Main definitions of crash in US English:

: crash1crash2



  • 1no object (of a vehicle) collide violently with an obstacle or another vehicle.

    ‘the stolen car she was riding in crashed into a tree’
    • ‘It didn't blow up, but it stopped almost instantly, and two other vehicles crashed into the back of it.’
    • ‘Officers investigating the tragedy said the car crashed into a tree and no other vehicle was involved.’
    • ‘Firefighters were called into action after a car crashed into a parked vehicle and two people were hurt.’
    • ‘Forced to slam on her own brakes as the vehicles immediately ahead crashed into the carnage, Sonya braced herself for impact.’
    • ‘Only recently a vehicle crashed into the fence at the corner of the junction.’
    • ‘High winds are thought to be responsible for a double-decker bus crashing through a barrier and into a ditch today.’
    • ‘His car had crashed into two parked vehicles, and he had been shot in the head and neck.’
    • ‘A nurse on her way to work on New Year's Eve was killed with her husband when two men driving a stolen car crashed into their vehicle.’
    • ‘I was unable to stop in time and my car crashed into the other vehicle.’
    • ‘A bus crashed into a moving train at around 1 pm, killing six people on the spot and injuring nine others.’
    • ‘Police, firefighters and paramedics who were sent to the scene were amazed that no-one was seriously hurt when a van crashed into one of the fuel pumps and set the forecourt alight.’
    • ‘Abraham injured his left knee and ankle when his motorcycle crashed into two men riding a bicycle.’
    • ‘Hundreds of holidaymakers trying to reach Heathrow Airport were left stranded when a lorry crashed into a railway bridge, spilling its contents on to the tracks below.’
    • ‘As the lorry crashed into two cars and came to a halt, Mr Whaley jumped into the cab and cut the engine, while one of his colleagues called an ambulance.’
    • ‘The soldiers' vehicle crashed into a wall after the shooting.’
    • ‘Other times, vehicles crash into the riverside railings.’
    • ‘He died after his van crashed into a rubbish truck.’
    • ‘The car crashed into a wall at the front of a house at 4.35 pm on Saturday.’
    • ‘Running a red light, the young man's car crashes into a vehicle driven by a woman.’
    • ‘The next thing I remember is a big bang when her car crashed into mine.’
    smash into, collide with, be in collision with, come into collision with, hit, strike, ram, smack into, slam into, bang into, cannon into, plough into, meet head-on, run into, drive into, bump into, knock into, crack against, crack into
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Cause (a moving object) to collide with an obstacle or another vehicle.
      • ‘A motorist had a lucky escape after crashing his car into a house and almost ending up in a pond in Southwick on Wednesday.’
      • ‘A 19-year-old man told police he had been taken at gunpoint from Manchester city centre, made to take drugs and then crashed his vehicle.’
      • ‘An army rifleman based in Warminster has been banned from driving for three months after crashing his car into a lamppost.’
      • ‘‘I crashed my bike and I didn't wear the helmet that day, so I had to stay in hospital for a week to recover,’ he recalls.’
      • ‘A popular Hampshire club cricketer died after crashing his car while double the drink-drive limit following a night out with friends.’
      • ‘As detectives closed in during an undercover operation, he crashed his car into a police vehicle.’
      • ‘A drunken motorist nearly crashed his car into a police vehicle before running away and leaving his baby lying next to the front seat.’
      • ‘If you use a mobile phone and you crash your car you are likely to be prosecuted.’
      • ‘Awakened in the night, he learned that his long-time friend had crashed his vehicle into a lamp-post, and had died with two passengers.’
      • ‘Salem Police say the man set fire to several patrol cars, then crashed his pickup truck into the Marion County Courthouse yesterday.’
      • ‘A drink-driver was caught by police after crashing his car into a garden.’
      • ‘Police are looking for information after a stolen car was crashed and abandoned into Kirkwall's Peerie Sea.’
      • ‘The four are accused of intentionally crashing their car into a motorbike, killing a teenager.’
      • ‘He crashed his motorcycle into the side of a car that swerved in front of him as he was trying to pass on a road north of Hamburg.’
      • ‘A mother who crashed her car while more than five-and-a-half times the drink drive limit has walked free from court.’
