Definition of crack in US English:

crack

noun

  • 1A line on the surface of something along which it has split without breaking into separate parts.

    ‘a hairline crack down the middle of the glass’
    • ‘He walked around the barracks until he found a small crack in the wall.’
    • ‘Calmer now, Jack stepped over to the window and drew a line along the crack with his bare finger.’
    • ‘The single fracture was visible as a fine crack spiralling from one facet edge all the way to the centre of the stone.’
    • ‘Its engineers have now confirmed that there are 1850 rails with hairline cracks.’
    • ‘Now I could see the cracks in the sidewalk clearly.’
    • ‘I ran my finger along the cracks in the wall as I walked.’
    • ‘When I picked the element off the floor I could see it had developed a hairline crack at the base.’
    • ‘And it takes experience to be able to differentiate natural cracks from engraved lines.’
    • ‘An apartment on the sixth floor has serious vertical cracks in its walls.’
    • ‘A hairline crack appeared in the floor, heading towards the darkness.’
    • ‘I looked down at the grey footpath, stepping over the cracks in the pavement.’
    • ‘Small hairline cracks can be repaired by simply spreading compound over them and sanding them smooth.’
    • ‘He walked, with his head down staring at the cracks in the sidewalk.’
    • ‘I noticed a small crack in the glass door.’
    • ‘He held his right hand up, looking into the cracks and creases that lined it.’
    • ‘She was satisfied to see a tiny crack begin in the corner.’
    • ‘There was plenty of light, no dust, no cracks in the ceiling, nothing.’
    • ‘It's surface was not impressive; cracks ran along the wall and the paint was slowly being peeled off by the weather.’
    • ‘She almost rejoiced when she saw a crack begin to appear in the surface of the glass.’
    • ‘I can feel the cracks in the pavement through the soles of my shoes.’
    split, fissure, crevice, break, fracture, rupture, breach, rift, cleft, slit, chink, gap, cranny, interstice
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A narrow space between two surfaces, especially ones that have broken or been moved apart.
      ‘he climbed into a crack between two rocks’
      ‘the door opened a tiny crack’
      • ‘As we follow the crack along we find more lobsters every few metres, lurking in their terraced cottages.’
      • ‘While I was checking that out, I noticed that there was a crack in the gas line, and it was leaking.’
      • ‘He described the source of the leak variously as a split or splice or crack along the length of the tube.’
      • ‘The High Judge pushed open a crack in the door, beckoning the prince to exit.’
      • ‘The most common repairs are filling cracks and repairing surface damage.’
      • ‘Evidently the shower head is leaking and has caused a crack in our ceiling.’
      • ‘It seemed safer to escape through one of the many cracks running along the base of the wall.’
      • ‘Large cracks ran up along the old wood, clearly showing its age.’
      • ‘An easy scramble led to the base of a 20 ft wall that was split by a wide crack.’
      • ‘As soon as the slightest crack was opened, the being started to move toward it.’
      • ‘I rolled over, seeing sunlight filtering through cracks in the walls.’
      • ‘Most rocks and soils are traversed by cracks along which water can flow much more easily.’
      • ‘The guards opened the slightest crack in the door enough for her to slip through and beckon her closer.’
      • ‘Glancing at the crack along the edges of his door, the light outside was brightening.’
      • ‘The terrain is easy to move over, hard mud with deep narrow cracks, easy to cross, but wide enough to hide in.’
      • ‘The hairline crack split wider as a burst of green energy shot forth through it.’
      • ‘There was not a mark of green anywhere not even between the cracks and lines.’
      • ‘Only a small source of light came in through the cracks in the ceiling.’
      • ‘He could see all the cracks and lines in them, made clear by the hot and dry sun.’
      • ‘A jagged crack shot through the ice and water gushed up in jets and spurts.’
      • ‘The mould may not yet be broken, but the crack is dramatically widening.’
      split, fissure, crevice, break, fracture, rupture, breach, rift, cleft, slit, chink, gap, cranny, interstice
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A vulnerable point; a flaw.
      ‘the company spotted a crack in their rival's defenses’
      • ‘But, when you look carefully at each tiny detail, the cracks within your soul most certainly show.’
      • ‘He wanted to find a crack, something left vulnerable between the duo.’
      • ‘UNICEF estimates that five million Thai children have fallen between the cracks of the education system.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the PSA department was not in the right hands, and by 1967, the cracks in the system had begun to show.’
      • ‘The economic weakness came on suddenly and has exposed some cracks in the financial system.’
      • ‘Cracks start appearing in Victor's near-perfect facade, cracks that are directly linked to his ambitions.’
      • ‘I've had to stop trying to look for cracks and flaws to prove that it's not as good as it seems.’
      • ‘Many fell through the cracks of the system, landing in jail or on the streets.’
      • ‘By day four the cracks were beginning to show and tiredness led to injuries.’
      • ‘They fear a major crack in the system and the consequences it will bring - not only for themselves - but the entire estate.’
      • ‘There are certain bands that have more or less fallen through the cracks of critical analysis.’
      • ‘Slight cracks began to show and Keswick grabbed a goal, scoring from close to the back post.’
      • ‘It's going to find its way through the cracks in the system.’
      • ‘His escaping further punishment could cause cracks in party unity.’
      • ‘Contempt poured from cracks in his professional facade.’
      • ‘Still, the current fiscal crisis reveals the cracks in the system's foundation.’
      • ‘Both events, both images, represented cracks in a system that can no longer exist.’
      • ‘The more rigid the character, the more you can notice the cracks in the foundation.’
      • ‘They saw the flaws and cracks in the system. [But] we have to move on and think beyond one man.’
      • ‘It's a backhanded reassurance, one that allows for cracks of doubt in the organization's trust-us mentality.’
  • 2A sudden sharp or explosive noise.

