Definition of crisp in English:



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

    ‘crisp bacon’
    ‘the snow is lovely and crisp’
    • ‘For a crisp crust, brush muffins with ice water as soon as they come from the oven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 banana, wrapped with a crisp flour crust, tasted like cream.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They began to trample their way up the slopes yet again, the crisp snow crunching beneath their feet.’
    • ‘Tom and I dined together over plates of crisp bacon, toasted bread, strawberry jam, and poached eggs.’
    • ‘That and the fact that when all else fails, she spreads a dollop of honey over my slightly buttered, highly crisp slices of toast.’
    • ‘But we don't have to give up the delicious combination of creamy icing and crisp chocolate cookie.’
    • ‘Another item that caught our eye was Wykeham Rarebit - smoked applewood cheese, topped with crisp bacon and salad garnish.’
    • ‘The chunks of fish, protected by their crisp coating of ham, were succulent and tender.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the main course I had the monkfish bourguignon in a red wine sauce with crisp bacon and mushrooms.’
    • ‘Although Vollstedt's recipe is enriched with cream cheese and includes many eggs, I made a lighter version and served it with crisp bacon.’
    • ‘In frosty areas this is often adorned with a crisp coating of white crystal.’
    • ‘The clams stood plump and juicy in their shells, bathed only in a bit of garlic butter, with a crisp bacon confetti on top.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The resulting cookie is crisp at the edges and a little crumbly in the center.’
    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’
      • ‘Now we have new, fresh, crisp apples and the old apples which are supposedly mushy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cram the lumps of chicken into hot pitta bread with the spiced yoghurt and some shredded crisp lettuce.’
      • ‘More importantly, enjoy the experience of eating fresh, crisp vegetables you grew yourself!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a medium to large, red- and green-striped fruit with a crisp, juicy, sweetly tart taste.’
      • ‘The vegetables were fresh, crisp and not over-cooked and the sauce was creamy and very tasty.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘To get the most out of the crisp finish on the vegetables, add the sauce just as you serve.’
      • ‘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 crisp, juicy little tubers bring up to $40 a pound, retail, and enhance any salad, stir-fry or sauté.’
      • ‘Imagine eating a crisp, juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer's day and receiving great health benefits at the same time!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘The customers prefer this variety, as they are big, crisp and juicy,’ says Suresh, a fruit seller.’
      • ‘This extremely crisp, juicy, sweet apple has a rich flavor that has made it No.1 in taste panels.’
      • ‘Next comes a handful of crisp, chopped lettuce and fresh slices of tomato and onion.’
      • ‘The yam bean's crisp, juicy quality - and the idea of eating the tuber raw - struck the Tongans as exotic and peculiar.’
      • ‘Mix and sauté until the vegetables are cooked but crisp.’
      firm, fresh, unwilted, unwithered
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    2. 1.2 (of paper or cloth) stiff and uncreased.
      ‘£65 in crisp new notes’
      • ‘She got it out and held the neatly folded, crisp paper in her hands.’
      • ‘The crisp white paper tag hung out the back as she quickly followed Eric into the living room.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He could feel the letter's crisp paper in his coat pocket.’
      • ‘She walked away leaving the crisp notes for the next customer, which happened to be me.’
      • ‘With pen in hand, I pulled out a crisp piece of notebook paper and thought about what exactly to say to him.’
      • ‘She then holds up the crisp hundred dollar bill and smiles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Candles flickered on the well-spaced tables which were covered with crisp white linen cloths.’
      • ‘So many books piled on the shelves, glossy covers, crisp paper that had never before been read.’
      • ‘‘Here,’ she reached into his purse and shoved three crisp bills into his hand.’
      • ‘The girl's eyes widened at the sight of the crisp paper note being handed to her.’
      • ‘The dish was excellently presented on the crisp linen table cloth in plain white crockery with a Thai flower for decoration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He seated himself across from Jake and pulled a crisp sheet of parchment paper from a pile.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Firstly because he is a true competitor and, secondly, because he likes the feeling of newly-won, crisp pound notes in his pocket.’
    3. 1.3 (of hair) having tight curls.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Blonde hair crisp, and lustrous was slicked back primly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Somewhere along the line, her hands had been freed and were clinging in his crisp dark hair.’
      • ‘Perspiration binds her crisp blonde curls to her forehead and lines of mascara trail past her eyes.’
  • 2(of the weather) cool, fresh, and invigorating.

