Definition of crack verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kræk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kræk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they crack
    BrE BrE//kræk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kræk//
    he / she / it cracks
    BrE BrE//kræks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kræks//
    past simple cracked
    BrE BrE//krækt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//krækt//
    past participle cracked
    BrE BrE//krækt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//krækt//
    -ing form cracking
    BrE BrE//ˈkrækɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkrækɪŋ//
    Materials and properties, Solving crime
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to break without dividing into separate parts; to break something in this way The ice cracked as I stepped onto it. crack something He has cracked a bone in his arm. Her lips were dry and cracked. See related entries: Materials and properties
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to break open or into pieces; to break something in this way + adv./prep. A chunk of the cliff had cracked off in a storm. (figurative) His face cracked into a smile. crack something to crack a nut crack something + adv./prep. She cracked an egg into the pan.
  3. hit
  4. 3[transitive] crack something/somebody (on/against something) to hit something/somebody with a short hard blow I cracked my head on the low ceiling. He cracked me on the head with a ruler.
  5. make sound
  6. 4[intransitive, transitive] to make a sharp sound; to make something do this A shot cracked across the ridge. [no passive] crack something He cracked his whip and galloped away.
  7. of voice
  8. 5[intransitive] if your voice cracks, it changes in depth, volume, etc. suddenly and in a way that you cannot control In a voice cracking with emotion, he told us of his son's death.
  9. under pressure
  10. 6[intransitive] to no longer be able to function normally because of pressure Things are terrible at work and people are cracking under the strain. They questioned him for days before he cracked. The old institutions are cracking.
  11. find solution
  12. 7[transitive] crack something to find the solution to a problem, etc; to find the way to do something difficult to crack the enemy’s code (informal) After a year in this job I think I've got it cracked!
  13. stop somebody/something
  14. 8[transitive] crack something to find a way of stopping or defeating a criminal or an enemy Police have cracked a major drugs ring. See related entries: Solving crime
  15. open bottle
  16. 9[transitive] crack (open) a bottle (informal) to open a bottle, especially of wine, and drink it
  17. a joke
  18. 10[transitive] crack a joke (informal) to tell a joke
  19. Word OriginOld English cracian ‘make an explosive noise’; of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kraken and German krachen. Sense (8) of the noun is from Irish craic ‘entertaining conversation’.Extra examples He is under a lot of pressure but is showing no signs of cracking. He thought he’d never get through the ordeal without cracking up. The dish had cracked quite badly. The stresses of her job became too great and she finally cracked. to crack down hard on crime ‘How’s the investigation going?’ ‘I think we’ve cracked it.’ A team of experts finally cracked the code. As I leapt up, I cracked my skull on a beam and passed out. He stood up suddenly, cracking his head on the low ceiling. The ice cracked as I stepped on it. The leather/​mud/​paint/​plaster had cracked. We need some more solid evidence if we’re going to crack the case.Idioms to use your authority or power to make somebody work very hard, usually by treating them in a strict way to make jokes This entertainer can crack wise with the best of them. (informal) to begin immediately and work quickly synonym get going There's a lot to be done, so let's get cracking.
    a hard/tough nut (to crack)
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    a difficult problem or situation to deal with
    not all, everything, etc. somebody’s cracked up to be
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    (informal) not as good as people say He's not nearly such a good writer as he's cracked up to be.
    use a sledgehammer to crack a nut
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    to use more force than is necessary
    Phrasal Verbscrack downcrack on (with something)crack upcrack somebody up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: crack