      • ‘A teenage driver killed his 16-year-old friend and then ran off after crashing a stolen car in Stanwell.’
      • ‘He jumped in fright, swerved and nearly crashed the cab.’
      • ‘They then drove across the playing pitch and crashed the stolen vehicle into the club's changing rooms.’
      • ‘My dad laughed so much he almost crashed the car.’
      • ‘Christopher died when he crashed the bike he was riding into a steel fencing chain on a car park at the back of the Reebok Stadium, Horwich, at around 7.30 pm on Sunday.’
      smash, wreck, bump
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of an aircraft) fall from the sky and violently hit the land or sea.
      ‘a jet crashed 200 yards from the school’
      • ‘But the pair were killed when the private aircraft crashed into a field at Cudham Lane South and burst into flames at about 3.40 pm.’
      • ‘The gyrocopter crashed into a cornfield at Slamleys Farm, Great Notley, near Braintree, Essex, at 5.30 pm.’
      • ‘A pilot who died when his gyroplane crashed in North Yorkshire could have lost control when the aircraft's seat worked loose, according to air accident investigators.’
      • ‘If an aircraft crashes on land it's a lot easier to establish why.’
      • ‘Police said the Pegasus microlight crashed after the pilot fell out of the aircraft but no people on the ground are reported to have been hurt.’
      • ‘A Colombian airliner has crashed in a remote mountainous area of Venezuela killing all 160 people on board.’
      • ‘Twenty-four people were feared dead yesterday after a Swiss airliner crashed in a muddy wood a few kilometres away from Zurich airport.’
      • ‘An airliner crashed in thick fog and burst into flames as it made its final approach to an airport yesterday, killing 20 of the 22 passengers and crew.’
      • ‘But in 1992, one of those helicopters crashed in the jungle.’
      • ‘For the second time in four months, a veteran aviator has walked away from his downed aircraft after crashing while landing.’
      • ‘In June, a glider crashed near Helmsley as its pilot took part in the British National Gliding Championships, hosted by the Wolds Gliding Club in Pocklington.’
      • ‘The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off, killing the defendant and injuring the plaintiff.’
      • ‘Air accident investigators were due at the isolated spot today to discover how and when the microlight crashed.’
      • ‘Divers recovered the body of a helicopter pilot yesterday after his aircraft crashed into the sea off the Brough of Birsay in the morning.’
      • ‘Witnesses said the aircraft crashed less than 60 yards from the landing strip.’
      • ‘Two company executives and three flight crew were killed when their private jet crashed shortly after take-off.’
      • ‘More than 105 people were believed dead after a Nigerian airliner crashed into a densely populated area in the northern city of Kano yesterday.’
      • ‘A man and woman from Yorkshire who died when their microlight aircraft crashed while flying home from Spain have been formally identified using DNA.’
      • ‘A passenger jet crashed on landing in Nigeria yesterday, killing at least 103 people on board - many of them schoolchildren.’
      • ‘It was assumed the aircraft had crashed into the Mediterranean Sea but a sea search failed to find any signs of the doomed aircraft, and its crew were posted missing in action.’
    3. 1.3with object Cause (an aircraft) to fall from the sky and land violently.
      • ‘At the more extreme end, some individuals and groups crash aeroplanes or blow up buildings.’
      • ‘I wasn't very good at hang-gliding, I crashed my glider, cricked my neck.’
      • ‘The fourth time he landed the aircraft, he crashed it.’
      • ‘When asked what she'd done she said she'd crashed her hang glider.’
      • ‘On his second operational flight in a Sopwith Pup, he stalled just after take off at Dunkirk and crashed the aircraft, breaking his leg and gashing his head.’
      • ‘This trainee air force pilot died last week, crashing his training aircraft while on a navigational training flight.’
      • ‘He died Aug.10, 1896, from injuries received after crashing one of his hang gliders two days earlier.’
      • ‘‘Some years ago, Mike spectacularly crashed his light aircraft, but fortunately survived,’ emails Paul.’
      • ‘Almost 3,000 people died three years ago when four hijacked airliners were crashed.’
      • ‘And a friend of mine built his own aeroplane, crashed it, fixed it and then flew it again.’
      • ‘He has crashed the aircraft and sustained serious injuries.’
      • ‘He crashes an aircraft that others might live.’
  • 2Move or cause to move with force, speed, and sudden loud noise.

