Definition of crest in English:



  • 1A comb or tuft of feathers, fur, or skin on the head of a bird or other animal.

    ‘a large game bird with a conspicuous erect red crest’
    • ‘It has a shallowly forked tail and a slight crest that gives the head a squared-off look.’
    • ‘They are the size of a starling with light brown plumage, red markings round the eyes, a crest and an orange-tipped black tail.’
    • ‘Bird feathers used in mate attraction may form huge crests, ruffs, or tails: the male peacock tail is a case in point.’
    • ‘Both sexes possess head crests and red-orange bill coloration.’
    • ‘Colourful crests make birds in breeding plumage easy to identify.’
    • ‘It has narrow, angled wings, a deeply forked tail, and a shaggy crest.’
    • ‘The female pokes her head out of the hole to greet her mate, opening the brilliant crest of feathers on her head like a fan.’
    • ‘The reference is hence again to the bird's movable crest, one of its most striking features.’
    • ‘Treeswifts can also raise the crest of feathers on their head, a gesture assumed to be a form of communication.’
    • ‘They have long, conspicuous, forward curving crests on their heads that droop over their eyes and thin, white plumes extending backward from the back of each eye.’
    • ‘They all had magnificent feather crests on their heads in vivid reds and rich gleaming browns.’
    • ‘It was white with long blue-tipped feathers on its crest, wingtips, and tail.’
    • ‘With his crest laid back, the male probes the earth quickly and efficiently using his long, curved bill.’
    • ‘The short crest of the female is often not obvious.’
    • ‘The big birds with their striking red crests and black stripes across their white faces are the largest woodpeckers in North America.’
    • ‘Some males also have elegant ornamentation such as bright throat gorgets, crests and elongated tail feathers.’
    • ‘Male Ruby-crowned Kinglets have bright red crests (that can vary in color to orange), which can be raised when the bird is excited but which are more often completely hidden.’
    • ‘Some species have crests or tufts of feathers on their head.’
    • ‘The bird has light-colored undersides and a slight crest on its head.’
    • ‘If the birds' crests are shown to play a role in communication, then investigators may have a clue as to how ancient casque-bearing dinosaurs interacted.’
    comb, plume, tuft, topknot, mane
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    1. 1.1 A plume of feathers on a helmet.
      • ‘In the French service they wore helmets with horsehair crests but in Saxony they wore the square-topped national cap of Poland called a czapska.’
      feather, quill
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  • 2The top of a mountain or hill.

    ‘she reached the crest of the hill’
    • ‘Finally, mounting the crest of the hill, they reached the juniper trees.’
    • ‘For example, if you can position your troops at the crest of a hill or the opposite side of a bridge, your opponent will have a great deal more difficulty in taking you on.’
    • ‘The troops were realigning on the crest of the hill.’
    • ‘When the group of knights had reached the crest of the hill, the view enticed them.’
    • ‘He climbed up to the crest of Moon Hill and scanned his surroundings.’
    • ‘As they reached the crest of the hill, they could see the actual site, already cordoned off with yellow tape.’
    • ‘Just as the trek started to take its physical toll, we reached the crest of the hill and the Blue Nile Falls appeared in theatrical splendour.’
    • ‘As she reached the crest of the hill she gasped at the sight.’
    • ‘About half an hour later I saw Tom's hat, bobbing over the crest of the hill, in the driving rain.’
    • ‘Harold's forces gathered on the crest of a hill and formed a wall of shields.’
    • ‘At the crest of the hill, the fugitives emerged once again into the moonlight and rested briefly.’
    • ‘After what seemed an eternity, a long white car came over the crest of the hill, and began to descend toward the country club.’
    • ‘She stood there upon the crest of the hill, allowing the light to bathe her.’
    • ‘The warriors struggled to reload and finish the job when to their horror, a second Marauder appeared over the crest of the hill.’
    • ‘He reached the crest of the hill and raised his head above the bushes, and his eyes glittered as he saw what he'd hoped for.’
    • ‘As he reached the crest of the hill he saw the Sanitarium spread out before him.’
    • ‘The bus would slow down to about five miles an hour and just creep over the crest of the hill.’
    • ‘Ahead, the crest of the hill seemed as distant as ever.’
    • ‘Soon they disappeared over the crest of the hill.’
    • ‘Standing on the crest of the hill, illuminated against the morning sun, was a figure clothed in rippling blue-silver robes.’
    summit, peak, highest point, top, mountaintop, tip, pinnacle, brow, crown, head, cap, brink, apex, vertex, apogee, zenith
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    1. 2.1Anatomy A ridge along the surface of a bone.
      ‘biopsy specimens of the iliac crest were obtained under local anaesthesia’
      • ‘This requires a bone marrow examination from the crest of the hip bone using local anesthesia.’
      • ‘The standard procedure consists of an iliac crest bone graft.’
      • ‘Hip circumference was defined as the widest point, between the iliac crest and the crotch.’
      • ‘The iliac crest bone marrow biopsy is the gold standard for detecting of bone marrow metastases in small cell lung cancer.’
      • ‘The bone can also be taken from several places, commonest being the iliac crest (pelvic bone).’
    2. 2.2 The upper line of the neck of a horse or other mammal.
      ‘take hold of the mane halfway up the horse's crest’
      • ‘The skull of pangolins is smoothly conical, lacking the ridges and crests found on most mammalian crania.’
      • ‘Here they no longer need to balance their upper bodies on the horse's crest.’
  • 3The curling foamy top of a wave.

