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Latin crusta (hard outer covering) via Anglo-Norman and Old French cruste, from Proto-Indo-European *krus-to (that which has been hardened), from *kreus (to form a crust, begin to freeze), related to Old Norse hroðr (scurf), Old English hruse (earth), Old High German hrosa (crust, ice), Latvian kruwesis (frozen mud), Ancient Greek κρύος (krúos, frost, icy cold), κρύσταλλος (krústallos, crystal, ice), Avestan [script needed] (xruzdra-, hard), Sanskrit क्रुड् (kruḍ, thicken, make hard)


crust (countable and uncountable, plural crusts)

  1. A more solid, dense or hard layer on a surface or boundary.
  2. The external layer of most types of bread.
  3. An outer layer composed of pastry
    • Dryden
      Th' impenetrable crust thy teeth defies.
    • Macaulay
      They [] made the crust for the venison pasty.
  4. The bread-like base of a pizza.
  5. (geology) The outermost layer of the lithosphere of the Earth.
  6. The shell of crabs, lobsters, etc.
  7. (uncountable) Nerve, gall.
    You've got a lot of crust standing there saying that.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XVIII:
      “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.”
  8. crust punk (a subgenre of punk music)


Related terms[edit]


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

  1. (transitive) To cover with a crust.
    • Boyle
      The whole body is crusted over with ice.
    • Felton
      Their minds are crusted over, like diamonds in the rock.
  2. (intransitive) To form a crust.