Meaning of CRACK in English


I. crack 1 S3 /kræk/ BrE AmE verb

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: cracian ]

1 . BREAK [intransitive and transitive] to break or to make something break, either so that it gets lines on its surface, or so that it breaks into pieces:

Don’t put boiling water in the glass or it will crack.

Concrete is liable to crack in very cold weather.

He picked up a piece of rock and cracked it in half.

She fell and cracked a bone in her leg.

He cracked a couple of eggs into a pan.

2 . SOUND [intransitive and transitive] to make a quick loud sound like the sound of something breaking, or to make something do this:

Thunder cracked overhead.

He cracked his whip and galloped off.

Dennis rubbed his hands together and cracked his knuckles.

3 . HIT [transitive] to hit someone or something hard

crack something on something

I slipped and cracked my head on the door.

She cracked him over the head with a hammer.

4 . NOT BE ABLE TO CONTINUE [intransitive] to be unable to continue doing something because there is too much pressure and you do not have the mental strength to continue

crack under

Some young executives crack under the pressure of having to meet tough sales targets every month.

He cracked under interrogation and confessed.

5 . VOICE [intransitive] if your voice cracks, it starts to sound different because you are feeling strong emotions:

His voice cracked slightly as he tried to explain.

6 . SOLVE/UNDERSTAND [transitive] to find the answer to a problem or manage to understand something that is difficult to understand SYN solve :

I think we’ve cracked the problem of the computer crashing all the time.

It took them nearly two months to crack the code.

This new evidence could help detectives to crack the case.

7 . STOP SOMEBODY [transitive] informal to stop a person from being successful:

Political enemies have tried to crack me.

8 . OPEN A SAFE [transitive] to open a ↑ safe illegally in order to steal the things inside it

9 . COMPUTER [transitive] to illegally copy computer software or change free software which may lack certain features of the full ↑ version , so that the free software works in the same way as the full version:

You can find out how to crack any kind of software on the web.

10 . crack it British English informal to manage to do something successfully:

I think we’ve cracked it!

He seems to have got it cracked.

11 . crack a joke to tell a joke:

He kept cracking jokes about my appearance.

12 . crack a smile to smile, usually only slightly or unwillingly:

Even Mr Motts managed to crack a smile at that joke.

13 . crack open a bottle British English informal to open a bottle of alcohol for drinking:

We cracked open a few bottles.

14 . get cracking informal to start doing something or going somewhere quickly:

I think we need to get cracking if we’re going to catch this train.

15 . crack the whip informal to make people work very hard

16 . something is not all/everything it’s cracked up to be informal used to say that something is not as good as people say it is:

I thought the film was OK, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

crack down phrasal verb

to become more strict in dealing with a problem and punishing the people involved

crack down on

The government is determined to crack down on terrorism.

The police are cracking down hard on violent crime.

⇨ ↑ crackdown

• • •


■ to become broken

▪ break verb [intransitive] to become damaged and separate into pieces:

Plastic breaks quite easily.

▪ smash verb [intransitive] to break after being hit with a lot of force:

The bowl smashed as it hit the floor.

▪ shatter verb [intransitive] to break into a lot of small pieces:

The glass shattered all over the pavement.

▪ crack verb [intransitive] if something cracks, a line appears on the surface, which means that it could later break into separate pieces:

The ice was starting to crack.

▪ burst verb [intransitive] if a tyre, balloon, pipe etc bursts, it gets a hole and air or liquid suddenly comes out of it:

She blew up the balloon until it burst.

▪ split verb [intransitive] to break in a straight line:

The damp had caused the wood to split.

▪ crumble verb [intransitive] to break into a powder or a lot of small pieces:

The cork just crumbled in my hand.

crack into something phrasal verb

to secretly enter someone else’s computer system, especially in order to damage the system or steal the information stored on it ⇨ hack :

A teenager was accused of cracking into the company’s network.

crack on phrasal verb British English informal

to continue working hard at something in order to finish it

crack on with

I need to crack on with my project work this weekend.

crack up phrasal verb informal

1 . crack (somebody) up to laugh a lot at something, or to make someone laugh a lot:

Everyone in the class just cracked up.

She’s so funny. She cracks me up.

2 . to become unable to think or behave sensibly because you have too many problems or too much work:

I was beginning to think I was cracking up!

II. crack 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . GAP [countable] a very narrow space between two things or two parts of something

crack between

He squeezed into a crack between two rocks.

crack in

He could see them through a crack in the door.

She opened the door a crack and peeped into the room.

2 . BREAK [countable] a thin line on the surface of something when it is broken but has not actually come apart

crack in

There were several small cracks in the glass.

3 . WEAKNESS [countable] a weakness or fault in an idea, system, or organization

crack in

The cracks in their relationship were starting to show.

The first cracks are beginning to appear in the economic policy.

4 . SOUND [countable] a sudden loud sound like the sound of a stick being broken

loud/sharp crack

There was a sharp crack as the branch broke off.

crack of

We could hear the crack of gunfire in the distance.

a crack of thunder

5 . JOKE [countable] informal a clever joke or rude remark

crack about

I didn’t like his crack about her being overweight.

He’s always making cracks about how stupid I am.

6 . ATTEMPT [countable] informal an attempt to do something SYN shot

crack at

I’d like a crack at climbing that mountain.

The competition’s open to anyone – why don’t you have a crack?

7 . DRUG [uncountable] an illegal drug that some people take for pleasure:

crack addicts

8 . BODY [countable] informal the space between someone’s ↑ buttock s

9 . a crack on the head a hard hit on the head:

You’ve had a nasty crack on the head and you need to rest.

10 . a crack in sb’s voice a change in someone’s voice because they are feeling very upset:

He noticed the crack in her voice as she tried to continue.

11 . the crack of dawn very early in the morning

at the crack of dawn

We were up at the crack of dawn.

12 . COMPUTER [countable] a piece of information or computer ↑ code that lets you illegally change free software which may lack certain features of the full ↑ version , so that the free software works in the same way as the full version

13 . a fair crack of the whip British English informal the same chance as other people to do something:

They feel they haven’t been given a fair crack of the whip.

14 . another spelling of ↑ craic

• • •


▪ hole an empty space in the surface of something, which sometimes goes all the way through it:

A fox had dug a hole under our fence.


Rain was coming in through a hole in the roof.

▪ space an empty area between two things, into which you can put something:

Are there any empty spaces on the bookshelf?


a parking space

▪ gap an empty area between two things or two parts of something, especially one that should not be there:

He has a gap between his two front teeth.


I squeezed through a gap in the hedge.

▪ opening a hole that something can pass through or that you can see through, especially at the entrance of something:

The train disappeared into the dark opening of the tunnel.


I looked through the narrow opening in the wall.

▪ leak a small hole where something has been damaged or broken that lets liquid or gas flow in or out:

a leak in the pipe


The plumber's coming to repair the leak.

▪ puncture especially British English a small hole in a tyre through which air escapes:

My bike's got a puncture.

▪ crack a very narrow space between two things or two parts of something:

The snake slid into a crack in the rock.


She was peering through the crack in the curtains.

▪ slot a straight narrow hole that you put a particular type of object into:

You have to put a coin in the slot before you dial the number.


A small disk fits into a slot in the camera.

▪ crater a round hole in the ground made by an explosion or by a large object hitting it hard:

a volcanic crater


The meteor left a crater over five miles wide.


the craters on the moon

III. crack 3 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

1 . with a lot of experience and skill:

crack troops

a crack regiment

a crack sportsman

2 . crack shot someone who is able to shoot a weapon very well and hit the thing they are aiming at

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.