Main definitions of crater in English

: crater1Crater2

crater1

noun

  • 1A large bowl-shaped cavity in the ground or on a celestial object, typically one caused by an explosion or the impact of a meteorite.

    ‘the blast left a crater in the car park’
    ‘Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, has relatively few impact craters’
    • ‘As a result, the ground is littered with craters from asteroid impacts.’
    • ‘Callisto's surface is icy and has some large impact craters and basins surrounded by concentric rings.’
    • ‘The firefight left palm and pomegranate groves smouldering, and large craters in the ground on the outskirts of the town.’
    • ‘The explosion produced a seven-metre-deep crater measuring 40 metres in diameter and windows were broken several kilometres from the blast site.’
    • ‘I pulled up and landed on my feet, making a huge crater in the ground.’
    • ‘The resulting explosion blew a crater in the middle of the street.’
    • ‘Thomas hit the ground and a small crater formed under him.’
    • ‘Recently he has been honoured with a crater on the Moon being named after him.’
    • ‘The oddest thing is that the missiles, while being tremendously destructive of human life, left quite small craters in the ground.’
    • ‘They typically gouge out classic, bowl-shaped craters.’
    • ‘The pilot ejected and there were no casualties, but the plane exploded after crashing and there is a huge crater in the ground about 60 feet deep.’
    • ‘Examples are the craters on the moon and spots on the Sun.’
    • ‘The blast left an enormous crater, and the impact tunneled really deep.’
    • ‘He used his new invention to discover mountains and craters on the surface of the moon.’
    • ‘Cameras arrive almost instantly at the site of car bombs that have left huge craters in the ground.’
    • ‘A particularly large impact crater suggests that it came close to destruction in an earlier collision.’
    • ‘The surface is covered with layers of nitrogen and water ice that are scarred by meteor craters.’
    • ‘Will units leave wreckage and will explosions leave craters?’
    • ‘The second trailer explosion created a crater approximately 100 feet in diameter and eight feet deep.’
    • ‘Two chimneys collapsed and all that remained from the two halls at the centre of the explosion was a crater 10 metres deep and 50 metres wide.’
    hollow, bowl, basin, pan, hole, cavity, pocket
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    1. 1.1 A large hollow forming the mouth of a volcano.
      ‘a great plume of gas and ash rises above the crater’
      • ‘The volcano is heaping up a new lava dome in its crater, perhaps even rebuilding itself to a pre-1980 shape.’
      • ‘Vesuvius is a stratovolcano that grew within the breached crater of Monte Somma volcano.’
      • ‘It is a volcanic crater with vertical cliffs rising up from the seashore.’
      • ‘Picture an ancient volcano crater partly filled by a glacier.’
      • ‘With everything from sweeping sand dunes to craggy volcanic craters, it's undeniably dramatic.’
      • ‘A ‘visitor centre’ here, which is the visitor centre closest to the crater, explains how volcanoes are formed and why they erupt.’
      • ‘The Western Branch of the East African Great Rift Valley is pocketed with craters of extinct or dormant volcanoes.’
      • ‘Much of Yellowstone National Park lies in the crater of a massive volcano, formed in a landscape-altering eruption 640,000 years ago.’
      • ‘When I was in college, my geology professor told us about Lake Nyos, which had formed in a volcano crater in Cameroon, West Africa.’
      • ‘Temperatures in the volcano's crater have been above 1,000 degrees with fresh new flowing lava.’
      • ‘It looked a pleasant enough place from the ship even if, according to the guide books, it was built in the crater of an extinct volcano.’
      • ‘During the last several days smoke, ash and vapor have been spewing from the crater of the volcano in western Colima state.’
      • ‘It's hit or miss as to whether you'll get a view of the volcano's sulfuric craters, because of cloud cover, fog, and haze.’
      • ‘The photo reveals a thick layer of dust blanketing the floor and wall of the summit crater atop a tall volcano called Pavonis Mons.’
      • ‘Other ephemeral lakes develop in volcanic craters or collapsed caldera systems.’
      • ‘The biggest and the final one landed in the crater of a huge volcano.’
      • ‘The quakes have occurred at depths less than one mile below the lava dome within the mountain's crater.’
      • ‘Anyone who makes a living jumping into volcano craters and chasing hurricanes, cyclones and tornadoes to get the best shot has got to be crazy, right?’
      • ‘Rising magma continues to build a lava dome in the crater of Mount St. Helens.’
    2. 1.2 A cavity or hole in a surface.
      ‘using the rounded end of a rolling pin, make craters over the surface of the cake’
      • ‘Microscopic bumps and craters on the painted surface tend to attract and contain dirt.’
      • ‘The goopy surface is pocked with craters where bubbles burst.’
      • ‘First, acid etching of the electrode surfaces produces tiny cavities and craters that greatly expand the surface area across which a static charge can be held.’
  • 2A large bowl used in ancient Greece for mixing wine.

