Definition of crust in English:



  • 1The tough outer part of a loaf of bread.

    ‘a sandwich with the crusts cut off’
    mass noun ‘I tore off several pieces of crust from the loaf’
    • ‘Remove the crusts from the bread and cut a piece to fit the base of a one litre pudding basin or bowl.’
    • ‘The sandwiches were on white bread and every crust was cut off neatly from the edge.’
    • ‘In bread baking, you add a little bit of salt so that, instead of a lumpy, haphazard crust, you get gorgeous, round, smooth loaves.’
    • ‘She does everything but cut the crusts off his toast soldiers to go with his boiled egg.’
    • ‘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 traditional bread, especially in the northwest, is broa, a grainy corn bread with a thick crust.’
    • ‘Her accompanying garlic bread is real bread with a proper crust, spread with freshly prepared garlic butter and chopped parsley.’
    • ‘I got a very dry roll with my soup today, and caught myself removing the inner soft bread, beyond the tough crust, and rolling it up to plop into the soup.’
    • ‘It was a classic British summer tea; small smoked salmon sandwiches with the crusts cut off; tiny scones with jam and cream the size of a 10p piece and miniature strawberry tarts.’
    • ‘If done wrong it can be as bland as a slice of white bread with the crusts cut off.’
    • ‘The exterior crust is supposed to be crispy and golden brown, but this one tastes like cardboard.’
    • ‘They gave their Great Niece the red carpet treatment, cooking up a feast of scones with jam and cream, fruit cake, sponge cake, Anzac biscuits and a genteel plate of sandwiches with the crusts cut off.’
    • ‘Like always, he cut off the crust before eating it.’
    • ‘Cut the crusts away from the bread and soak the slices briefly in water, then squeeze them until almost dry.’
    • ‘The slices of thick, airy, white loaf with burnt crusts lathered in creamy butter were completely moreish.’
    • ‘And they all traipsed out for another round of triangular sandwiches with the crusts cut off and a wee cup of tea served in the best china.’
    • ‘These are made of white toast with their crusts cut off, and are filled with smoked salmon and prawn mayonnaise.’
    • ‘But the more evident marauder is pigeons, thanks to the sandwich crusts left by lunchers and the feed spread by misguided bird fanciers.’
    • ‘But it's not a roll because bread rolls have a crust and barm cakes are soft.’
    • ‘Just cut off the crusts of some slightly stale bread, and whiz the bread in a food processor.’
    outer layer, outer part, outside, exterior
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A hard, dry scrap of bread.
      ‘a kindly old woman might give her a crust’
      • ‘Others let their babies chomp down on their fingers, or offer dried crusts of bread or peeled carrot sticks (stay nearby in case of choking).’
      • ‘Before long he had me saving scraps of bacon and stray crusts.’
      • ‘No one shook with more anger than when they glimpsed a rat contentedly gnawing on a slice of carrot or crust of bread.’
      • ‘How often have restaurant forgotten that bread is part of the meal and have given their customers stale, hard crusts.’
      • ‘Who do you think is really responsible for the legions of ragged students begging for crusts of bread in Cambridge and Berkeley?’
  • 2A hardened layer, coating, or deposit on the surface of something soft.

