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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), Avestan 𐬑𐬭𐬎𐬰𐬛𐬭𐬀-(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) The top or bottom slice of a loaf of bread; The end piece of a loaf; The heel.
  6. (geology) The outermost layer of the lithosphere of the Earth.
  7. (astronomy, by extension) The outermost layer of any terrestrial planet.
  8. The shell of crabs, lobsters, etc.
  9. (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 1227855:
      “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.”
  10. (music) Ellipsis of crust punk (a subgenre of punk music)
  11. (Britain, 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.

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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.