    no object ‘huge waves crashed down on us’
    with object and adverbial of direction ‘she crashed down the telephone receiver’
    • ‘Attempting a vault, her right foot missed the springboard and she crashed headfirst at full speed into the horse.’
    • ‘The shore at the part we were at seems to have a kind of shelf that means the waves come in and crash against it - the noise is unbelievable particularly considering it was a gorgeous day and not a breath of wind.’
    • ‘Ashlee got hit by the water, full force, crashing her into her garage door.’
    • ‘Huge waves were yesterday crashing into Cuba's westernmost areas, with heavy rains reported to have cut off several communities.’
    • ‘The fire brigade and police took hundreds of calls as high winds brought trees, telephone and power lines crashing down and damaged buildings.’
    • ‘On the resumption J.J. Donegan crashed a well placed shot off the Killeshin post, before Dermot Allen went close to equalising.’
    • ‘One piece of ceiling crashed down in front of me in a whirl of dust.’
    • ‘Shortly after the young family ran to safety, the wall came crashing down forcing dozens of people to run from neighbouring houses and works.’
    • ‘She watched the waves crash down onto the shore as the sun set, and she smiled.’
    • ‘I sat on a bench for a good 15 minutes wondering if I might be soaked to the skin any minute while I watched the waves crashing and listened to the noise of them rushing up and down the pebble beach.’
    • ‘Moments later John Varley was on the end of a move to crash the ball into the roof of the net to level the scores.’
    • ‘In Cuba, huge waves crashed into Havana, swamping neighborhoods up to four blocks inland with floodwaters reaching up to nearly a meter in some places.’
    • ‘I gasped when I saw the ocean crashing against the shore in the distance.’
    • ‘In retaliation, the little girl knocks over the entire table, sending the game and its pieces crashing to the floor.’
    • ‘The cup wobbled, then crashed to the floor with a tinkle of glass.’
    • ‘He then crashed onto the floor and started laughing again.’
    • ‘At high tide, waves crashed over sea walls in coastal towns.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire landscape photographer Joe Cornish has a particular fondness for his picture of waves crashing over Whitby pier during a winter storm.’
    • ‘Winds of 120 mph and drenching rain tore off rooftops, hurled debris through the air and sent huge waves crashing into buildings.’
    • ‘The waves crashed against the shore and the air smelt of salt and see breeze.’
    • ‘When I was 4 I was at the beach just chilling on an inner tube and a huge wave crashed down on me and flipped me over.’
    • ‘I sit and listen to the waves as they crash against the rocks.’
    • ‘The ocean sent winds in from both sides as waves crashed violently against the rocky cliffs.’
    • ‘They hear a loud noise (Andrew crashing the keys on his piano) and run away.’
    be hurled, dash
    slam, bang, ram, smack
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no object Make a sudden loud, deep noise.
      ‘the thunder crashed’
      • ‘The winds blew hard, and the thunder crashed in the midst of the howling.’
      • ‘Outside, thunder crashed, though there were few clouds in the day sky.’
      • ‘As they made their way towards the pub on the corner the thunder crashed again, almost overhead this time and the rain lashed down harder than before, causing the couple to break into a run.’
      • ‘The game thundered along at a stunning pace as waves of noise crashed down from the stands.’
      • ‘Then the heavens opened, Hades bellowed, the thunder crashed, the water splashed, and a wall of rain came at us.’
      • ‘In a rare moment in the Arizona desert it poured, thunder crashed, and lighting flashed.’
      • ‘The thunder and lightning boomed and crashed above them for a while and then it started to rain.’
      • ‘Thunder crashed again as another bolt of lightning lit up the dark sky.’
      • ‘It was now raining pretty hard, and thunder was crashing loudly above the house.’
      • ‘Lightning flashed outside, and thunder crashed through the house.’
      • ‘People shrieked when the thunder crashed loudly and the rain began to pour.’
      • ‘They could hear the heavy rain pounding down on the rooftop and the thunder crashing.’
      • ‘The thunder crashes outside, and the windows blow open.’
      • ‘Daisy woke the next morning to an empty living room and the sound of thunder crashing outside her house.’
      • ‘Thunder crashes above my head, I jump in slight fright, but reassure myself and keep walking.’
      • ‘The wind howled and thunder crashed, disrupting his thoughts.’
      • ‘I once heard Mahler's Resurrection Symphony on a vertical Alpine train as a thunderstorm crashed all around.’
      • ‘The thunder crashed once again, even louder than before.’
      • ‘Thunder crashed into the building and the lights turned off.’
      • ‘Thunder crashed, louder than ever, and he felt a flutter of fear hit his stomach.’
      boom, crack, roll, clap, explode, bang, blast, resound, reverberate, rumble, thunder, ring out, sound loudly, blare, echo, fill the air
      View synonyms
  • 3informal no object (of a business, a market, or a price) fall suddenly and disastrously in value.