    ‘a crust of snow’
    • ‘The great gray is extremely powerful, able to crash through thick crusts of snow to seize rodents scurrying beneath.’
    • ‘Making a judgement based on his outer crust you might assume he could be facile and lightweight in a clever kind of way.’
    • ‘Many canopy trees have protruding crowns, and light availability at the surface of the canopy crust should also differ depending on the position relative to the apex of the crown.’
    • ‘Cementitious products form a crust over the soil surface once they have set.’
    • ‘At this point, the ulcers may develop thin crusts or verrucous changes or may continuously drain serous fluid.’
    • ‘It is as if the lava from an erupting volcano had hardened into a crust just before it engulfed the neighborhood.’
    • ‘What's under threat here is simply civilization, the thin crust we lay across the seething magma of nature, including human nature.’
    • ‘I had the warm chocolate tart, with a soft crust hiding its delectable molten interior, while a chocolate sauce kept the whole mélange from being cloying.’
    • ‘A thin crust of coral is rooted in the sea bed by a fixture of limestone.’
    • ‘After a late start due to a very wet spring, a combination of more rain and a mini-heatwave baked the soil to a hard crust, capping over the seedlings and killing them.’
    • ‘The lowlands of the island are blanketed with muskeg, a type of bog up to 3 feet deep with a hard crust on top.’
    • ‘It is never more than around half a metre deep, and below it sits a hard crust of limestone, a stratum of free-draining limestone clay, then gravel and finally an enormous water table.’
    • ‘With each step, their hooves press lightly, then break through the icy crust atop the shallow snow.’
    • ‘At first it seems like we are going to make good progress because the top crust of the snow is frozen enough to hold our body weight.’
    • ‘The soil, it found, has the consistency of wet sand or clay and is covered by a thin crust… of something.’
    • ‘Lines as corny as this can have someone in the audience break into laughter, and the thin crust of magic that keeps the film afloat will fall into splinters.’
    • ‘We walked on and on, yet I felt no weariness, just a little discomfort as the filth that clung to me began to harden into a crust.’
    • ‘Despite its thin crust of moderate strength, the clay becomes much softer with depth.’
    • ‘Additional signs include itchy skin located around ears, head and neck as well as thick crusts around the outer ear and possible crusts and scales on the neck, rump and tail.’
    • ‘For example, terms exist for powdery snow, snow that fell yesterday, and snow that is soft underneath with a hard crust on top.’
    covering, layer, coating, cover, coat, sheet, thickness, film, skin
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A layer of pastry covering a pie.
      • ‘The potato was badly discoloured and the pastry crust was decidedly soggy.’
      • ‘Sometimes this was encased in a rich crust of pastry or dough similar to saffron bread, a form reminiscent of the Scottish black bun.’
      • ‘Its pastry crust speaks to a diner of infinite potential, obscuring what's within and defying conventional conceptions of identity.’
      • ‘Baked in the oven under a pastry crust and served hot with boiled potatoes and a green vegetable it's a dish fit for a king.’
      • ‘It was not lacking any salt, and the crust was superb.’
      • ‘As with the 18th century version, the dish will be finished off with a pastry crust.’
      • ‘You may already be familiar with its crispy crust pastry and mildly spiced creamy filling but now you can prepare this tasty French delicacy in your own kitchen.’
      • ‘Whether you serve a fruity deep-dish cobbler draped with a homemade pastry crust or a lush pumpkin cheesecake, keep the servings small.’
      • ‘So does the lobster pot pie, which contains an assortment of vegetables, a dose of heavy cream, plus a crumbly pastry crust.’
    2. 2.2 The outermost layer of rock of which a planet consists, especially the part of the earth above the mantle.
      ‘the earth's crust’
      • ‘Applied over time, these stresses cause the rocks of the crust to fold and fracture.’
      • ‘Oxygen is the most abundant element in the crust of the Earth.’
      • ‘The rising sea level will only be partly offset by geological changes in the crust of the earth, which are pushing up parts of the island's land mass.’
      • ‘In these areas of the Earth's crust, magmatic rocks lie only a short distance below the sea floor.’
      • ‘Magmas erupted in continental volcanic arcs typically contain components from many sources in the crust, lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere.’
      • ‘Slab pull is the theory in which subduction of the earth's crust is thought to pull the plates apart.’
      • ‘Below the crust is the mantle, a dense, hot layer of semi-solid rock approximately 2,900 km thick.’
      • ‘Also during this time, the Earth's crust cooled enough that rocks and continental plates began to form.’
      • ‘More than a hundred hotspots beneath the Earth's crust have been active during the past 10 million years.’
      • ‘It is also possible that upper mantle mafic plumes acted as a heat source for, and made some contribution to, the melting of more felsic rocks in the lower crust.’
      • ‘These seismic waves in the crust are what people feel when they experience an earthquake.’
      • ‘I am talking about the crust of the Earth moving.’
      • ‘Earth's crust essentially floats on the denser mantle that behaves as a very viscous fluid.’
      • ‘We know that around this time a huge wound opened up in the crust of the Earth; it was like a volcano only very, very much bigger.’
      • ‘These include silicon dioxide, or silica, the most abundant mineral in Earth's mantle and crust.’
      • ‘So, if there was an early origin of life on the earth one expects that anything which was living in the upper layers of the crust to have been essentially sterilised.’
      • ‘The anorthosite rock then cooled to form a solid crust above the hot, liquid mantle.’
      • ‘If the cracks extend deep enough, the seawater can come into contact with mantle rocks that underlie the crust.’
      • ‘Geochemistry generally concerns the study of the distribution and cycling of elements in the crust of the earth.’
      • ‘This will allow scientists to study Mercury's mass distribution, including variations in the thickness of its crust.’
    3. 2.3 A deposit of tartrates and other substances formed in wine aged in the bottle, especially port.
  • 3British informal A living or livelihood.

    ‘I've been earning a crust wherever I can’
    • ‘Instead, he simply he packed a bag and turfed up in France, playing part-time football and earning a crust working in a garage.’
    • ‘The challenge for a society is: how do we teach all our kids to value the future so they have a fair chance of earning a crust later on?’
    • ‘As a result of a small amount of good farming land being available and the practice of sub-dividing land up amongst sons, the pressure was on to find new ways of earning a crust.’
    • ‘It's just there's a distinction between earning a crust by playing what is ostensibly a game and picking up a salary in the black art of sell, sell, sell.’
    • ‘I don't think I'm overly busy; I'm just earning a crust, as they say.’
    • ‘The Independent reports this has led to some residents giving up the teleworking dream and earning a crust by hand-painting Christmas cards or teaching yoga.’
    • ‘Are we ready to embrace new ideas and ways of earning a crust?’
    • ‘Professional rugby is a hard way to earn a crust - and an uncertain one.’
    • ‘Most of us work very hard to earn our daily crust.’
    • ‘When the public purse snapped shut, they resorted to ever more mercenary ways of earning a crust.’
    • ‘Some celebs were actually earning a crust rather than just living it up and having it large.’
    living, livelihood, means of subsistence, income, daily bread
    View synonyms


  • 1Form into a hard outer layer.