    ‘a loud crack of thunder’
    • ‘Something hits my right arm, and I hear the crack of a broken bone.’
    • ‘She landed with a loud thud and a crack came from her ankle.’
    • ‘There was a crack, louder than the sound of her wrists snapping, then a thud.’
    • ‘A loud crack was heard above the cheering in the packed pub and 47-year-old Paul let out a yelp.’
    • ‘Nothing penetrated the silence except for the occasional crack of a twig or the rustle of leaves.’
    • ‘Nick heard the crack of his bone splintering as a searing pain shot through his face.’
    • ‘The sharp crack of their rifles echoes through the humid Georgia night, evoking cries of alarm and warning from the encampment ahead.’
    • ‘A thunder crack sounded and the rain started to come down.’
    • ‘As they lay there, another crack of a twig came from across the cave.’
    • ‘Lightning lit the summer sky, quickly followed by a deafening crack of thunder.’
    • ‘Suddenly, he heard a loud crack of thunder.’
    • ‘Soon great swathes of the countryside were closed off, and the emptiness echoed to the crack of gunfire as animals, many of them healthy, were slaughtered.’
    • ‘She was thrown through the air and hit the pavement with a sickening crack.’
    • ‘Lightning flashed again outside, followed quickly by a loud crack of thunder.’
    • ‘I'll miss the sound of the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd.’
    • ‘"Do you think… " another crack echoed around the room as Suze continued.’
    • ‘Five minutes later, Veronica heard three loud cracks of gunfire.’
    • ‘The explosive crack of a bullwhip can frighten cattle into a pen and even keep lions and tigers at bay.’
    • ‘He winced when a twig snapped with a loud crack beneath his foot.’
    • ‘A sickening crack echoed through the air and I felt my stomach lurch.’
    bang, report, explosion, detonation, clap, pop, snap, crackle, knock, tap, clash, crash, smash, smack
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A sharp blow, especially one that makes a noise.
      ‘she gave the thief a crack over the head with her rolling pin’
      • ‘My dad would get the report from our mother, make his way into our room, take off his belt, and deliver the requisite number of cracks.’
      • ‘What Montgomery conceived was a one-two punch, a British blow followed by an American crack.’
      blow, bang, hit, punch, knock, thump, rap, bump, thwack, smack, slap, welt, cuff, box
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A sudden harshness or change in pitch in a person's voice.
      ‘the boy's voice had an uncertain crack in it’
      • ‘He was inwardly cringing at the slight crack in his voice.’
      • ‘In the confidence she tried to show with her sentence, her voice made the faintest crack.’
      • ‘She contended in a defiant whisper just above the crack in her voice.’
      • ‘Singing in English at the impossibly low volumes she favors, syllables are often lost as her voice shows fine cracks.’
      • ‘I asked defiantly, trying to get rid of the crack in my voice.’
      • ‘She said it, imitating a small crack in her voice, as she had heard Tyron's voice do all too often now.’
      • ‘She smiled half-heartedly, although she clearly heard the crack in his voice.’
      • ‘He adopts a half-sob crack in the voice with monotonous repetition.’
      • ‘The message had to be delivered clearly and firmly - no cracks in the voice, no wandering eyes, no apologies.’
      • ‘‘Friends and visitors,’ the old man booms with a crack in his voice that betrays his age.’
      • ‘The bottom lip started going and there was a crack in my voice.’
  • 3informal A joke, typically a critical or unkind one.

    • ‘Englishmen walked tall through the streets, refusing to be drawn in by the traditional cracks and sneers.’
    • ‘They continued to lazily watch Stine, exchanging cracks and small jokes about the dog.’
    • ‘Nick makes a crack about her driving, she makes the shot, and the alarm goes off.’
    • ‘These gave him a chance to drop names, review an adventurous life, and get in a few cracks about the ignorant press.’
    • ‘My wife says I cannot tell a joke, but I can make off-the-cuff cracks that have been known to elicit the occasional chuckle.’
    • ‘Sure they toss cracks at so called ‘nerds’ but all in joking, nothing serious or near as intense as what they put me through.’
    • ‘When he explains that the crack about encouraging homemakers to become lawyers was a joke, she chides him about his tone.’
    • ‘He makes a further crack about his rival's empty posturing.’
    • ‘There were all sorts of cracks and jokes about diving off wardrobes etc.’
    joke, witticism, funny remark, witty remark, jest, quip, pun, sally, pleasantry, epigram, aphorism
    View synonyms
  • 4informal in singular An attempt to gain or achieve something.

    ‘I thought I had a crack at winning’
    • ‘Stefan hopes to eventually attempt both the North and South Pole and finally have a crack at Everest.’
    • ‘Because some people have come forward with an interest in writing my biography, I thought it might be no harm to have a crack at it myself.’
    • ‘I'd had a crack at reading it a couple of years ago, but never really got anywhere.’
    • ‘Latter-day biographers and armchair psychologists all had a crack at why he liked to drink so much.’
    • ‘He will be catapulted closer to his second crack at the lucrative belt.’
    • ‘Lastly, the youngsters had a crack at a 7m indoor climbing wall under the supervision of the ever-watchful PTIs.’
    • ‘He has had a crack at cinema as well, grabbing a role in a Hollywood production dubbed Jungle Boy.’
    • ‘Too often I am sent a problem far too late to do much but sympathise, and wish I could have had a crack at the trouble earlier.’
    • ‘I've had a crack at taking some more pics, some have turned out OK.’
    • ‘I've had a crack at science in all popular media and now work more in print than the medium I love most, radio.’
    • ‘I think they quite fancy having a crack at it, even if it is only for part of the tournament.’
    • ‘If you've fancied having a crack at catching a real shark, then go for the blues and don't think twice about it.’
    • ‘Having got his hands on the English title belt last year, he is chasing a crack at Scott Dann's British crown.’
    • ‘Isn't it better to have a crack at getting, like, a few, pretty-good policies in place?’
    • ‘Perhaps it's true that no story is complete until all involved have had a crack at telling it, but then again, maybe not.’
    • ‘This might have been a call to far, but I will have a crack at it.’
    • ‘Our greatest living portraitist, Lucian Freud, had a crack at it in 2001.’
    • ‘If somebody's having a crack at the nuclear program I hope they know what they're doing.’
    • ‘On Saturday, I thought I'd have a crack at repairing the shifter.’
    • ‘Two points later he had a crack at a second serve from Federer and took a big swing.’
    attempt, try, effort, endeavour, venture
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    1. 4.1 A chance to attack or compete with someone.
      ‘he wanted to have a crack at the enemy’
      • ‘I tell her, in case she wants to have a crack at us on this, that our stand is well understood and is very popular.’
      • ‘We want to do well in the Trophy and it would be great if we could get through this round and have a crack at one of the Conference clubs.’
      • ‘then you may as well have a crack at a test, if only for the heck of it.’
      • ‘‘He's dangerous,’ says Bungu, who opted to have a crack at the combative Yorkshireman.’
      • ‘Graham has even promised to throw a couple of trainer wheels on a bike for me and reckons he has a 57 year old Kiwi who would like to have a crack at me.’
      • ‘So we'll be having a crack at the gits who flout all the traffic laws that the coppers haven't got time for.’
      • ‘Previous old Labour governments had neither the clout nor the guts nor the majority to have a crack at their traditional hate-figure of the rural Tory.’
      • ‘All that has been accomplished tonight is that one party have vented their spleen by trying to have a crack at another.’
      • ‘He's back for another crack after our recent criticisms of his work.’
      opportunity, chance, say
      View synonyms
  • 5A hard, crystalline form of cocaine broken into small pieces and smoked.