    • ‘He gestured at the Greeks, who produced a crater and a pair of silver goblets.’
    • ‘There were marble craters (mixing bowls) and candelabra, statuary, busts, reliefs, column capitals and bases, and 60 to 70 marble column shafts.’
    • ‘To judge from the scenes of drinking painted on Greek vessels, the crater stood on the floor beside the couches on which the drinkers reclined.’
    dish, basin, pan, pot, crock, crucible, mortar
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verb

  • 1with object Form a crater in (the ground or a planet)

    ‘pilots returned to the airfields to crater the runways’
    ‘the heavily cratered areas of the moon’
    • ‘The Shomali, once known for its grapes, is now a mine-strewn, cratered wasteland.’
    • ‘So the southern hemisphere is far more heavily cratered, and the south pole is four miles higher than the north.’
    • ‘The first hundred yards of the tunnel were the worst - the road was heavily cratered, and our vehicles bucked and shuddered wildly, spraying snowmelt into the blackness.’
    • ‘Heavily cratered terrain is the most abundant geologic unit; but one should note that there are no old, large impact basins like the ones on Rhea, Iapetus, or Callisto.’
    • ‘Its heavily cratered surface is probably the oldest of the satellites.’
    • ‘It's not just the Earth that gets hit by objects from outer space - the moon is also a target, as evidenced by its heavily cratered surface.’
    • ‘But a large region of rugged highlands on the far side, as well as heavily cratered patches on the near side, are poor in both iron and thorium.’
    • ‘The ministry of defence stated that the bombing on 1 May had severely cratered the runway at the airport.’
    • ‘The British Army was methodically cratering roads in border areas to limit traffic between the two jurisdictions.’
    • ‘A few more days to secure and get the airport operational again (we've cratered the runways and such) and then much of our supply problem will be solved.’
    • ‘Within a few more minutes monster raindrops were cratering the surface of the river.’
    • ‘It revealed Eros to be an oddly shaped, heavily cratered object, with ridges and grooves, and covered by a million boulders, each larger than a house.’
    • ‘The heavily cratered surface seems different from other comets we've seen up close.’
    • ‘This shows a heavily cratered highland terrain, and is used to monitor illumination of polar areas, and long shadows cast by large crater rims.’
    • ‘Indeed, on closer inspection many of the heavily cratered regions showed evidence of erosion patterns that also seemed consistent with thicker atmospheric conditions in the past.’
    • ‘The reds are cratered highlands, which contain few resources.’
    • ‘A spectrometer on MGS revealed a large deposit of hematite in the heavily cratered highlands.’
    • ‘We saw places along the shoreline where the ground was cratered, trees flung aside in broken rows.’
    • ‘From the border take the rutted and cratered road and keep the Kabul river on your right.’
    • ‘The Centry hit the ground hard, cratering everything from the impact.’
    1. 1.1no object Drop or fall suddenly and disastrously; collapse.
      ‘oil prices have cratered by more than 50 per cent’
      ‘consumer confidence cratered in October’

Origin

Early 17th century (denoting the hollow forming the mouth of a volcano): via Latin from Greek kratēr ‘mixing-bowl’, from krasis ‘mixture’.

Pronunciation

crater

/ˈkreɪtə/

Main definitions of crater in English

: crater1Crater2

Crater2

proper noun

Astronomy
  • 1A small and faint southern constellation (the Cup), between Hydra and Leo, said to represent the goblet of Apollo.

    1. 1.1as genitive Crateris /krəˈtɛrɪs/ Used with preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in this constellation.
      ‘the star Delta Crateris’

Origin

Latin, from Greek, ‘mixing bowl’.

Pronunciation

Crater

/ˈkreɪtə/