Meaning of CRACK in English


I. ˈkrak verb

Etymology: Middle English crakken, from Old English cracian; akin to Old High German chrahhōn to resound

Date: before 12th century

intransitive verb

1. : to make a very sharp explosive sound

the whip crack s through the air

2. : to break, split, or snap apart

3. : fail : as

a. : to lose control or effectiveness under pressure — often used with up

b. : to fail in tone

his voice crack ed

4. : to go or travel at good speed — usually used with on

the steamboat crack ed on

transitive verb


a. : to break so that fissures appear on the surface

crack a mirror

b. : to break with a sudden sharp sound

crack nuts

2. : to tell especially suddenly or strikingly

crack a joke

3. : to strike with a sharp noise : rap

then crack s him over the head

crack ed a two-run homer in the fifth — New York Times



(1) : to open (as a bottle) for drinking

(2) : to open (a book) for studying

b. : to puzzle out and expose, solve, or reveal the mystery of

crack a code

c. : to break into

crack a safe

d. : to open slightly

crack the throttle

e. : to break through (as a barrier) so as to gain acceptance or recognition

f. : to show or begin showing (a smile) especially reluctantly or uncharacteristically


a. : to impair seriously or irreparably : wreck

crack an opponent's courage

b. : to destroy the tone of (a voice)

c. : disorder , craze

d. : to interrupt sharply or abruptly

the criticism crack ed our complacency

6. : to cause to make a sharp noise

crack s his knuckles



(1) : to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking

(2) : to produce by cracking

crack ed gasoline

b. : to break up (chemical compounds) into simpler compounds by means of heat

- crack the whip

- crack wise

II. noun

Date: 14th century


a. : a loud roll or peal

a crack of thunder

b. : a sudden sharp noise

the crack of rifle fire

2. : a sharp witty remark : quip


a. : a narrow break : fissure

a crack in the ice

b. : a narrow opening

leave the door open a crack

crack s between floorboards

— used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out

a player who fell through the crack s in the college draft

children slipping through the crack s of available youth services


a. : a weakness or flaw caused by decay, age, or deficiency : unsoundness

b. : a broken tone of the voice

c. : crackpot

5. : moment , instant

the crack of dawn

6. : housebreaking , burglary

7. : a sharp resounding blow

gave him a crack on the head

8. : an attempt or opportunity to do something

her first crack at writing a novel

got first crack at the job opening

9. : a potent form of cocaine that is obtained by treating the hydrochloride of cocaine with sodium bicarbonate to create small chips used illicitly for smoking — called also crack cocaine

III. adjective

Date: 1793

: of superior excellence or ability

a crack marksman

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.