    • ‘Those who test positive for heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine will be offered the opportunity to enter treatment.’
    • ‘His father drifted in and out of jail, and his mother blew welfare checks on crack.’
    • ‘He asked them to instead concentrate on heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.’
    • ‘The most popular drugs used by this group were cocaine and crack.’
    • ‘Unable to break the hold crack had on her life, she wheedled every cent she could out of the people around her.’
    • ‘How can you say that loose cocaine doesn't matter when you can't make crack without loose cocaine?’
    • ‘I have tried, time and again, but I cannot free myself from an addiction that has as firm a hold on me as heroin, cocaine or crack.’
    • ‘It will currently include, among many other substances, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, crack, LSD and ecstasy.’
    • ‘Both cocaine and crack are very addictive - and very, very dangerous.’
    • ‘Arrestees were more forthcoming with their heroin and marijuana use than they were with their crack or power cocaine use.’
    • ‘This suggested that marijuana use was not a necessary precursor to use of crack, powder cocaine, or heroin.’
    • ‘Pot dealers report that there has been no discernible increase in trafficking of the harder drugs - crack, cocaine, and heroin.’
    • ‘Cocaine and crack cocaine were used by only a small minority of women in each group.’
    • ‘He looked like a singer on crack, and pitched his unfunny jokes to an unreceptive crowd.’
    • ‘They were accused of dealing in powdered cocaine, but crack was the local drug of choice.’
    • ‘The use of cocaine and crack is also on the increase, according to the report.’
    • ‘They'd wreak havoc with all the crack in my system.’
    • ‘Basically ice is to amphetamine powder what crack is to cocaine, very powerful.’
    • ‘Connecticut is currently one of thirteen states with major crack and powder cocaine sentencing distinctions.’
    • ‘Many try to avoid this depression by smoking either more crack or heroin to calm down.’

verb

  • 1Break or cause to break without a complete separation of the parts.