    ‘silver prices crashed in early 1980’
    • ‘And just when investors thought it had run out of people to blame, it blamed its own shareholders for panicking when the shares crashed.’
    • ‘In the last upturn, too much capacity came on line at once and prices crashed.’
    • ‘The big question now is whether art prices will crash in 2002.’
    • ‘No wonder the shares crashed and pulled the rest of the market with them.’
    • ‘Share prices rose on the promise of profits and then crashed.’
    • ‘That news sent its to shares crashing below 160p.’
    • ‘Losses were racked up, the dividend was axed and the shares crashed.’
    • ‘Not long after that the dollar rose and the business crashed.’
    • ‘By March 2003, the company's share price had crashed to an all-time low of $12.40.’
    • ‘As the third world countries are largely oil importers, these bonds crash in value, increasing the cost of servicing old debt.’
    • ‘Shortly after my parents got a divorce, the business crashed, and with it, his money diminished.’
    • ‘Such a scenario would evoke the end of the last big property boom in the early 1990s, when housing prices crashed.’
    • ‘With the average Welsh house price at 7 times my wages I am fervently hoping that prices crash, as are most of my friends.’
    • ‘In 2000 she boasted a paper fortune of £40 million but after the company's share price crashed, that was cut to £9 million.’
    • ‘So, if your company's share price has crashed, you can take the money and lose nothing.’
    • ‘At the end of the decade, the business crashed with debts of £100,000.’
    • ‘I am now in my early fifties and fear that shares may crash in the year when I retire. Any suggestions?’
    • ‘Have they no fear that the housing market is about to crash, and their shares may halve in value?’
    • ‘What investors need to remember is that all companies can crash, and the value of every share can effectively go to zero.’
    • ‘Over this period, pension funds saw the value of their assets crash, since they invest largely in shares.’
    fail, collapse, fold, fold up, go under, founder, be ruined, cave in
    View synonyms
  • 4no object (of a machine, system, or software) fail suddenly.

    ‘the project was postponed because the computer crashed’
    • ‘The national air traffic control computer system crashed at 6am, and flights were being operated manually by air traffic controllers.’
    • ‘At least once a week, I'd get a panicked call from him just before lunch that the laptop had crashed.’
    • ‘My computer crashed recently and we had to buy a new one.’
    • ‘Some owners complained that their systems were crashing during game play, sometimes with error messages popping up.’
    • ‘The computer system crashes on a regular basis (I work it out to be about twice a week at the moment).’
    fail, collapse, fold, fold up, go under, founder, be ruined, cave in
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1North American (of a patient) suffer a cardiac arrest.
      • ‘I crashed on the operating table three times, but out of the grace of God, and my will to live, I fought through it.’
      • ‘Six months separated out fairly well the patients who crash versus those who do not.’
      • ‘Doctors would often have to perform on-the-spot open heart surgery if a patient crashed.’
      • ‘We were told afterwards that she crashed in theatre because of the delay previously.’
      • ‘I kept crashing in the emergency room and they had to keep shocking me.’
  • 5informal with object Enter (a party) without an invitation or permission.

