Definition of crisp in English:



  • 1(of a substance) firm, dry, and brittle.

    ‘crisp bacon’
    ‘the snow is lovely and crisp’
    • ‘Sure enough, there was an apple pie on the dresser, warm and fragrant with a crisp sugar coat and a coffee pot sitting on the back of the stove.’
    • ‘Tom and I dined together over plates of crisp bacon, toasted bread, strawberry jam, and poached eggs.’
    • ‘The backdrop of bright, white crisp snow could not have been more of a contrast to the jungle setting in which Ally Taylor was kept captive by Colombian guerillas.’
    • ‘In frosty areas this is often adorned with a crisp coating of white crystal.’
    • ‘They began to trample their way up the slopes yet again, the crisp snow crunching beneath their feet.’
    • ‘But we don't have to give up the delicious combination of creamy icing and crisp chocolate cookie.’
    • ‘Right now, there was the smell of fresh buttermilk pancakes coming from the kitchen mixed with that of crisp bacon and tea just freshly brewed.’
    • ‘The chunks of fish, protected by their crisp coating of ham, were succulent and tender.’
    • ‘That and the fact that when all else fails, she spreads a dollop of honey over my slightly buttered, highly crisp slices of toast.’
    • ‘For the main course I had the monkfish bourguignon in a red wine sauce with crisp bacon and mushrooms.’
    • ‘The clams stood plump and juicy in their shells, bathed only in a bit of garlic butter, with a crisp bacon confetti on top.’
    • ‘For a crisp crust, brush muffins with ice water as soon as they come from the oven.’
    • ‘Sometimes when you remove the crisp crust from shrimp or pork nuggets and squeeze it, fat literally drips out and all that is left to eat is a very tiny piece of seafood or meat.’
    • ‘I have always understood that biscuits are crisp and thin and made by rolling the dough flat and cutting it with pastry cutters, or forming the dough into a long roll and slicing it thinly.’
    • ‘The water will start to steam, making the air in the oven moist, which will help the bread to rise and give it a nice, crisp crust.’
    • ‘The resulting cookie is crisp at the edges and a little crumbly in the center.’
    • ‘I went for devilled whitebait, a good sized portion in a crisp flour coating and well dusted with cayenne pepper, served with lemon creme fraiche.’
    • ‘The banana, wrapped with a crisp flour crust, tasted like cream.’
    • ‘Although Vollstedt's recipe is enriched with cream cheese and includes many eggs, I made a lighter version and served it with crisp bacon.’
    • ‘Another item that caught our eye was Wykeham Rarebit - smoked applewood cheese, topped with crisp bacon and salad garnish.’
    crunchy, crispy, brittle, crumbly, breakable, shatterable, friable, frangible
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    1. 1.1 (of a fruit or vegetable) firm and juicy.
      ‘a crisp lettuce’
      • ‘The salad consists of a heaping bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, generous amounts of shredded carrots and beets, cubes of fresh tofu and peanut buttery gomae spinach.’
      • ‘More importantly, enjoy the experience of eating fresh, crisp vegetables you grew yourself!’
      • ‘The vegetables were fresh, crisp and not over-cooked and the sauce was creamy and very tasty.’
      • ‘While this head lettuce has a nice crisp edge to it and seems to retain its freshness in the refrigerator for a few days, it's time to look beyond this old standby and use other greens.’
      • ‘Now we have new, fresh, crisp apples and the old apples which are supposedly mushy.’
      • ‘Mix and sauté until the vegetables are cooked but crisp.’
      • ‘This extremely crisp, juicy, sweet apple has a rich flavor that has made it No.1 in taste panels.’
      • ‘Cram the lumps of chicken into hot pitta bread with the spiced yoghurt and some shredded crisp lettuce.’
      • ‘I prefer, however, to enjoy the crisp, juicy fruits in the cool of the morning - right from the tree.’
      • ‘Serve with a bowl of good, crisp lettuce and salad.’
      • ‘Next comes a handful of crisp, chopped lettuce and fresh slices of tomato and onion.’
      • ‘Its juicy crisp flesh keeps and stews well, ensuring that it is still as popular now as it was when it was first introduced to this country.’
      • ‘In soft fruit such as tomato this process occurs early in ripening whereas in crisp fruits such as apple it is a late-ripening process.’
      • ‘The crisp, juicy little tubers bring up to $40 a pound, retail, and enhance any salad, stir-fry or sauté.’
      • ‘They said their blessings and feasted on a lovely meal of roasted hen and crisp vegetables and the warm bread that Emy had baked herself.’
      • ‘The yam bean's crisp, juicy quality - and the idea of eating the tuber raw - struck the Tongans as exotic and peculiar.’
      • ‘It's a medium to large, red- and green-striped fruit with a crisp, juicy, sweetly tart taste.’
      • ‘To get the most out of the crisp finish on the vegetables, add the sauce just as you serve.’
      • ‘Imagine eating a crisp, juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer's day and receiving great health benefits at the same time!’
      • ‘‘The customers prefer this variety, as they are big, crisp and juicy,’ says Suresh, a fruit seller.’
      firm, fresh, unwilted, unwithered
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    2. 1.2 (of paper or cloth) stiff and uncreased.
      ‘£65 in crisp new notes’
      • ‘She walked away leaving the crisp notes for the next customer, which happened to be me.’
      • ‘Nothing can replace the feeling of taking out crisp $100 bills from a first-rate designer wallet.’
      • ‘Jay pulled out a crisp piece of paper, and rambled on about the day's schedule, mostly small things where all he had to do was walk around and look important.’
      • ‘As she bent over Hans to adjust his bandage the crisp white cloth of her uniform blouse, carelessly fastened, fell open and brushed his sleeping face.’
      • ‘The dish was excellently presented on the crisp linen table cloth in plain white crockery with a Thai flower for decoration.’
      • ‘The crisp white paper tag hung out the back as she quickly followed Eric into the living room.’
      • ‘With pen in hand, I pulled out a crisp piece of notebook paper and thought about what exactly to say to him.’
      • ‘She got it out and held the neatly folded, crisp paper in her hands.’
      • ‘She then holds up the crisp hundred dollar bill and smiles.’
      • ‘Candles flickered on the well-spaced tables which were covered with crisp white linen cloths.’
      • ‘I came to believe that there were few things in the world more beautiful than the deep burning black of Baskerville type on crisp rag paper.’
      • ‘So many books piled on the shelves, glossy covers, crisp paper that had never before been read.’
      • ‘He was seen handing out crisp dollar bills to three star struck young boys watching filming in New York's The Bronx.’
      • ‘Hearing this, Lanz reached into his pants pocket to pull out a small, crisp piece of paper, with something written in calligraphy.’
      • ‘He seated himself across from Jake and pulled a crisp sheet of parchment paper from a pile.’
      • ‘The girl's eyes widened at the sight of the crisp paper note being handed to her.’
      • ‘‘Here,’ she reached into his purse and shoved three crisp bills into his hand.’
      • ‘He could feel the letter's crisp paper in his coat pocket.’
      • ‘Firstly because he is a true competitor and, secondly, because he likes the feeling of newly-won, crisp pound notes in his pocket.’
      • ‘Minutes later, they thought they were on the verge of the biggest pay day of their lives, perhaps dreaming of bundles of crisp notes in the post office beneath them.’
    3. 1.3 (of hair) having tight curls.
      • ‘She felt the bare smooth skin of her stomach move against the dark crisp hair at the center of his body as he lifted her off the legs that nearly let her fall to the floor.’
      • ‘Blonde hair crisp, and lustrous was slicked back primly.’
      • ‘Perspiration binds her crisp blonde curls to her forehead and lines of mascara trail past her eyes.’
      • ‘Somewhere along the line, her hands had been freed and were clinging in his crisp dark hair.’
      • ‘Her coat stood out full-length, conserving the warmth deep inside, with the tip of each hair seeming as crisp and sharp as the grass blades, and almost as cold.’
      • ‘Muhammad was middle-sized, did not have lank or crisp hair, was not fat, had a white, circular face, wide black eyes and long eyelashes.’
      • ‘Michael shook his head and some of his crisp dark hair fell on his forehead, giving him a boyish look.’
  • 2(of the weather) cool, fresh, and invigorating.

