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From Middle English, equivalent to crust +‎ -y.



crusty ‎(comparative crustier, superlative crustiest)

  1. Pertaining to or having a crust, as, for example, in the case of bread.
  2. (figuratively, of a person or behavior) Short-tempered and gruff but, sometimes, with a harmless or benign inner nature; peevish, surly, harsh.
  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 0-7388-0467-3, 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 0-8021-3926-4, 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 0974461490, 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.


See also[edit]


  • crusty in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • crusty” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • crusty” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • "crusty" in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus (Wordsmyth, 2002)
  • "crusty (adj. easily annoyed)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • "crusty (n. an unwashed person)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • crusty” in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)