    • ‘Everyone sprawled in a loose circle and he felt like an adult crashing a slumber party.’
    • ‘Nearly 3000 people are reported to have tried to crash the high society party to celebrate the marriage.’
    • ‘Backes was arrested on Saturday when he crashed a party on Pelham Boulevard that was hosted by a St. Thomas student.’
    • ‘After an unsuccessful attempt to crash the band's after party and meet their idols in person, the boys have a near death experience.’
    • ‘Both feature a young woman named Melinda crashing a dinner party.’
    • ‘They had more important things to do than crash the party.’
    • ‘I was forced to crash a birthday party on Saturday night.’
    • ‘But if you want to know, I crashed a party and met a hot girl.’
    • ‘Sometimes it feels like crashing a private party, especially where it seems like all the commenters know each other and you're not sure whether you should pipe up.’
    • ‘Alex told me that Regina tried to crash the party and there was a rumor that she brandished a gun.’
    • ‘I ended up having my very own cabin for approximately a half hour, before the party was crashed by two young Mexican women.’
    • ‘The first night we went to this club that it just felt like we were crashing a bad highschool party.’
    • ‘We crashed his party and sang until the sun came up.’
    • ‘Grounded for the evening, the two sisters sneak out and decide to crash a party.’
    • ‘I have a hunch she's going to try and crash this party too.’
    • ‘If you show up in scruffy jeans and a T-shirt they won't kick you out, but, if you are the kind to feel self-conscious, you may feel like you've crashed the wrong party.’
    • ‘A few months back I crashed a party at the offices of a Brighton firm that shares a building with Victoria Real.’
    • ‘After leaving that party, we crashed a party down the street, then headed to Chelsea, where we went to a couple bars and crashed another party.’
    • ‘To my surprise, the door was unlocked, so crashing the party was pretty easy.’
    • ‘When her expectations are sadly disappointed, she crashes a chic Montreal party and desperately tries to fit in.’
    gatecrash, come uninvited to, sneak into, slip into, invade, butt in on, intrude into, intrude on
    View synonyms
  • 6informal no object Go to sleep, especially suddenly or in an improvised setting.

    ‘I'll crash in the back of the van for a couple of hours’
    • ‘In all our years of friendship he's always forced me to crash on the couch, or put himself on the floor.’
    • ‘I crashed out as soon as I had located some painkillers.’
    • ‘We made it back to the place we were sleeping and crashed out.’
    • ‘I eventually crashed out at 2am.’
    • ‘I crashed out at about 9pm last night and slept until 5am this morning.’
    • ‘I crashed out on Phil's floor for the night and kept waking up because Phil was snoring and talking in his sleep.’
    • ‘I crashed out for about 5 hours of semi-restful sleep, being woken by the rain this morning.’
    • ‘Rory crashed in the hospital waiting room once we got there.’
    • ‘I was tired, so I crashed out on a sofa in reception.’
    • ‘After a few minutes of waiting patiently for her to awake I crash in the chair I'm sitting in from the long, tiring, confusing day.’
    • ‘Friday morning I was woken up around 3:30 by the kitty, so for the second night in a row I gave up and shut her in the bedroom and crashed out on the couch.’
    • ‘Two of them then, equally cheerily, climbed into his bed (the third crashed out on the sofa).’
    • ‘I turned around and went back to the hotel and they kept going, went up to the supermarket and got some supplies so I went back to the hotel and just crashed out straight away.’
    • ‘Ne'er do well Maggie Feller has finally been ejected from her parents' house and is forced to crash on her sister's couch.’
    • ‘Rejection swamps her, both in the workplace and in the ‘pitstop’ house in which she has been forced to crash until better times arrive.’
    • ‘Back at the hotel I crashed out, and woke in time for breakfast.’
    • ‘This afternoon I crashed out on the couch.’
    • ‘Before I finally crashed out I was semi-watching TV, and ‘Rambo: First Blood’ was on.’
    • ‘We went back home and I crashed out in my dorm room.’


  • 1A violent collision, typically of one vehicle with another or with an obstacle.

