One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large, bowl-shaped cavity in the ground or on the surface of a planet or the moon, typically one caused by an explosion or the impact of a meteorite or other celestial body.
hollow, bowl, basin, pan, hole, cavity, pocketView synonyms
- ‘The pilot ejected and there were no casualties, but the plane exploded after crashing and there is a huge crater in the ground about 60 feet deep.’
- ‘I pulled up and landed on my feet, making a huge crater in the ground.’
- ‘Two chimneys collapsed and all that remained from the two halls at the centre of the explosion was a crater 10 metres deep and 50 metres wide.’
- ‘He used his new invention to discover mountains and craters on the surface of the moon.’
- ‘As a result, the ground is littered with craters from asteroid impacts.’
- ‘Cameras arrive almost instantly at the site of car bombs that have left huge craters in the ground.’
- ‘The resulting explosion blew a crater in the middle of the street.’
- ‘The oddest thing is that the missiles, while being tremendously destructive of human life, left quite small craters in the ground.’
- ‘The blast left an enormous crater, and the impact tunneled really deep.’
- ‘The explosion produced a seven-metre-deep crater measuring 40 metres in diameter and windows were broken several kilometres from the blast site.’
- ‘The surface is covered with layers of nitrogen and water ice that are scarred by meteor craters.’
- ‘The firefight left palm and pomegranate groves smouldering, and large craters in the ground on the outskirts of the town.’
- ‘Callisto's surface is icy and has some large impact craters and basins surrounded by concentric rings.’
- ‘They typically gouge out classic, bowl-shaped craters.’
- ‘The second trailer explosion created a crater approximately 100 feet in diameter and eight feet deep.’
- ‘Recently he has been honoured with a crater on the Moon being named after him.’
- ‘A particularly large impact crater suggests that it came close to destruction in an earlier collision.’
- ‘Examples are the craters on the moon and spots on the Sun.’
- ‘Thomas hit the ground and a small crater formed under him.’
- ‘Will units leave wreckage and will explosions leave craters?’
- 1.1 A large pit or hollow forming the mouth of a volcano.
- ‘When I was in college, my geology professor told us about Lake Nyos, which had formed in a volcano crater in Cameroon, West Africa.’
- ‘Rising magma continues to build a lava dome in the crater of Mount St. Helens.’
- ‘A ‘visitor centre’ here, which is the visitor centre closest to the crater, explains how volcanoes are formed and why they erupt.’
- ‘The quakes have occurred at depths less than one mile below the lava dome within the mountain's crater.’
- ‘Other ephemeral lakes develop in volcanic craters or collapsed caldera systems.’
- ‘The photo reveals a thick layer of dust blanketing the floor and wall of the summit crater atop a tall volcano called Pavonis Mons.’
- ‘It's hit or miss as to whether you'll get a view of the volcano's sulfuric craters, because of cloud cover, fog, and haze.’
- ‘During the last several days smoke, ash and vapor have been spewing from the crater of the volcano in western Colima state.’
- ‘Much of Yellowstone National Park lies in the crater of a massive volcano, formed in a landscape-altering eruption 640,000 years ago.’
- ‘The volcano is heaping up a new lava dome in its crater, perhaps even rebuilding itself to a pre-1980 shape.’
- ‘With everything from sweeping sand dunes to craggy volcanic craters, it's undeniably dramatic.’
- ‘It is a volcanic crater with vertical cliffs rising up from the seashore.’
- ‘It looked a pleasant enough place from the ship even if, according to the guide books, it was built in the crater of an extinct volcano.’
- ‘Temperatures in the volcano's crater have been above 1,000 degrees with fresh new flowing lava.’
- ‘The biggest and the final one landed in the crater of a huge volcano.’
- ‘Picture an ancient volcano crater partly filled by a glacier.’
- ‘Anyone who makes a living jumping into volcano craters and chasing hurricanes, cyclones and tornadoes to get the best shot has got to be crazy, right?’
