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From Middle English, equivalent to crust +‎ -y.



crusty (comparative crustier, superlative crustiest)

  1. Having a crust, especially a thick one
    • 1899, Kate Chopin, The Awakening
      No one was there. But there was a cloth spread upon the table that stood against the wall, and a cover was laid for one, with a crusty brown loaf and a bottle of wine beside the plate
  2. (figuratively, of a person or behavior) Short-tempered and gruff but, sometimes, with a harmless or benign inner nature; peevish, surly, harsh.
    • '1922, Henry William Fischer, Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field
      Then somebody told a story about the Swedish Majesty's last sojourn in Norway. There, at a railway station, Oscar ran against a crusty old farmer who thought himself a lot better than a mere king and kept his hat on.
  3. Of very low quality; inferior.



crusty (plural crusties)

  1. (chiefly Britain) A tramp or homeless young person with poor cleanliness.
  2. (slang) Dried eye mucus.
    • 1999, Vinnie Hansen, Murder, Honey, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 155:
      Against the backdrop of muted stripes of color, Julieanne picked at her eyes’ crusties, and then combed her hair with the hand.
    • 2003, Mary O'Connell, "Saint Anne", in Living with Saints, Grove Press, →ISBN, page 209:
      Jesus, how could I bear the sight of him—sleep crusties lodged in the corners of his rheumy eyes, a puff of chest hair cresting like meringue over the top of his V-neck sweater, khakis jacked up to his breastbone—when I was used to looking at the singularly lovely Isabella?
    • 2005, Jeffrey Dinsmore, I, an Actress: The Autobiography of Karen Jamey, Contemporary Press, →ISBN, page 51:
      I wiped the crusties from my eyes, threw on a sundress, and wandered out into the living room.
  3. (chiefly Britain) A member of an urban subculture with roots in punk and grebo, characterized by antiestablishment attitudes and an unkempt appearance.


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