    ‘a crisp autumn day’
    • ‘Ah, the delights of the holiday season: the crisp weather, the cozy fires, the family festivities and the sumptuous feasts.’
    • ‘As soon as the weather turned cool and crisp in Delhi and women brought out their pashminas, the children knew something wonderful was brewing.’
    • ‘Lakeisha held open the door for me, revealing a cool, crisp day outside.’
    • ‘I arrived at noon, early for the afternoon flight, but with ample time to enjoy the crisp weather.’
    • ‘He unshuttered the window, and gazed through, the crisp autumn wind bit at his face as the past bit at his heart and again he pulled himself away from it.’
    • ‘It's a beautifully crisp, alert, fresh morning.’
    • ‘The drive was absolutely beautiful, the day was crisp and cool, and for most of the drive you could see limestone hills and trees.’
    • ‘A cool crisp breeze blew lazily through the morning air.’
    • ‘For 11 million people in the U.S. the cool crisp days of fall don't bring a renewal of energy but rather a descent into depression.’
    • ‘Practice had just ended, but the crisp weather of winter was quick to cool him down again.’
    • ‘On arrival the weather was crisp, clear - but very, very cold.’
    • ‘The weather was crisp and fine but a cold head wind was encountered at the top end of the course.’
    • ‘The weather this week has been crisp, cold, and clear, just like autumn should be.’
    • ‘She decided she needed a breath of fresh air and so she opened her large French windows and climbed out onto the balcony breathing in the cool crisp fresh air.’
    • ‘Flavors of vegetables maturing in the cool, crisp days of autumn are often sweeter and milder than those grown during hot summer weather.’
    • ‘The weather was crisp and cool, with the smell of woodsmoke in the air.’
    • ‘After yesterday's cold, crisp, but sunny weather, today is utter rubbish.’
    • ‘The summers and springs were extremely hot while the winters had crisp fall weather most of the time.’
    • ‘I could feel the heat radiating from his body even in the crisp, cool January weather and could see the blue of his eyes boring into mine.’
    • ‘The weather was cold and crisp but very hazy.’
    brisk, bracing, fresh, refreshing, invigorating, stimulating, energizing, exhilarating, rousing, fortifying, tonic
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  • 3(of a way of speaking) briskly decisive and matter-of-fact, without hesitation or unnecessary detail.