    no object ‘the ice all over the lake had cracked’
    with object ‘a stone cracked the headlight glass on his car’
    • ‘Generally, stone slabs should not crack if they are laid correctly.’
    • ‘If the stone surface cracks, you need to replace the entire countertop.’
    • ‘I grasped his hands in mine, so tightly they almost cracked under the pressure.’
    • ‘To prevent glass or plastic from cracking, do not use hot water.’
    • ‘Headlights shattered and windshields cracked, the place was a disaster.’
    • ‘The glass cracked right down the middle of the photo frame.’
    • ‘Mark kicked the glass and it cracked, he kicked again breaking it.’
    • ‘The conditions here can be so dry that even the best plastic cracks and breaks after a few years.’
    • ‘I put a glass of water outside just to see what would happen; not only did it freeze within minutes, but the glass cracked as well.’
    • ‘The pavement around the Market Cross is in a dangerous condition, with paving stones cracked and worn.’
    • ‘I heard glass cracking and looked toward Emily, she was standing up.’
    • ‘All that was salvaged from the ruin was a brass barometer with its front glass cracked.’
    • ‘I thought it was broken and cracked down the middle!’
    • ‘Tile can be difficult to save as they are mostly glass and could crack and fly off in pieces.’
    • ‘A twig cracked under the weight of her boot.’
    • ‘The stone cracked some of the pathway, and another soon fell behind her, startling her slightly.’
    • ‘The town hall lost two bollards and a litter bin, railings, and a large stone pedestal has been cracked.’
    • ‘The council told him the bays would then overlap the paving stones, which would crack under the weight.’
    • ‘He punched the door with his right fist, cracking the orange tinted glass.’
    • ‘The windows of the throne room blew open with such force that the glass cracked.’
    • ‘Luckily the glass cracked and did not shatter, the door was very heavy and I was very lucky not to be hurt.’
    split, fracture, fissure, rupture, break, snap, cleave
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Break or cause to break open or apart.
      figurative ‘his face cracked into a smile’
      with object ‘she cracked an egg into the frying pan’
      no object ‘you can see how the landmasses have cracked up and moved around’
      • ‘Before his eyes, it cracked down the middle and shattered into a thousand pieces.’
      • ‘It was as if someone had cracked open an egg on the top of my head.’
      • ‘Its superstructure began to fissure and crack apart from the concentrated barrages.’
      • ‘Megan cracked open an egg and spilled its contents into a frying pan.’
      • ‘I cracked apart the wings of my cookie and slid out the fortune: Look for love where you least expect it.’
      • ‘The concrete finally cracked apart and the wigwam tipped right over.’
      • ‘One of the claws broke in the attempt to lift the submarine, and a large section of its hull cracked off and fell back to the ocean floor.’
      • ‘Gabrielle finally cracked a small sheepish smile and slid down beside him gingerly.’
      • ‘Later, when you've cracked apart that final crab claw, you see her notice you in the mirror over the lobster tank.’
      • ‘I glared at him but ended up cracking a smile.’
      • ‘The chocolate cracked like an Easter egg when the spoon went through it.’
      • ‘He laughed and I pretended to be offended, but ended up cracking a smile anyway.’
      • ‘The machine's arms lifted up, grasping it's head, rock and stone cracking and falling off in large boulders.’
      • ‘One last smash against the wall cracked apart the top of it, and a creature came into view.’
      • ‘The child whose egg stays intact while cracking everyone else's eggs wins the game.’
      • ‘Her eyes began to crack open, her consciousness returning.’
      • ‘The hot pink nail polish cracks and breaks off into my mouth.’
      • ‘I reached out to touch the one unbroken egg and as soon as my fingertip made contact it cracked open.’
      • ‘The plates continue to spread apart, the crust cracks again, another eruption of lava occurs, and another dike forms.’
      • ‘I cracked the eggs open, and started cooking them.’
    2. 1.2with object Break (wheat or corn) into coarse pieces.
      • ‘If you don't have access to a grinder to crack wheat for cereal, you can cook the wheat kernels.’
      • ‘They can churn butter, crack corn and feed it to the chickens, and tend the garden.’
      • ‘There is also a kit for a processor that can crack corn and remove seeds from cotton with simple attachments.’
    3. 1.3with object Open slightly.
      ‘gingerly, he cracks open his door’
      • ‘Quietly, Tim cracked open the door and stepped in, Robin close behind.’
      • ‘She cracked the door open slightly and listened, chuckling softly.’
      • ‘I crack my eyes open slightly, only to be greeted by an almost blinding yellow light.’
      • ‘Greatly daring, Sonia cracked open the door to peer in at its occupant.’
      • ‘Finally he screwed up his courage and crept out of bed, sneaking past his brothers and cracking open the door.’
      • ‘She was about to pull it on, when Trevor cracked open the door and called out, ‘You okay in there?’’
      • ‘Nick walked up to his parents room and cracked open the door.’
      • ‘When I cracked open the door to my English room, the lecture came to an abrupt halt and all heads turned in my direction.’
      • ‘She grabbed the wooden bucket and its rain lid and cracked open the door.’
      • ‘After Pheobe changed in her room, she cracked open her door a little.’
      • ‘I crouched down into the pilot seat and tried to gather enough courage to crack open the door.’
      • ‘Then a crescendo of Chinese erupts as the twins' mother cracks open her door.’
      • ‘He cracked open his door to see a guard patrolling.’
      • ‘Stephen recovered first and cracked open the door, peering out in the hallway.’
      • ‘I cracked open my door and peeked out making sure no one was about.’
      • ‘Quietly, she cracked open her door, looking in both directions to make sure the coast was clear.’
      • ‘She grinned as she heard the lyrics and cracked open his door.’
      • ‘Cautiously, she slipped down the stairs and cracked open the basement door.’
      • ‘He hadn't heard me as I cracked open the door and watched him gorge himself.’
      • ‘He cracked open the door, only to find that it was dark, and the TV was still on.’
    4. 1.4 Give way or cause to give way under torture, pressure, or strain.
      no object ‘the witnesses cracked and the truth came out’
      with object ‘no one can crack them—they believe their story’
      • ‘His countenance almost cracks for a moment, but he manages to hold it together against tremendous odds.’
      • ‘Many believe that the Executive have, nonetheless, created an almighty sledgehammer to crack a few bad eggs.’
      • ‘Then, with two hours work under my belt, my resolve cracked.’
      • ‘Bachelet, however, did not crack under torture.’
      • ‘Every now and then you hear stories of girls who crack under the pressure.’
      • ‘In the face of such a dual role, it could be quite easy to crack under the pressure.’
      • ‘Finally, and despite my best intentions, my will cracks.’
      • ‘Decentralised modes of industrial relations are cracking under the strain of deregulation and globalisation.’
      • ‘Certainly the most disturbing development as the crime insurgency continues is the appearance of the police cracking under strain.’
      • ‘Some had cracked under the pressure and walked out in the middle of rehearsals.’
      • ‘Perhaps most of us would crack under such pressure.’
      • ‘Better yet, imagine that it could be your arm-waving or catcalls that make a contender crack and blow his game sky-high.’
      • ‘We cracked under the pressure of the regular season.’
      • ‘‘Robust scoundrels’, although guilty, would not crack under torture.’
      • ‘Clearances were being returned instantly and, under relentless pressure, their defence cracked.’
      • ‘After his early promise first shown at the Monte Carlo Masters, he cracked under pressure.’
      • ‘A decorated Gulf War veteran, he was moulded into a killing machine, but cracked under the pressure of war.’
      • ‘Within a few years, this class fissure helped to crack apart American solidarity.’
      • ‘Even he cracked under the pressure of the kinds of policies that the National Party tried to introduce.’
      • ‘At the beginning of the summer Towey's system cracked under the strain.’
      break down, give way, cave in, crumble, collapse, go to pieces, lose control, yield, succumb, founder
      View synonyms
  • 2Make or cause to make a sudden sharp or explosive sound.