    ‘a car crash’
    • ‘Police are keen to speak to any witnesses to the collision or anyone who saw either vehicle before the crash.’
    • ‘So far this year, a total of 41 people have been killed in road crashes in North Yorkshire, compared to last year's total toll of 80.’
    • ‘Speed has been determined to be one of the most common contributing factors in vehicle crashes.’
    • ‘A soldier lost control of his Army vehicle and caused a crash, a court heard.’
    • ‘The cars run closely together in big packs, making an enormous crash nearly inevitable.’
    • ‘Additionally, 54 % of all alcohol-related fatal crashes happened on weekends.’
    • ‘A police officer was taken to hospital after the police car he was travelling in was involved in a crash with two other vehicles.’
    • ‘In the Netherlands, hundreds of vehicles were involved in crashes, but no fatalities were reported.’
    • ‘Two children and a teenager were fighting for their lives today after separate road crashes involving buses.’
    • ‘High speed crashes, often accompanied by fire or explosions, hindered identification of bodies.’
    • ‘The moment you walk away unscathed from a car crash is, I can attest, a euphoric experience.’
    • ‘Tributes were paid yesterday to young sweethearts who were killed in a horrific car crash at an accident blackspot.’
    • ‘However, the former mountain bike professional admitted afterwards it was a case of the bravest survived on a slippery circuit which saw countless crashes and numerous falls.’
    • ‘A high-speed head-on car crash claimed the lives of a teenager and two elderly women, an inquest heard.’
    • ‘It seems that the majority of vehicle crashes can be avoided by minor changes in driver behavior.’
    • ‘The accident was the latest in a string of crashes where cars have careered off the road near the green.’
    • ‘One person was killed and another six seriously injured in two crashes on the A64 yesterday.’
    • ‘The mother of a woman who died in a car crash near Scarborough today paid tribute to her loving, caring daughter.’
    • ‘A level crossing keeper has been suspended after yesterday's rail crash in Lincolnshire.’
    • ‘My parents were taken to the accident and emergency department after a car crash near the motorway.’
    accident, collision, smash, bump, car crash, car accident, road accident, traffic accident, road traffic accident, rta, multiple crash, multiple collision
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An instance of an aircraft falling from the sky to hit the land or sea.
      • ‘He survived the crash by landing in ‘the biggest sand dune in the desert.’’
      • ‘He survived 28 crashes and shot down 40 German planes in just three months in the First World War.’
      • ‘Deaths by unintentional violence were those by accidental means, such as drowning and aircraft crashes.’
      • ‘Another possibility was a crash on landing caused by failure of landing gear and brakes.’
      • ‘I don't get people who sit back and rack up the dollars, charging for interviews after they survive a plane crash.’
      • ‘They say that 70 percent of all air crashes occur during landing.’
      • ‘The outcome of a fatal accident inquiry investigating a fatal helicopter crash in Orkney has been delayed.’
      • ‘He too gave evidence at the Board of Inquiry today, telling of how he believed he was thrown from the aircraft after the crash.’
      • ‘A mother who survived a plane crash in the African bush is now helping educate a teenage girl she befriended as she recovered from her injuries.’
      • ‘Most air crashes occur when a bird hits the windshield or is inducted into the engine.’
      • ‘In the meantime, Monday's seaplane crash left many families in mourning right before Christmas.’
      • ‘In other words, he was not in charge of maneuvering the aircraft when the crash occurred.’
      • ‘The group has helped victims from more than 100 aviation crashes.’
      • ‘According to authorities in Montrose, he remains unaccounted for after his seat was ripped from the aircraft during the crash.’
      • ‘A pilot battled to avoid a plane crash as his stricken aircraft circled over Colchester’
      • ‘The fire was partially worsened by the inexperienced local fire personnel who have little or no training in aircraft crashes.’
      • ‘Well, we're going to figure out what caused a fiery plane crash in Colorado.’
      • ‘He's been gored by an elephant and survived a plane crash.’
      • ‘Jack, and 47 others, survives a plane crash on a remote Pacific island.’
      • ‘As is usual in the case of an aircraft crash, many unidentifiable small pieces of aluminum and steel also surfaced.’
  • 2A sudden loud noise as of something breaking or hitting another object.