    ‘a high wave formed by the meeting of two crests’
    • ‘Whitecaps, the bright, wind-driven result of breaking wave crests, have been mostly ignored by climate models.’
    • ‘And he was up against Marcus who was on a crest of a wave.’
    • ‘At sea, on the other hand, sailors fear the deadly combination of the wind and the poor visibility caused by spray whipping off the wave crests.’
    • ‘Only the soft crests of waves slapping at the shore and the crunch of sand beneath her foot shattered the silence around her.’
    • ‘Below in the glittering blue Pacific half a dozen dolphins were playing in the surf, skimming in just below the face of the breakers then flipping out over the crest as the wave broke.’
    • ‘Abruptly she also swerved to the right, dicing the crest of a tidal wave as she did so.’
    • ‘By the light of the ship, Jenni could see the crests of the waves as streaks of white, swirling randomly in the face of the gale.’
    • ‘Hermes flies like a gull over the crests of waves and arrives at the home of Calypso.’
    • ‘One was taken when the spout was relatively far out and the other over the surf line where the broken crest of a wave is being sucked up.’
    • ‘You get a specially designed board and ride on the crests of the waves.’
    • ‘She looked out to the ocean, seeing the reflection of the starlight on the crests of the waves.’
  • 4Heraldry
    A distinctive device representing a family or corporate body, borne above the shield of a coat of arms (originally as worn on a helmet) or separately reproduced, for example on writing paper.

    • ‘Brass stamps of the crests of the noble families were specially cast.’
    • ‘The shoulders are scrunched up while the king is leaning against the family crest above the fireplace.’
    • ‘The two ornate crests represented the families of Ivor's grandfather and grandmother respectively.’
    • ‘The tomb bears the family crest, as does the Parr Chapel ceiling.’
    • ‘The family crest is that of a shield surrounding the palace in Serepta.’
    insignia, regalia, badge, emblem, ensign, device, heraldic device, coat of arms, arms, armorial bearing, escutcheon, shield
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  • 1with object Reach the top of (a hill or wave)

    ‘she crested a hill and saw the valley spread out before her’
    • ‘Twenty minutes later the group crests the hill.’
    • ‘When John and I crest the hill overlooking the village, the population is gathered in a huddle in the middle of the houses.’
    • ‘As we crest a hill, the rain subsides momentarily and we see a steel plate lying amid the bluebells in a little clearing overlooking a valley.’
    • ‘As he crested the next hill, though, a funny thing happened.’
    • ‘Periodically Les, our lead guide, raised his hand to slow us as we crested a rise to survey the valley below for moose.’
    • ‘Within moments she was waving back at Guiseppe and Maria as she crested the hill in the direction that Pietro had taken her, and was soon following his trail down the other side.’
    • ‘Upon cresting the hill, all were treated to an amazing site.’
    • ‘The invisible, uncontrollable wind ices our faces as we crest a hill.’
    • ‘I was now desperate to slow down, but every time I rounded a corner or crested a hill there were more walkers and cyclists to witness my discomfort.’
    • ‘Wide-eyed, he crested the ridge and began to walk down into the valley.’
    • ‘Finally, in a moment so perfect that many will think I made it up, a police car crested the hill.’
    • ‘She crested the rise and stood before the two men, flushed with the effort.’
    • ‘Upon cresting a rise, we saw him at something like 130 yards away trotting toward the canyon.’
    • ‘It's like releasing the clutch on a manual car transmission at the exact moment you crest a hill and snap into gear.’
    • ‘Then, I crested a large hill and saw her dismounted at the base.’
    • ‘He was travelling through the mountains with a buddy in a car when they crested a hill and hit a sheet of glassy ice.’
    • ‘She dismounted before cresting the hill, and led the horse along the path.’
    • ‘Two hours out from the parking lot, we crest a little rise to find a tapered concrete pillar about four feet high.’
    • ‘The crew is monitoring the situation, making sure the fire doesn't crest that hill.’
    • ‘As he crested the rise just before the finish line the bike was doing about 120.’
    reach the top of, crest, climb, scale, ascend, mount, conquer
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    1. 1.1US no object (of a river, flood, etc.) rise to its highest level.
      • ‘They're expecting the water to crest anywhere in the next two to five hours.’
      • ‘The following lists locks and dams along the Allegheny River, its flood stage, what the river crested and when after the remnants of Hurricane Ivan stormed through the region.’
      • ‘Those rivers are starting to crest, and we have a lot of water in this state.’
      • ‘Swollen rivers have crested over their banks, and there are problems with blocked roads, and also with some homes that are being flooded out.’
      • ‘They expect this water to crest sometime in the middle of the night.’
      • ‘The Des Plaines River is expected to crest at more than 12 feet tonight.’
      • ‘You can only see two stories now, thanks to a river that crested at least 11 feet above its flood stage.’
      • ‘It is expected to crest at 16.9 feet on Wednesday morning and to remain well above flood stage for the rest of the week, he said.’
      • ‘French authorities are also worried that the Loire River may crest this weekend between Orléans and Angers.’
      • ‘Many low-lying homes and roads are already flooded, but the Withlacoochee is still rising and is expected to crest on Wednesday morning.’
      • ‘The National Weather Service says, the river should crest 4 feet above flood stage.’
      • ‘The Withlacoochee may crest as high as 10.5 feet, a foot higher than the point at which many homes flood.’
      • ‘Police evacuated residents of Prague's Old Town as the rain-engorged Vltava River crested yesterday, threatening the historic city centre with unprecedented flooding.’
      • ‘Minnesota's Roseau River near the Canadian border crested today, more than seven feet above flood stage.’
      • ‘People were very surprised to be hit by a river that, in the local knowledge up there, hadn't crested to that level in more than 100 years.’
      • ‘When the Mississippi crested at a dangerous level, he needed pumps immediately.’
  • 2no object (of a wave) form a curling foamy top.