    no object ‘a shot cracked across the ridge’
    with object ‘he cracked his whip and galloped away’
    • ‘Another shot cracked through the silence, and over in the trees the birds scattered.’
    • ‘Then Stern took the reins and cracked the whip even harder.’
    • ‘Sabriel swiftly stepped forward and socked Darius soundly across the face, punching him so hard that her knuckles cracked.’
    • ‘He yawned, stretching, and there was a popping sound as his spine cracked into place.’
    • ‘When the gun shot cracked through the air, I snapped into actions right away.’
    • ‘Yashi laced his fingers together, pulling hard until his knuckles cracked.’
    • ‘She whispered something into his ear and he cracked the whip even harder so it seemed to rattle around Taira's head.’
    • ‘I was ripped from my thoughts at the sound of pebbles cracking and moving on the road… a carriage.’
    • ‘She stretches, her stiff joints snapping and cracking loudly, sounding just like a firecracker when lit.’
    • ‘The lash cracked in the air, the sharp sound waking all the slaves from their torpor.’
    • ‘There was some short guy standing on the right end of the line, cracking his knuckles trying hard to look intimidating.’
    • ‘Each sound is rendered in precise detail - bullets crack as they pass your head and thud wetly as they enter your body.’
    • ‘She scrambled up the ladder and shots cracked from guns and ricocheted off metal and pocked brick wall.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the sound of two bullets cracked through the air.’
    • ‘I wanted to slap them both so hard that my knuckle cracked as I tighten my hands in fists.’
    • ‘The sound cracked in the air every few seconds.’
    • ‘She put down her ridiculous hammer and cracked her knuckles.’
    • ‘She cracked her whip, and it hit the carrot out of its hand.’
    • ‘The shot rang out, cracking loudly and landing in an unknown spot.’
    • ‘He heard the ice cracking, the sound traveling up through the soles of his feet.’
    go bang, bang, pop, snap, crackle, crash, thud, thump, boom, ring out, clap
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no object Knock against something, making a noise on impact.
      ‘she winced as her knees cracked against metal’
      • ‘She twisted around and threw Fayer down into the ground so hard his head cracked against the pavement.’
      • ‘He may have been able to catch himself before he fell and cracked the back of his head on the hard concrete.’
      • ‘I crack my chin on the hard tiles and bite my tongue; the metallic taste of blood is in my mouth, the pain sharp and stinging.’
      • ‘She found herself falling hard, the floor cracking against her ribs and back.’
      • ‘Song's head cracked hard on the floor next to the welcome mat.’
      • ‘Maondrid cracked his head against the ground again, hard.’
      • ‘Had he not been quick to get his hand under her neck she would have cracked her skull on the hard ground.’
      • ‘She severely cracked her knee, and also gashed her jaw.’
      • ‘His toe cracked against something hard and out of place.’
      • ‘She fell back onto the sidewalk, cracking her head on the hard concrete.’
      • ‘Then something hard and cold cracked against his head causing such an explosion of light and pain behind his eyes that it nearly took him under.’
      • ‘The soft grass cushioned them, but Dusty managed to roll further than the others and crack his head against hard packed dirt.’
      • ‘His head cracked against the paving stone, and his vision exploded before his eyes.’
      • ‘I jumped a bit at the sound of her hand cracking across his cold cheek.’
      • ‘Her legs gave way and she fell, knocking the wind out of her lungs and cracking her head against the hard, tiled floor.’
      bump, bang, hit, strike
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with object Hit (someone or something) hard, making a sharp noise.
      ‘she cracked him across the forehead’
      • ‘I realised he wasn't breathing, so I turned him over face down across my arm and cracked him really hard on his back a couple of times.’
      • ‘They want to see the police ‘go in hard and crack some heads on the terraces’.’
      • ‘And that's when I cracked him again, a sucker punch that knocked the wind out of him.’
      • ‘Rory Hurley cracked home a vicious shot to give Pat's the lead.’
      • ‘While I bent down the door swung to and cracked me hard on the forehead.’
      • ‘Willie Wilson then cracked in a shot, which Reid did brilliantly to tip over the bar to deny the Fifers.’
      hit, strike, beat, thump, hammer, knock, rap, pound, thud, punch, bump, thwack, smack, slap, slam, welt, cuff, pummel, buffet, box someone's ears
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3no object (of a person's voice, especially that of an adolescent boy or a person under strain) suddenly change in pitch.
      ‘“I want to get away,” she said, her voice cracking’
      • ‘Bryson looked down and when he finally spoke, I could have sworn that I heard his voice crack.’
      • ‘Manny was surprised to hear his voice crack and feel tears at his eyes.’
      • ‘She was annoyed with herself, when she heard her voice crack miserably at the end.’
      • ‘‘Um yeah I'll be out in a minute,’ Cassie quickly answered hearing her voice crack.’
      • ‘I degraded myself for letting him catch me like that and than letting my voice crack.’
      • ‘But then why are there tears in my eyes and why did my voice crack?’
      • ‘I could swear I heard his voice crack at ‘killing’, but I refrained from going to comfort him.’
      • ‘Hannah yelled into the phone, anger making her voice crack.’
      • ‘Then, I heard her suddenly shut up and her voice crack.’
      • ‘I yelled, my voice cracking and squeaking through my panic.’
      • ‘It took every effort she had not to let her voice crack.’
      • ‘I felt my voice crack, but I continued, trying to go on without wavering, which was extremely hard.’
      • ‘I took the information from him, nervously listening to his voice crack, and called an editor.’
      • ‘I felt my voice crack with the formation of a tingling knot in my throat and I immediately fell silent.’
      • ‘The story takes Pat Williams back almost 23 years, and even now, his voice cracks and quivers over the telephone as he tells it.’
      • ‘The riffs flew effortlessly off his fingers, and he sang harmony without having his voice crack.’
      • ‘Allie whispered in instinctive response, fright clogging her throat, making her voice crack.’
      • ‘‘I need you to walk over to my house, get my car and come get me,’ I could hear my voice crack.’
      • ‘The microphones in the box were full of static, making Cameron's voice crack and differ in volume.’
      • ‘I heard his voice crack as he rocked me in his arms.’
  • 3informal with object Find a solution to; decipher or interpret.