    ‘a crisp autumn day’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flavors of vegetables maturing in the cool, crisp days of autumn are often sweeter and milder than those grown during hot summer weather.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The weather this week has been crisp, cold, and clear, just like autumn should be.’
    • ‘After yesterday's cold, crisp, but sunny weather, today is utter rubbish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The weather was crisp and cool, with the smell of woodsmoke in the air.’
    • ‘On arrival the weather was crisp, clear - but very, very cold.’
    • ‘It's a beautifully crisp, alert, fresh morning.’
    • ‘The weather was crisp and fine but a cold head wind was encountered at the top end of the course.’
    • ‘Lakeisha held open the door for me, revealing a cool, crisp day outside.’
    • ‘A cool crisp breeze blew lazily through the morning air.’
    • ‘I arrived at noon, early for the afternoon flight, but with ample time to enjoy the crisp weather.’
    • ‘The summers and springs were extremely hot while the winters had crisp fall weather most of the time.’
    • ‘Practice had just ended, but the crisp weather of winter was quick to cool him down again.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The drive was absolutely beautiful, the day was crisp and cool, and for most of the drive you could see limestone hills and trees.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘The pastel colours, the detail in every scene, the crisp dialogue, are all a joy.’
    • ‘The dialogue is crisp and sharp, and the characters interesting.’
    • ‘It soon became much more, due to some crisp writing, exciting storylines, and an innovation that would become a hallmark of the series.’
    • ‘Some years ago, I was in Judge Gladys Kessler's courtroom and admired the crisp decisiveness of her judicial temperament.’
    • ‘He must adjust with quick, decisive moves and crisp passes that set up open teammates.’
    • ‘This book, like all of Rhea's works, is marked by thorough, painstaking research and crisp, lucid writing.’
    • ‘Now I'm reading A Certain Chemistry, which is fun and funny, but without that crisp precision that blows my hair back.’
    • ‘He wrote short crisp letters with a decisive position on all questions at hand.’
    • ‘The new version boasts a crisp, no-nonsense presentation that gets right down to business.’
    • ‘Matthews is a technician who lacks classic arm strength but runs the offense to perfection with crisp decisionmaking.’
    • ‘His voice was crisp and business-like, as usual, when he wasn't sneering.’
    • ‘Michaels barked, pounding out crisp sharp words that so thundered with command that even the untrained and deaf would jump to obey.’
    • ‘Lengthy news stories, usually speeches taken down verbatim in shorthand and printed in full, have given way to short and crisp reports.’
    • ‘For the next few patients I started to write what I thought was a crisp summary of our decisions.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Doss depends on short and crisp stories of social issues.’
    • ‘Carlow were quickly into their stride and with the pack dominant they surprised their opponents with some driving mauls and crisp and decisive tackling.’
    • ‘The writing is crisp, the detail and background fresh and believable.’
    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
    • ‘It is very hard to resist junk food but here we don't let anyone bring in chocolate or crisps for snacks.’
    • ‘The UK - branded crisps and snacks market is also still expanding, with healthy product ranges making a nation feel happier about its snacking habit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Found in certain brands of potato crisp, it works because the body cannot absorb it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ann's club sandwich with side salad and crisps nearly sunk her.’
    • ‘I eat masses of those chewy sweets and I love cheese and onion crisps.’
    • ‘During the morning, she munches a blueberry muffin, a packet of crisps, a sausage roll and a pizza.’
    • ‘The buffet, on the other hand, consisted of a catering-size sack of salt and vinegar crisps, some biscuits and four sausage rolls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Del's big weakness is chips and she likes to snack on crisps late at night.’
    • ‘Among the favourite snacks listed were chocolate, crisps, pastries and cakes, pies and sausage rolls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By and large, high-salt foods such as salted meat and sausage products, salted snacks, crisps, salted nuts etc. should be avoided.’
  • 2A dessert of fruit baked with a crunchy topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour.

    ‘rhubarb crisp’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sharon Shipley uses the floral notes of lavender to complement berries in this delicious crisp.’
    • ‘Finally, when it comes to desserts, try the easy summer fruit cobblers and crisps on page 98.’
    • ‘Place apple crisp on the grill and bake as directed.’


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

    ‘crisp the pitta in the oven’
    • ‘Roast for about 30 minutes, basting the chicken with the pan juices 3 or 4 times, to help brown and crisp the skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Devon was evacuating because he'd crisped himself like bacon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes to crisp the pastry.’
    • ‘Bake for a further 2 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar, to help crisp the pastry.’
    • ‘When duck is cooked, fry in a hot pan for one minute to crisp the skin.’
    • ‘I use it whenever I want to crisp up the outside of some bread, and it does a perfectly good job.’
    • ‘Remove the foil and bake for a further five minutes to crisp the stuffing.’
    • ‘He could feel the light crisping his skin, in but a few moments he would petrify like aged wood and splinter across the floor.’
    • ‘To crisp both sides of the chicken, turn it over once midway through the cooking time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although the squid had a wonderful texture, the oil had not been hot enough to crisp the batter.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you could prepare them ahead and reheat in the skillet just before serving, to crisp them up again.’
    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’
      • ‘The bottoms should have just started to crisp and brown.’
      • ‘Put the duck back in the oven and let it crisp up for 5 minutes or so then move to a warm dish.’
      • ‘It is studded with rustic croutons that have been crisped to a turn in butter.’
      • ‘Squash the mixture down with a palette knife and cook till the bottom has browned and crisped in the butter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One other trick is to fill the burrito and put it on a grill until it crisps up.’
      • ‘Add the bacon, chopped small, and when it is golden and crisping add the cream and Parmesan.’
      • ‘The intense heat drives moisture from the crust, making it crisp and filling the oven with steam.’
      • ‘Some specimens have skins; some exhibit a slightly glazed exterior; others are nicely crisped.’
      • ‘Less lettuce would have worked if the lonesome anchovy had been whizzed into the dressing and the bacon crisped up before serving.’
      • ‘If only there were some crisped onions on top, as advertised, this dish could be a killer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before serving, put the potatoes back into the hot oven to crisp, foil packet open, for 15 to 20 minutes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Brush with olive oil and grill on or under the heat, turning once after five minutes, until browned and slightly crisped on both sides.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘For some reason, the Batards burnt the bread to a crisp.’
      • ‘The beast's fiery breath had even scorched the woodland beyond, burning whole trees 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.’
      • ‘The bookshelves on the far ends of the room had been burnt to a crisp, probably in the explosion.’
      • ‘Most of her stuff was burnt to a crisp including the diamond.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.