted)

  1. (transitive) To cover with a crust.
    • 1662, Robert Boyle, An Account of Freezing:
      The whole body is crusted over with ice.
    • 1711, Henry Felton, Dissertation on Reading the Classics:
      Their minds are crusted over, like diamonds in the rock.
  2. (intransitive) To form a crust.