    ‘a hacker cracked the codes used in Internet software’
    • ‘Shouldn't a code have at least 4 or 5 different figures to make it really hard to crack?’
    • ‘Otherwise, you're making it much easier for someone to crack your code.’
    • ‘The lyrical logic is hard to crack, but the record proves maddeningly infectious.’
    • ‘Most new garage door openers have built-in security codes that are hard for crooks to crack electronically.’
    • ‘We've now discovered another challenge that may be harder to crack.’
    • ‘Now, the eyes of the world are back on Durban for a conclave on another hard nut to crack: racism.’
    • ‘Certainly Chechnya is a devilish hard case to crack.’
    • ‘You'll be pleased to know that the only criteria for entry is a basic level of literacy - no codes to crack, no hard questions.’
    • ‘The crew might find cracking old cases harder than counting snowflakes in a blizzard.’
    • ‘Several complications that make work hard for the scientist/detectives trying to crack this case.’
    • ‘These views were just as hard to crack as the idea that there is no alternative to capitalism.’
    • ‘The forces had succeeded in breaking all their other codes, and it was hoped that this would prove much harder to crack.’
    • ‘The team will be hard pushed to crack this scam as the practice appears to have been arbitrary.’
    • ‘This might be a hard fact to crack, but you're growing up - and fast!’
    • ‘Well, up until this point, you would think, listening to everything that we've heard so far, that it is going to be tough to crack this person.’
    • ‘A 2048 bit key would be exponentially harder to crack.’
    • ‘In general, the longer the password and the more complicated it is, the more difficult it is for an unauthorized person to crack it.’
    • ‘It proves to be a hard case to crack, both experimentally and theoretically.’
    • ‘When they talk of ‘tradition’ the code is not hard to crack.’
    • ‘Logan had been a hard case to crack but it had been well worth it.’
    • ‘This may make it a little harder to enter your password but it makes it a lot harder for anyone else to crack it.’
    solve, find an answer to, find the answer to, find a solution to, find the solution to, resolve, work out, puzzle out, fathom, find the key to, decipher, decode, break, clear up, interpret, translate, straighten out, get to the bottom of, make head or tail of, unravel, disentangle, untangle, unfold, piece together, elucidate
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Break into (a safe).
      • ‘As she finished cracking the safe, she glanced around the office, still fighting back the feeling of unease.’
      • ‘He'll make you a safe nobody can crack.’
      • ‘Danny strolls around town, going places he shouldn't by lock-picking doors and cracking safes.’
      • ‘The robbers cracked the first safe's combination, and inside they found only a bowl of vanilla pudding.’
      • ‘On these trips Fred learned many skills such as picking locks and cracking safes.’
      • ‘A tourist attraction will invite visitors to race a motorised gondola, crack a safe and save the world by defusing a bomb.’
      • ‘They are hired to crack a safe, photograph the contents of a locked briefcase inside, and return it to the owner without him knowing.’
      • ‘Will blinked the sweat out of his eyes as he worked furiously on cracking the safe.’
      • ‘If winning a league demands a knack for cracking safe combinations then winning a cup is all about picking pockets.’
      • ‘It is extremely unlikely that he would crack a safe without leaving fingerprints.’
      • ‘She cracks safes as well as her father.’
      • ‘And, if he had to worry about beating the box, would he be able to crack the safe without zoning out?’
      • ‘Safes are just as hard to crack in a bank as they are in a house; network security products are highly dependent on their environment.’
      • ‘Police didn't get wind of the robbery until nearly midnight, six hours after the safe was cracked and cleared.’
      • ‘It takes him but two hours to crack the safe and remove its ill-gotten contents.’
      force open, break open, prise open, open without a key, break into
      View synonyms
  • 4with object Tell (a joke)

    ‘he cracked jokes which she didn't find very funny’
    • ‘We all crack jokes, we all take care of each other, we're all loving.’
    • ‘The guy doesn't even crack many jokes: these things speak for themselves.’
    • ‘Befriend them, be nice to them, tell them their hair looks nice, crack the odd risqué joke, flirt with them a little.’
    • ‘Sometimes he even cracks jokes and indulges in informal attitudes.’
    • ‘Vaughn cracks many jokes, but the bulk of the commentary is devoted to stories and behind-the-scenes tales of the film.’
    • ‘He comes in, looks around, mumbles about my wires and cracks some really bad jokes.’
    • ‘He only smiled occasionally and that's only when Darren cracked a really funny joke.’
    • ‘And there was nothing else he could do, he cracks, lest he sound too spiritual.’
    • ‘Hang on, weren't we cracking the same joke last year?’
    • ‘For example, he often cracks jokes to relieve unresolved anger, he says.’
    • ‘And even the photographer was so pleased; he even cracked a few lame jokes.’
    • ‘She sings, hosts a talk show and often cracks jokes for her audience.’
    • ‘In this theatre-dance piece, Langfelder dances, cracks jokes and zips around.’
    • ‘Stefan is volatile and often cracks bad puns, and also has a hatred of fashion.’
    • ‘He cracked a few jokes as he became comfortable with the podium.’
    • ‘She couldn't be sarcastic and crack jokes when it's not appropriate, that's just not who she is.’
    • ‘I'm just about to crack a rather forced joke to her when something over her shoulder catches my eye.’
    • ‘They didn't even crack their usual jokes as the beginning of practice.’
    • ‘He never smiles during games and what's even more surprising is that he never cracks jokes during post-match interviews.’
    • ‘Phil has a joking personality, and always cracks jokes.’
  • 5with object Decompose (hydrocarbons) by heat and pressure with or without a catalyst to produce lighter hydrocarbons, especially in oil refining.

    ‘catalytic cracking’
    • ‘Palladium catalysts are used in refining and cracking petroleum.’
    • ‘Methanol and ethanol are most commonly derived from cracking petroleum into smaller hydrocarbons.’
    • ‘During the 1930s, catalysts were introduced to promote chemical reactions during cracking.’
    • ‘Amorphous alumina-silica composites are used to crack or split hydrocarbon chains in petroleum refining.’
    • ‘One of the important reactions in oil refinement is hydrocarbon cracking.’

adjective

  • attributive Very good, especially at a specified activity or in a specified role.