    ‘her answer was crisp’
    • ‘Matthews is a technician who lacks classic arm strength but runs the offense to perfection with crisp decisionmaking.’
    • ‘The new version boasts a crisp, no-nonsense presentation that gets right down to business.’
    • ‘This book, like all of Rhea's works, is marked by thorough, painstaking research and crisp, lucid writing.’
    • ‘The dialogue is crisp and sharp, and the characters interesting.’
    • ‘He wrote short crisp letters with a decisive position on all questions at hand.’
    • ‘Michaels barked, pounding out crisp sharp words that so thundered with command that even the untrained and deaf would jump to obey.’
    • ‘The pastel colours, the detail in every scene, the crisp dialogue, are all a joy.’
    • ‘His voice was crisp and business-like, as usual, when he wasn't sneering.’
    • ‘Now I'm reading A Certain Chemistry, which is fun and funny, but without that crisp precision that blows my hair back.’
    • ‘Some years ago, I was in Judge Gladys Kessler's courtroom and admired the crisp decisiveness of her judicial temperament.’
    • ‘Here comes a docu-drama that sails to its destination with such crisp editing and concise narration that you wonder what was the fuss all about!’
    • ‘The writing is crisp, the detail and background fresh and believable.’
    • ‘He must adjust with quick, decisive moves and crisp passes that set up open teammates.’
    • ‘For the next few patients I started to write what I thought was a crisp summary of our decisions.’
    • ‘Lengthy news stories, usually speeches taken down verbatim in shorthand and printed in full, have given way to short and crisp reports.’
    • ‘Doss depends on short and crisp stories of social issues.’
    • ‘It soon became much more, due to some crisp writing, exciting storylines, and an innovation that would become a hallmark of the series.’
    • ‘Carlow were quickly into their stride and with the pack dominant they surprised their opponents with some driving mauls and crisp and decisive tackling.’
    terse, succinct, concise, brief, short, short and sweet, tight, taut, incisive, pithy, epigrammatic, aphoristic, elliptical
    brusque, brisk, vigorous, decisive, businesslike, no-nonsense, curt, blunt, short, sharp, snappy, snappish, abrupt, to the point, frank, plain-spoken, bald, brutal, indelicate, unceremonious, cavalier, offhand, gruff, rough, harsh, caustic, abrasive
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  • 1British A wafer-thin slice of potato fried or baked until crisp and eaten as a snack.