- ‘The Western Branch of the East African Great Rift Valley is pocketed with craters of extinct or dormant volcanoes.’
- ‘Vesuvius is a stratovolcano that grew within the breached crater of Monte Somma volcano.’
- 1.2 A cavity or hole in any surface.
- ‘Microscopic bumps and craters on the painted surface tend to attract and contain dirt.’
- ‘First, acid etching of the electrode surfaces produces tiny cavities and craters that greatly expand the surface area across which a static charge can be held.’
- ‘The goopy surface is pocked with craters where bubbles burst.’
2A large bowl used in ancient Greece for mixing wine.
dish, basin, pan, pot, crock, crucible, mortarView synonyms
- ‘There were marble craters (mixing bowls) and candelabra, statuary, busts, reliefs, column capitals and bases, and 60 to 70 marble column shafts.’
- ‘He gestured at the Greeks, who produced a crater and a pair of silver goblets.’
- ‘To judge from the scenes of drinking painted on Greek vessels, the crater stood on the floor beside the couches on which the drinkers reclined.’
1Form a crater in (the ground or a planet)‘the heavily cratered areas of the moon’‘he has the offensive power to crater the enemy's runways’
- ‘It revealed Eros to be an oddly shaped, heavily cratered object, with ridges and grooves, and covered by a million boulders, each larger than a house.’
- ‘The Centry hit the ground hard, cratering everything from the impact.’
- ‘A spectrometer on MGS revealed a large deposit of hematite in the heavily cratered highlands.’
- ‘Indeed, on closer inspection many of the heavily cratered regions showed evidence of erosion patterns that also seemed consistent with thicker atmospheric conditions in the past.’
- ‘It's not just the Earth that gets hit by objects from outer space - the moon is also a target, as evidenced by its heavily cratered surface.’
- ‘The ministry of defence stated that the bombing on 1 May had severely cratered the runway at the airport.’
- ‘But a large region of rugged highlands on the far side, as well as heavily cratered patches on the near side, are poor in both iron and thorium.’
- ‘The British Army was methodically cratering roads in border areas to limit traffic between the two jurisdictions.’
- ‘Heavily cratered terrain is the most abundant geologic unit; but one should note that there are no old, large impact basins like the ones on Rhea, Iapetus, or Callisto.’
- ‘The Shomali, once known for its grapes, is now a mine-strewn, cratered wasteland.’
- ‘Its heavily cratered surface is probably the oldest of the satellites.’
- ‘A few more days to secure and get the airport operational again (we've cratered the runways and such) and then much of our supply problem will be solved.’
- ‘Within a few more minutes monster raindrops were cratering the surface of the river.’
- ‘So the southern hemisphere is far more heavily cratered, and the south pole is four miles higher than the north.’
- ‘The heavily cratered surface seems different from other comets we've seen up close.’
- ‘The first hundred yards of the tunnel were the worst - the road was heavily cratered, and our vehicles bucked and shuddered wildly, spraying snowmelt into the blackness.’
- ‘From the border take the rutted and cratered road and keep the Kabul river on your right.’
- ‘The reds are cratered highlands, which contain few resources.’
- ‘We saw places along the shoreline where the ground was cratered, trees flung aside in broken rows.’
- ‘This shows a heavily cratered highland terrain, and is used to monitor illumination of polar areas, and long shadows cast by large crater rims.’
- 1.1no object Drop or fall suddenly and disastrously; collapse.‘oil prices have cratered by more than 50 percent’‘consumer confidence cratered in October’
Early 17th century (denoting the hollow forming the mouth of a volcano): via Latin from Greek kratēr ‘mixing-bowl’, from krasis ‘mixture’.
1A small and faint southern constellation (the Cup), between Hydra and Leo, said to represent the goblet of Apollo.
- 1.1as genitive Crateris /krāˈteris/ Used with preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in the constellation Crater.‘the star Delta Crateris’
- 1.1as genitive Crateris /krāˈteris/ Used with preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in the constellation Crater.
Latin, from Greek, ‘mixing bowl’.
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