    ‘he slammed the phone down with a crash’
    • ‘I was just dosing off the sleep when I heard a loud crash of thunder.’
    • ‘The contents of her backpack spilled out, many items breaking with a resounding crash as a result.’
    • ‘Between each crash of the waves, there was a boat zooming by.’
    • ‘She heard loud crashes coming from the room down the hall and she assumed that was where Mary was.’
    • ‘The class jumped as a loud crash echoed through the hallways.’
    • ‘Just as he was about to open his mouth to speak, there was a loud crash, followed by the screeching of the train's breaks.’
    • ‘The plates in Hailey's hands dropped with a crash on the floor.’
    • ‘I heard a loud crash as something broke against the wall.’
    • ‘Neighbours said they were woken by loud bangs and crashes.’
    • ‘Suddenly, they hear a crash of thunder and see a flicker of lightening.’
    • ‘Everyone at the table winced as they heard the bathroom door slam, and a crash as something fell.’
    • ‘As we approached I saw huge flashes of fork lightning and heard the loudest thunder crashes I have ever heard.’
    • ‘Her words were broken off abruptly by a loud crash from a room in the apartment.’
    • ‘Immediately, with a great crash, the picture fell to the floor!’
    • ‘When I heard glass break and crashes in the store downstairs, I went down the stairs to investigate.’
    • ‘James replied sharply, yelling over the crash of waves and thunder alike.’
    • ‘Still holding on to the back of my seat he fell as I pushed it back, landing on the ground with a crash as the chair fell and knocked into the table.’
    • ‘Della's reconstruction was interrupted by a loud crash of thunder.’
    • ‘A hammer flew across the basement and landed with a crash on the pile.’
    • ‘The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates.’
    bang, smash, smack, crack, boom, bump, thud, thump, slam, clunk, clonk, clash, clang
    View synonyms
  • 3A sudden disastrous drop in the value or price of something, especially shares of stock.

    ‘the crash of 1987’
    ‘a stock market crash’
    • ‘If an economic crash is to be avoided and real employment growth to be maintained, our workers need to be well educated and move us up the value chain.’
    • ‘Fears are growing of a crash in house prices amid increasing signs that sellers are being forced to accept price cuts and calculations that show housing has never been so overvalued.’
    • ‘A crash in the world price of coffee diminished government revenues and disrupted the local economy.’
    • ‘The director of Bell Lawrie White has been in the business for 35 years and has seen his fair share of market crashes but he remains touchy about the use of the term.’
    • ‘Looking to the past, housing bubbles often lead to crashes with price drops on homes that average from 25 to 30 percent.’
    • ‘We lost the farm in a land crash, and we moved onto 2 1/2 acres on the outskirts of Bettendorf, Iowa.’
    • ‘The stock market crash occurred in October of 1929.’
    • ‘The price crash has been tough on the titanium industry.’
    • ‘Canadian farmers feared the same would happen with wheat, prompting a loss of exports and a crash in prices.’
    • ‘It was the day of the stockmarket crash when we moved in and I remember we both looked at each other and thought ‘What are we doing?’’
    • ‘We are not forecasting a property crash, but house-price falls seem likely.’
    • ‘Although it is impossible to predict whether there will be a crash, property prices are unlikely to continue to rise at rates seen in the past 10 years.’
    • ‘The authorities are determined to avert a worldwide slump in share prices like the crashes of 1987 or 1929.’
    • ‘On the other hand, others are nervous about the high level of the stock market and fear that a crash of unprecedented scale is in the making.’
    • ‘One of the key triggers to a price crash is rising unemployment.’
    • ‘After the great crash of October 1987, the biggest single day drop in Wall Street history, the market took less than two years to recover the lost ground.’
    • ‘If there is a crash and the U.S. economy goes into a recession, profits will undoubtedly suffer.’
    • ‘Last summer The Economist magazine predicted a housing crash in Ireland, stating that prices could fall by as much as 20 per cent.’
    • ‘The stock market crash of October 1987 was still fresh in everyone's minds.’
    • ‘Then came the crash of the stock market - in two years, the average of the Nasdaq fell to about one-third its highest level.’
    1. 3.1 The sudden collapse of a business.
      • ‘Last night the high-flying Sydney millionaire was struggling to explain the crash of the business he built from nothing.’
      • ‘The crash of the company left 400,000 motorists without insurance cover.’
      failure, collapse, foundering, ruin, ruination
      View synonyms
  • 4A sudden failure which puts a system out of action.