    ‘cut down on fatty snacks such as crisps’
    North American term potato chip
    • ‘Ann's club sandwich with side salad and crisps nearly sunk her.’
    • ‘The buffet, on the other hand, consisted of a catering-size sack of salt and vinegar crisps, some biscuits and four sausage rolls.’
    • ‘Found in certain brands of potato crisp, it works because the body cannot absorb it.’
    • ‘It is very hard to resist junk food but here we don't let anyone bring in chocolate or crisps for snacks.’
    • ‘Among the favourite snacks listed were chocolate, crisps, pastries and cakes, pies and sausage rolls.’
    • ‘One of nine children, Zilli maintains that his mother fed the family the healthiest of foods; no fast food snacks, no crisps or chocolate bars.’
    • ‘I eat masses of those chewy sweets and I love cheese and onion crisps.’
    • ‘Attempts at dieting were short-lived and Joe, ‘a good eater’ according to his mother, had reverted to his diet of oversized meals topped up with regular snacks of crisps and sweets.’
    • ‘During the morning, she munches a blueberry muffin, a packet of crisps, a sausage roll and a pizza.’
    • ‘By and large, high-salt foods such as salted meat and sausage products, salted snacks, crisps, salted nuts etc. should be avoided.’
    • ‘I got off the coach with other passengers and was about 10 yards from the coach when I had the misfortune to slip on a discarded, shiny potato crisp packet.’
    • ‘Like the rest of us, they succumb to the easy option, the crisps, the burger and chips, if it's put in front of them, but it doesn't take much to steer them on to a healthier diet.’
    • ‘Children should be encouraged to eat fewer high fat snacks such as crisps and biscuits and to avoid consuming a large proportion of total energy from sweetened drinks.’
    • ‘Only pubs that do not serve food and pubs that limit their food to snacks such as crisps will not be subject to the ban.’
    • ‘Satisfy any sugar cravings with fruit, rather than chocolates and biscuits, and try not to overindulge in cream, butter, crisps, nuts, fried and sauce-drenched foods.’
    • ‘The UK - branded crisps and snacks market is also still expanding, with healthy product ranges making a nation feel happier about its snacking habit.’
    • ‘Turn a potato into a potato crisp and you have gone from something with a tiny profit margin to a problematic foodstuff that has an enormous one.’
    • ‘Del's big weakness is chips and she likes to snack on crisps late at night.’
    • ‘Since swapping the crisps and burgers for truly delicious and healthy lunches and sourcing local produce to cook them with, 85 per cent of the children now sign up for school lunches.’
    • ‘Jane used to eat takeaways, crisps and snacks, but has now traded fatty food for a Weight Watcher's diet - low fat sandwiches and healthy but tasty dishes.’
  • 2A dessert of fruit baked with a crunchy topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour.

    ‘rhubarb crisp’
    • ‘Sharon Shipley uses the floral notes of lavender to complement berries in this delicious crisp.’
    • ‘Place apple crisp on the grill and bake as directed.’
    • ‘Next came mofongo in a timbale of mashed plantains with breadfruit crisp.’
    • ‘The lavender berry crisp on page 159 won high praise from all of us lucky enough to taste it warm from the oven.’
    • ‘Finally, when it comes to desserts, try the easy summer fruit cobblers and crisps on page 98.’


[with object]
  • 1Give (food) a crisp surface by placing it in an oven or under a grill.

