crack Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “crack” in the English Dictionary

"crack" in British English

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crackverb

uk   us   /kræk/
  • crack verb (BREAK)

B2 [T or I] to ​break something so that it does not ​separate, but very ​thinlinesappear on ​itssurface, or to ​becomebroken in this way: A ​stonehit the ​window and cracked the ​glass. I cracked my ​tooth as I ​fell. The ​walls cracked and the ​roofcollapsed in the ​earthquake. [I] informal to ​becomementally and ​physicallyweak: Stress and ​overwork are ​causingteachers to crack (up). [I] informal to ​fail as a ​result of ​problems: Their ​relationshipbegan to crack (up) after ​theirchilddied. [I] If someone cracks, that ​personbegins to ​feelweak and ​agrees that they have been ​defeated: He cracked during ​questioning and told us where to ​find the ​stolengoods.

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  • crack verb (GET INTO)

[T] to ​break something ​open, ​especially in ​order to ​reach or use what is inside: Crack three eggs into a ​bowl and ​mix them together. He cracked (​open) the nuts with his ​hands. [T] (also crack into sth) to get into someone else's ​computersystem without ​permission and get ​information or do something ​illegal [T] informal to ​copycomputerprograms or ​recordedmaterialillegally
  • crack verb (MAKE SOUND)

[I or T] to make a ​sudden, ​shortnoise, or to ​cause something to make this ​noise: The ​whip cracked over the ​horses' ​heads. He's always cracking his knuckles (= ​pulling the ​joints of his ​fingers to make a ​noise). [I] If a ​voice cracks, ​itssoundchanges because the ​person is ​upset: Her ​voice cracked withemotion as she told the ​story.
  • crack verb (MAKE JOKE)

C1 [T] to make a ​joke or ​funnyremark: He's always cracking jokes.

cracknoun

uk   us   /kræk/
  • crack noun (NARROW SPACE)

C2 [C] a very ​narrowspace between ​parts of something: Cracks had ​appeared in the ​dryground. We ​peered through the crack in the ​floorboards.figurative Cracks ​began to show in his ​façade of ​self-confidence.(just) a crack so that there is a very ​smallspace: She ​opened the ​door just a crack to ​listen to the ​conversation.

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  • crack noun (JOKE)

[C] a wisecrack

crackadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /kræk/
(Definition of crack from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"crack" in American English

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crackverb

 us   /kræk/
  • crack verb (DAMAGE)

[I/T] to ​damage something by causing ​thinlines or ​spaces to ​appear on ​itssurface; ​breakslightly: [I] The ​concrete on the ​front of the ​building had ​begun to crack. [T] The ​X-rayshowed that she had cracked a ​bone in her ​foot.
  • crack verb (HIT SOMETHING)

[T always + adv/prep] to ​hit something hard: He ​fellbackward, his ​head cracking against a ​tree.
  • crack verb (OPEN)

[T] to ​break something ​open, esp. in ​order to ​reach or use what is inside: He cracked three ​eggs into a ​mixingbowl. [T] If you crack a ​code (= ​message in ​symbols), you ​discover what it ​means.
  • crack verb (MAKE A NOISE)

[I/T] to make a ​sudden, ​sharpnoise or to ​cause something to make such a ​noise: [I] All around us the ​lightning was cracking.
  • crack verb (LOSE CONTROL)

[I] to ​weaken and ​become less ​able to ​think in a ​reasonable way, esp. because of ​anxiety or ​fear: In ​spite of ​intense questioning for over eight ​hours, she never cracked.
  • crack verb (JOKE)

[T] to make a ​joke or ​amusingremark: Jerry’s always cracking ​jokes.

cracknoun [C]

 us   /kræk/
  • crack noun [C] (ATTEMPT)

an ​attempt; a ​try: I’ve never ​tried to ​cook this before, but I ​thought I’d have a crack at it.
  • crack noun [C] (JOKE)

a ​jokingremark that is ​critical of someone or ​slightlyinsulting: She’s always making cracks about how much I ​eat.
  • crack noun [C] (DAMAGE)

a ​thinline or ​space in the ​surface of something, usually a ​sign of ​damage: A ​series of cracks ​developed in the ​roadsurface. A crack is also a ​narrowspace: She ​opened the ​door a crack.

crackadjective [not gradable]

 us   /kræk/
skillful; ​expert: The man’s a crack ​technician.
(Definition of crack from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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