    • ‘No matter how good your network is, data loss and system crashes are inevitable.’
    • ‘Most of these system crashes are caused by software incompatibilities.’
    • ‘As far as I know, there has never been a system crash.’
    • ‘Users do not need to worry about spyware, bugs, or computer crashes.’
    • ‘It is believed the fault was linked to an operation centre at West Drayton as air traffic controllers switched to a manual system during the computer crash.’


  • Done rapidly or urgently and involving a concentrated effort.

    ‘a crash course in Italian’
    • ‘The officers wanted to attend a naval conference in Berlin and were looking for a linguist who could give them a crash course in German.’
    • ‘Doing those sort of those outdoor activities, it's a bit like a crash course in getting in touch with nature.’
    • ‘Often, the recommended course isn't a crash diet but a commitment to a long-term change in eating habits.’
    • ‘A woman saved the life of her baby granddaughter only days after learning life-saving skills following a crash course in first aid at her local pub.’
    • ‘January, it's the month of crash diets and New Year's Resolutions.’
    • ‘Too lazy to read the book, I took a crash course in the films.’
    • ‘On our second meeting, Hien introduced me to her parents-in-law, and I was immediately given a crash course in Vietnamese table manners.’
    • ‘The demand, ironically made by parents as well, is for crash courses.’
    • ‘Following American advice, the Scottish experts have stressed that most obese children should not be encouraged to undergo crash diets.’
    • ‘After a crash course on the catwalk, those that measured up strutted the stuff of top African designers.’
    • ‘But he also needs to take a crash course on the history of freedom.’
    • ‘The one-on-one sessions did more than give executives a crash course on the Web.’
    • ‘At least you know where you stand with a crash diet.’
    • ‘She urged those planning to lose weight not to go on a crash diet but to eat three balanced, healthy meals each day, cut out fatty foods and take regular exercise.’
    • ‘Anyone who applies for a learners' licence has to undergo an hour-long crash course in road safety.’
    • ‘While the crash course is just for adults, for all the remaining courses, there are separate packages for adults and children.’
    • ‘After a crash course on German the night prior to the interview, Nikki was offered the internship and will travel to Sydney soon to further her study of the German language.’
    • ‘He enrolled in a crash course in Mandarin and headed to Shanghai, alone and unsure of exactly how things would work out.’
    • ‘Well I'm back on the crash diet of fruit and water again, but this time I'm determined.’
    • ‘There's still time to book onto a swimming crash course.’
    intensive, concentrated, telescoped, high-pressure, strenuous, vigorous, all-out, thorough, in-depth, all-absorbing, total-immersion, rapid, urgent
    View synonyms


  • With a sudden loud sound.

    ‘crash went the bolt’
    • ‘The elephant first tried to sleep in a crib just like your baby cousin John has - and then it went crash.’
    • ‘And as the boy was stooping over the open chest, crash went the lid down.’
    • ‘Crash went the waves on the rocks.’


  • crash and burn

    • informal Come to grief or fail spectacularly.

      • ‘She's a single mom, a child star who didn't crash and burn, and a two-time Oscar winner.’
      • ‘Was my grand plan going to crash and burn before the first-period bell had even rung?’
      • ‘What if I crash and burn, like so many other American tourists?’
      • ‘That means at some stage I'm going to crash and burn, because I really don't see it as risky.’
      • ‘And of course, it had to crash and burn because the critics didn't fawn.’
      • ‘Just as often, public careers can crash and burn.’
      • ‘Though I've seen plenty of female juvenile players pass into adulthood without serious damage, I've also seen way too many crash and burn on the threshold of maturity.’
      • ‘But high-powered competition in the online auto field has already caused some firms to crash and burn over the last few months.’
      • ‘And although I have plenty of faith in my son's ability on his chosen instrument, I felt without the time and effort put in, he'd possibly crash and burn.’
      • ‘When people realize that they can lose their social security money in the stock market, this plan will crash and burn.’


Late Middle English: imitative, perhaps partly suggested by craze and dash.




Main definitions of crash in US English:

: crash1crash2



  • A coarse plain linen, woolen, or cotton fabric, used for curtains and towels.


Early 19th century: from Russian krashenina ‘dyed coarse linen’.