    ‘the swell begins to curl and crest’
    • ‘The only noise was the rhythmic lapping of the sea, the tiny waves gently cresting in the moonlight.’
    • ‘By the time it crests at a beach, the wave can be many feet high.’
    • ‘The pair walked to the edge of the sand where the waves crested and broke.’
    • ‘With winds so fierce you couldn't breathe, rain that felt like razors, and waves cresting over the boat, he was able to move the boat out from among the pilings, rocks, seawall and docks while the storm raged on, tying it off bow-to-sea.’
    • ‘The track also features some odd, warbly vocal effects at completely random times and sound effects of waves cresting and breaking.’
    • ‘How many people would notice small waves cresting on Pacific seas, and steer for a hidden island?’
    • ‘City officials said the flood wave was expected to crest on Saturday.’
    • ‘On the straining embankments of Dongting lake - which is the size of Luxembourg - an army of one million peasants were mobilised to support the efforts of 115,000 troops as waves crested over the top of levies.’
    • ‘The researchers begin by showing that the 1700 tsunami crested as much as 15 feet high in Japan.’
    • ‘If you don't do it hard and fast enough, the wave will crest and break and you'll be left behind.’
    • ‘So I just went and hoped that the next wave wasn't going to crest in front of me.’
    • ‘And he floated on the water for just one second, as it crested anew, and then the wave broke and threw him down, down, down.’
    • ‘The waves, now closer to us, crested and crashed against the sand.’
    • ‘An errant wave crested over his head, leaving him choking and sputtering for air.’
    • ‘Seas at the mouth of the bay were cresting at 10 feet, and were 12-14 feet offshore.’
  • 3be crested withHave attached at the top.

    ‘his helmet was crested with a fan of spikes’
    • ‘The dark sky was crested with a sliver of a moon and faded stars that could barely be seen through the city's light pollution.’
    • ‘I was at the head, my mum and dad by my side, Wang's mum and dad sat beside him, the table was crested with gems and I felt this meal was going to be the best in my life.’
    • ‘He was holding a staff that was a bronze color, and was crested with a bronze moon.’


  • on the crest of a wave

    • At a very successful point.

      ‘his career is on the crest of a wave at present’
      • ‘It is no secret that the present administration came into office on the crest of a wave of popularity, much of it thanks to local press.’
      • ‘The appeal fund to buy a faster lifeboat for a seaside resort is on the crest of a wave after hitting the £20,000 mark.’
      • ‘We are on the crest of a wave at the moment and these are very exciting times for growth in the region.’
      • ‘He could be starting his job on the crest of a wave after the European Championships.’
      • ‘I just wish I could have had them after we had won at Manchester United last October because it is easier to bring in players when you are on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘I've known him for the best part of 20 years and he's seen me riding on the crest of a wave recently.’
      • ‘I was fortunate to begin on the crest of a wave, however, the industry has become much tougher.’
      • ‘I've been right down there, in the lower depths, almost going under; then I've ridden on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘They were on the crest of a wave and there was no pressure on them.’
      • ‘We are keen to re-bid our franchise while we are on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘Aspiring naval officers were on the crest of a wave when they were presented with a new canal cruiser.’
      • ‘He based everything on organisation and team work and at the time he left, we were on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘What I said before the game is that although it is Premier versus First Division, they are really on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘Romance is a wonderful thing and when you are in the early stages of a relationship it puts you on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘The lads have been on the crest of a wave but we've got some tough games coming up at Manchester United and Aston Villa.’
      • ‘They haven't scored many but they've had five clean sheets in six matches so they're on the crest of a wave at the moment.’
      • ‘But, at this moment he's on the crest of a wave, and he's the one everyone wants.’
      • ‘Dig deep to help put these youngsters on the crest of a wave.’
      • ‘In my mind I'm on the crest of a wave and I'm enjoying every minute of it!’
      • ‘A south Lakeland company is on the crest of a wave after being named the best in its field by industry insiders.’


Middle English: from Old French creste, from Latin crista ‘tuft, plume’.