    ‘he is a crack shot’
    ‘crack troops’
    • ‘But the Marines are different; they are crack troops, as trained physically as we are intellectually.’
    • ‘JBC claims to have a crack team of thorough professionals providing news from around the globe.’
    • ‘Not only are you a crack shot with a handgun, but you are also adept at the crucial placement of bear traps.’
    • ‘They are a crack unit of professionals, arguably the world's best.’
    • ‘A superb siege by sea was planned and he was given six thousand of the best Syrian crack troops to accomplish the feat.’
    • ‘He liked golf but was never much of a golfer, liked shooting but wasn't a crack shot.’
    • ‘Young criminals in West Yorkshire are to be taken to task by a crack team of professionals in a Government-funded initiative.’
    • ‘Mounted on horseback, a small team of crack troops are aware that locals know they are coming well in advance.’
    • ‘Could the Guardian's crack team of theatre experts give the show an instant makeover and turn its fortunes around?’
    • ‘He took a ride to Chicago and back just to see how that crack train ran at its new high speed.’
    • ‘She's simply inserted into the plot as a romantic device who just happens to be a crack shot at two hundred-fifty paces.’
    • ‘We are no longer the crack troops, fighting for a better and sexier tomorrow.’
    • ‘Although specializing in hand-to-hand combat, 002 was a crack shot from distance.’
    • ‘He was a crack shot with a rifle and a superb horseman.’
    • ‘A crack novice last season is the one they all have to beat.’
    • ‘Thesiger was famous in Darfur chiefly as a crack shot.’
    • ‘Conscripted into the Army, Harry was a crack shot in training and was sent to join a Lewis gun team.’
    • ‘Their crack troops would not have been so easily panicked or outwitted.’
    • ‘In one battle the unit he belonged to was to fight against crack enemy troops.’
    • ‘Every single one is a crack shot and has to maintain an accuracy rate of at least 85 percent.’
    expert, skilled, skilful, masterly, virtuoso, master, consummate, proficient, accomplished, talented, gifted, adept, adroit, deft, dexterous, able, good, competent, capable, efficient, experienced, seasoned, trained, practised
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • crack a book

    • informal Open a book and read it; study.

      • ‘If you plan on studying only one topic, getting into IT, and then never cracking a book again, you're entering the wrong field.’
      • ‘Relax in a hammock, crack a book under a tree, drink iced tea on the front porch.’
      • ‘Why do it when you can get by just as well without cracking a book?’
      • ‘Well, this looks fine for an assignment you obviously didn't bother to crack a book for.’
      • ‘You mean you haven't cracked a book since you got home?’
      • ‘I highly recommend reading the manual, but it's easy enough to get started without cracking a book.’
      • ‘Try cracking a book occasionally or move to a country where they make special accommodation for ignorant protesters such as yourself.’
      • ‘Most physics professors have never cracked a book on learning theory and don't understand different learning styles.’
      • ‘There are cheat codes to the universe, as anyone who's cracked a book on differential calculus can tell you.’
      • ‘It creates an immersive world that might actually lead some audience members to crack a book.’
  • crack of dawn

    • A time very early in the morning; daybreak.

      • ‘I would wake up early in the morning at the crack of dawn, go to Shivaji Park and watch the children play for hours.’
      • ‘We pushed it off the roundabout and back onto the A1 and reached home at the crack of dawn on Monday morning.’
      • ‘Perhaps they've been up at the crack of dawn or earlier, so they are tired.’
      • ‘Typically, he'd be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, and fly to Budapest or Barcelona or Berlin.’
      • ‘Mercy was up at the crack of dawn like an early bird to get breakfast.’
      • ‘That I have had to get up at the crack of dawn the past two mornings has not helped my mood.’
      • ‘In fact, I was at a sunrise service at the crack of dawn earlier today, service for Easter Sunday.’
      • ‘We started our journey, at the crack of dawn, as the early morning sun shone behind the morning mist.’
      • ‘Contrary to my expectations, the drivers don't have to be on the road at the crack of dawn every morning.’
      • ‘Thibault is considered the family alarm clock since he's up at the crack of dawn every blessed morning.’
      dawn, daybreak, break of day, crack of dawn, sunrise, first light, first thing in the morning, early morning, cockcrow
      View synonyms
  • crack of doom

    • A thunder peal announcing the Day of Judgment.

      • ‘His comments regarding America ‘till the crack of doom,’ told the world exactly where they stood.’
      • ‘Hammond remarked that ‘He comes off the pitch like the crack of doom.’’
      • ‘It might be the crack of doom, depending on what kind of day I had in school.’
      • ‘Here are 20 career achievements that should endure until the crack of doom.’
      • ‘Thus was Hollywood given the maniacal sense of its own importance that will continue to inflate until the crack of doom.’
  • be cracked up to be

    • informal with negativeAsserted to be (used to indicate that someone or something has been described too favorably)

      ‘life on tour is not as glamorous as it's cracked up to be’
      • ‘The venture capital market in the States is not all that it may be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘When I first bought the game I was apathetic about whether it would be everything it could be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘Plea bargains are just not what they used to be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘Not all of the offerings are all they may be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘Sometimes you think about people in high position and you hope that are everything that they are supposed to be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘Religious services and ceremonies never strike Miss Manners as being as funny as they may be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘I decide that being the boss is not all that it is suppose to be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘As far as U.K. saviours go, the band aren't what they'll surely be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘Life as a Telephone Sales Representative, surprisingly, is not all it may be cracked up to be.’
      • ‘I mean, granted the new stable BootCamp is all it's going to be cracked up to be.’
  • crack wise

    • informal Make jokes; wisecrack.

      • ‘The perfect Buffy, she manages to be the strong hero always cracking wise but never forgetting that she is a 16-year-old girl.’
      • ‘But the freedom to live involved more than cracking wise.’
      • ‘The international news is so unrelentingly grim I don't feel like cracking wise about the situation.’
      • ‘‘You know people can't hear you when you nod on the phone,’ Eric said, cracking wise.’
      • ‘You might call McNealy's approach ‘marketing by cracking wise.’’
      • ‘He cracks wise but can't hide the grimace each taste brings.’
      • ‘These are hard drinking, fun having guys and they crack wise and obnoxious throughout - just like any athlete.’
      • ‘Roz is truly one of those rare people who can crack wise and get away with it.’
      • ‘She was funny, without mugging or cracking wise.’
      • ‘You were always one to crack wise, my friend.’
  • get cracking

    • informal Act quickly and energetically.