    ‘the blisters eventually crust over’
    • ‘Mild side effects may include an unpleasant smell or taste, or irritation, crusting and bleeding in your nose, which may be especially noticeable during the winter.’
    • ‘It must be able to hold sufficient moisture, but should not crust on top as this may prevent oxygen reaching the roots.’
    • ‘After a long moment, the blood froze, crusting into dryness.’
    • ‘It allows you to hose off the horse coated in mud, top off water buckets that are crusting with ice, and clean tack and other items without your hands turning blue.’
    • ‘Larger-seeded varieties could encounter more difficulty in emergence than smaller seeded varieties, particularly in cool soil conditions or after crusting.’
    • ‘Her hair was wild, blood crusting in long scratches down the side of her face, and the left sleeve of the biker jacket was torn almost completely free.’
    • ‘This can be especially true if a hard rain after weeding causes crusting.’
    • ‘Balanced, at the other end, a teeny weeny pinwheel brioche, crusted with sugar.’
    • ‘Initially (catarrhal stage), patients present with a nonspecific rhinitis, which evolves into purulent, fetid rhinorrhea and crusting.’
    • ‘The breast is stuffed with Saskatoon berry cream cheese, then crusted with crushed pecans.’
    • ‘Infection by bacteria living on the surface of the skin can cause weeping of fluid (‘wet’ eczema) and crusting or scabbing.’
    • ‘On the opposite extreme, shallow-rooted groundcover weeds such as ground ivy and chickweed help prevent erosion and prevent soil crusting when dry.’
    • ‘That cycle of events takes around four days, but new crops of vesicles come up in waves in the first three or four days, so you can have some vesicles growing bigger while earlier ones are drying up and crusting over.’
    • ‘Fields planted ahead of the rain exhibit crusting.’
    • ‘This means a spot on the skin which crusts or scabs and fails to heal completely.’
    • ‘It can be slow to heal, can crust up and can scab for many weeks.’
    • ‘Cultivating and subsurface packing after every rain prevented the soil from crusting and maintained a protective mulch that kept the moisture from evaporating.’
    • ‘Nickel allergies cause symptoms like itching, crusting, and blisters.’
    • ‘Nutrient concentrations in liquid storage facilities become stratified due to settling and crusting.’
    • ‘More importantly, the soil moved by the water over the seed is composed of fine soil particles that are tightly packed, increasing the potential for crusting and making emergence slower and more difficult.’
    1. 1.1with object Cover with a hard outer layer.
      ‘the burns crusted his cheek’
      • ‘The boy was battered as well, scratches and bruises showing through the pajamas he wore and blood crusting the corner of his mouth.’
      • ‘Sheets of ice crusted the water, especially closer to the shore.’
      • ‘The and rain and hail came with strong winds which will crust the soil, making emergence of new plants difficult in some fields.’
      • ‘The manaesh, a slightly thicker bread crusted with sour crushed sumac and wild Armenian thyme, was pretty great too, especially when you toast it at home and have it with your coffee in the morning.’
      • ‘There is a tendency to use far too much oil in meat and vegetable stir-fries and indeed, there are too many foods that are heavily crusted and deep-fried.’
      • ‘When I got tired of that I took up fire-gazing, watching the flames crusting the coals with rosy spark edgings.’
      • ‘Posh chefs would crust the top with a blow torch but I don't trust myself with a blow torch when I've lost count of the wine I've drunk.’
      • ‘It had taken us longer than expected to make the trip back and we were both a total mess with a thick layer of dirt crusting our clothes and flowers stuck in our hair, which was probably every where by now.’
      • ‘I'm a grouchy teenager afraid to get my band t-shirt crusted with flour.’
      • ‘They crusted it really well with a salty garlic mixture.’
      • ‘He loved it when the snow started to fall, and he loved the way the ice crusted the fallen leaves like a shower of crystals.’
      • ‘Fresh fish, vegetables with their roots still crusted with dirt, red tomatoes, oranges, lemons, beans, peas, greens and salad leaves grown in the sun.’
      • ‘The blue-silver metal was cast in an ornate fashion, and white diamonds spotted with emeralds, beryls and emeralds crusted the edges of the metal.’
      • ‘The latter are four pink-centered morsels lightly crusted in flour, attended by a mix of earthy mushrooms in a translucent gold Marsala sauce.’
      • ‘Next morning the valley is crusted in frost as I find the turn-off and wind up 11 km through 135 bends, nine of them hairpins, to reach Snow Farm.’
      • ‘Harbor seals haul out in hidden coves, and the fog drifts through a grove of rare Monterey cypress, where lace lichen dangles from the branches and an orange algae crusts the trunks.’
      • ‘I stood up and after brushing away the dirt crusting my clothes followed her lead.’


Middle English: from Old French crouste, from Latin crusta ‘rind, shell, crust’.