    ‘crisp the pitta in the oven’
    • ‘I use it whenever I want to crisp up the outside of some bread, and it does a perfectly good job.’
    • ‘Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes to crisp the pastry.’
    • ‘Devon was evacuating because he'd crisped himself like bacon.’
    • ‘When duck is cooked, fry in a hot pan for one minute to crisp the skin.’
    • ‘He could feel the light crisping his skin, in but a few moments he would petrify like aged wood and splinter across the floor.’
    • ‘By the time we leave, the sun is a furnace blazing magnified through the windscreen, crisping my skin.’
    • ‘Maybe I could fry them at a high temperature and cook them through and crisp them up in one step.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you could prepare them ahead and reheat in the skillet just before serving, to crisp them up again.’
    • ‘Although the squid had a wonderful texture, the oil had not been hot enough to crisp the batter.’
    • ‘All that's left to do is give the confit legs a quick blast in the oven to crisp up the skin, sauté some greens and you're off.’
    • ‘Roast for about 30 minutes, basting the chicken with the pan juices 3 or 4 times, to help brown and crisp the skin.’
    • ‘Remove the foil and bake for a further five minutes to crisp the stuffing.’
    • ‘After thorough draining, they were sautéed in a light vegetable oil before baking in the oven for a few moments to crisp the outer layer.’
    • ‘Then you let the potatoes rest while you raise the heat of the oil and fry them again, briefly, to crisp up the outer surface.’
    • ‘To crisp both sides of the chicken, turn it over once midway through the cooking time.’
    • ‘Bake for a further 2 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar, to help crisp the pastry.’
    singe, sear, seal, crisp, crisp up
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    1. 1.1no object (of food) develop a crisp surface in an oven or under a grill.
      ‘open the foil so that the bread browns and crisps’
      • ‘It is studded with rustic croutons that have been crisped to a turn in butter.’
      • ‘Some specimens have skins; some exhibit a slightly glazed exterior; others are nicely crisped.’
      • ‘The intense heat drives moisture from the crust, making it crisp and filling the oven with steam.’
      • ‘I also had to leave the biscotti in the oven a lot longer than indicated so they would dry out and crisp a little more.’
      • ‘If only there were some crisped onions on top, as advertised, this dish could be a killer.’
      • ‘Mrs. Donovan caught the aroma of broiling steak, bacon crisping in a frying pan, and onion slices sautéing with fresh mushrooms in butter from where she was relaxing in the basement.’
      • ‘Add the bacon, chopped small, and when it is golden and crisping add the cream and Parmesan.’
      • ‘They are now nicely browned and crisped and just need to be plated up with some coriander, tomatoes, baby onions (which have been soaked with beetroot in white wine vinegar for a week) and drizzled with curry oil.’
      • ‘The bottoms should have just started to crisp and brown.’
      • ‘One other trick is to fill the burrito and put it on a grill until it crisps up.’
      • ‘The chicharrones pork ribs, on the other hand, were nicely crisped around the edges and touched with a purée of fresh avocado and tomatoes and cilantro.’
      • ‘Then they'll be far harder to work with and won't absorb the butter and cream, or will fail to crisp up in the oven.’
      • ‘Before serving, put the potatoes back into the hot oven to crisp, foil packet open, for 15 to 20 minutes.’
      • ‘Lay a butter paper or loose sheet of foil on top and bake for about 1 hour, removing the butter paper or foil for the last half hour to brown and crisp.’
      • ‘Even in that shaded spot it was warm and dry and the moss had crisped a little over the log they sat on.’
      • ‘Less lettuce would have worked if the lonesome anchovy had been whizzed into the dressing and the bacon crisped up before serving.’
      • ‘Brush with olive oil and grill on or under the heat, turning once after five minutes, until browned and slightly crisped on both sides.’
      • ‘Put the duck back in the oven and let it crisp up for 5 minutes or so then move to a warm dish.’
      • ‘Drain well, then dress with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, and add a poached egg, some crisped bacon or some rich chestnuts to turn it into a meal.’
      • ‘Squash the mixture down with a palette knife and cook till the bottom has browned and crisped in the butter.’
  • 2archaic Curl (something) into short, stiff, wavy folds or crinkles.

    ‘there is a cooling breeze which crisps the broad clear river’
    • ‘I stared: the fur covering the left side of his face, chest and left arm was crisped to short curls.’


  • burn something to a crisp

    • Burn something completely, leaving only a charred remnant.

      ‘it is better to cook it slowly than to burn it to a crisp’
      • ‘This thing is big enough to burn the entire earth to a crisp.’
      • ‘Most of her stuff was burnt to a crisp including the diamond.’
      • ‘The time the chicken was burnt to a crisp, or when the birthday cake collapsed will become part of your family's history - memories to be recalled with love and affection.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, when the trees were burnt to a crisp, the flames were sucked back in the center as if by a vacuum.’
      • ‘The bookshelves on the far ends of the room had been burnt to a crisp, probably in the explosion.’
      • ‘The beast's fiery breath had even scorched the woodland beyond, burning whole trees to a crisp.’
      • ‘For some reason, the Batards burnt the bread to a crisp.’
      • ‘When I emptied the chocolate into the bin the surface of the chocolate looked okay but underneath it was burnt to a crisp.’
      • ‘As for my fear of the sun, well, only an idiot will stay out in the sun until they are burnt to a crisp.’
      • ‘It seemed the toaster had something against her; everyone else could make their toast a golden brown, but when Rach put her's in, it burned it to a crisp.’
      overcook, overbake, burn, burn to a cinder, burn to a crisp
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Old English (referring to hair in the sense ‘curly’): from Latin crispus ‘curled’. Other senses may result from symbolic interpretation of the sound of the word.