      ‘most tickets have been snapped up, so get cracking if you want one’
      • ‘This building used to be a power station and was where Hitchcock got cracking on his early stuff.’
      • ‘Let's hope she takes her sewing kit with her and gets cracking on those curtains.’
      • ‘The sooner Mr McDowell gets cracking on his reforms the better.’
      • ‘Getting home first last night I got cracking with tea, beef burgers with pasta bolognese, delicious, honestly!’
      • ‘IT'S about time work on the Western link road got cracking.’
      • ‘Already a passable cellist, she went out, bought a Steinway, hired a teacher and got cracking on the eighty-eights.’
      • ‘If you insist on getting cracking before then, start them off in pots on a sunny windowsill.’
      • ‘As there is no alternative, they ought to get cracking right away.’
      • ‘If you can, then I expect you to get cracking on an Internet decision soon so you can reap the rewards!’
      • ‘I got bored very quickly and slipped off to the study to get cracking on the current chapter of the book.’
      be quick, hurry up, move quickly, go fast, hasten, make haste, speed, speed up, lose no time, press on, push on, run, dash, rush, hurtle, dart, race, fly, flash, shoot, streak, bolt, bound, blast, charge, chase, career, scurry, scramble, scamper, scuttle, sprint, gallop, go hell for leather, go like lightning
      View synonyms
  • fall (or slip) through the cracks

    • Be overlooked.

      ‘fatherless kids were not allowed to fall through the cracks’
      • ‘There's a lot of students who fall through the cracks.’
      • ‘My guess is that this story will fall through the cracks, but it certainly has me intrigued.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, there are going to be those who fall through the cracks, into a life of bass fishing and stockcar racing.’
      • ‘My brief is to liaise with the prosecuting authorities and make sure that the case doesn't fall through the cracks.’
      • ‘I'm not voting because I fall through the cracks and nobody will miss me, but I will not go down fighting.’
      • ‘Without them, some of our overlooked students (ESL, special needs, etc.) would fall through the cracks.’
      • ‘However, there will undoubtedly be friction in this process, and some soldiers will fall through the cracks.’
      • ‘For 11 years I've been here, patching up these people who fall through the cracks, and it hasn't been enough.’
      • ‘This is a case that the courts have let fall through the cracks through a variety of sort of technical procedural barriers.’
      • ‘Lots of good people would fall through the cracks without our assistance.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • crack down on

    • Take severe measures against.

      ‘we need to crack down hard on workplaces that break safety regulations’
      • ‘Labour has taken tough measures to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour.’
      • ‘Sydney police have promised to crack down on all such surreptitious snapping.’
      • ‘The Executive has introduced measures through the police bill to crack down on knife culture.’
      • ‘Where these are not cracked down on immediately then further, and worse, anti-social behaviour usually follows.’
      • ‘Police are cracking down on crime in Bradford and have secured reductions in the rates of burglary, robbery and car crime.’
      • ‘Its still illegal, but what this does mean is that the police are cracking down on the harder drugs, like cocaine and heroin.’
      • ‘The government has cracked down on more complex tax-avoidance schemes.’
      • ‘An Executive source said this was typical of the chaos it hoped the new commissioner would crack down on.’
      • ‘The relationship between citizens and police has changed since the police started cracking down on organized crime.’
      • ‘Effective prevention of petty crimes such as theft will enable the police to focus their efforts on cracking down on hard crime.’
      get tough on, take severe measures against, take stern measures against, clamp down on, come down heavily on
      View synonyms
  • crack up

    • 1Suffer an emotional breakdown under pressure.

      • ‘Many of us are visibly cracking up after serving two years.’
      • ‘I was short-tempered and I was cracking up a bit under the pressure of it all.’
      • ‘His stylish arthouse flick looks at three women as they crack up.’
      • ‘He left the club having exhibited signs that he was cracking up under the strain months before.’
      • ‘The guys had cracked up so hard, but I was just very traumatized.’
      • ‘‘If I had not had Diana and the children I would have cracked up and had a mental breakdown by now,’ he said.’
      break down, have a breakdown, lose control, be overcome, collapse, go to pieces, go out of one's mind, go mad, crumble, disintegrate
      View synonyms
    • 2Burst or cause to burst into laughter.

      • ‘We were laughing so hard that we just fell over cracking up, unable to control ourselves any longer.’
      • ‘He heard the whole class with the exception of her friends crack up laughing.’
      • ‘Luckily, it's hard to get too stressed when you're trying to stop yourself cracking up with laughter.’
      • ‘This time I can't hold back my laughter and I crack up.’
      • ‘Melissa narrowed her eyes and glared at the two guys, who were cracking up with laughter.’
      • ‘He shut the door in his face and led Mystie back to his room where they cracked up and collapsed on his bed.’
      • ‘Then without warning, instead of blowing up, she started cracking up in hysterical laughter.’
      • ‘Beth cracks up and falls back down onto the towel.’
      • ‘Before I knew it I was buzzed and cracking up with laughter.’
      • ‘Ancestral forms of play and laughter existed in other animals long before humans began cracking up.’
      • ‘I could tell the elder student wanted to crack up in laughter about then, but prevented himself from doing so with a mere smile.’
      • ‘Lila said and the girls started cracking up with laughter.’
      • ‘All it takes is for one person to crack up and we all collapse.’
      • ‘I really cracked up in laughter when I read the headline ‘Protest is the backbone of democracy’.’
      • ‘He cracks up into laughter, his shoulders heaving uncontrollably.’
      • ‘He blushed furiously, and Alex cracked up with laughter.’
      • ‘Kayla heard them cracking up into laughter from her spot in the kitchen.’
      • ‘Stuart standing there is too much for the security guard and he cracks up laughing.’
      • ‘Jules mouth was hanging open while Brad looked like he would burst out cracking up any moment.’
      • ‘"Oh Jesus " Alice said wearily and then cracked up laughing.’
      burst out laughing, dissolve into laughter, roar with laughter, shake with laughter, laugh uncontrollably, guffaw, be doubled up, split one's sides, hold one's sides
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English cracian ‘make an explosive noise’; of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kraken and German krachen. crack (sense 4 of the noun) is from Irish craic ‘entertaining conversation’.

Pronunciation

crack

/kræk//krak/