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[kreyz] /kreɪz/
verb (used with object), crazed, crazing.
to derange or impair the mind of; make insane:
He was crazed by jealousy.
to make small cracks on the surface of (a ceramic glaze, paint, or the like); crackle.
British Dialect. to crack.
Archaic. to weaken; impair:
to craze one's health.
Obsolete. to break; shatter.
verb (used without object), crazed, crazing.
to become insane; go mad.
to become minutely cracked, as a ceramic glaze; crackle.
  1. (of a case-hardened object) to develop reticulated surface markings; worm.
  2. (of an ingot) to develop an alligator skin as a result of being teemed into an old and worn mold.
Archaic. to fall to pieces; break.
a popular or widespread fad, fashion, etc.; mania:
the newest dance craze.
insanity; an insane condition.
a minute crack or pattern of cracks in the glaze of a ceramic object.
Obsolete. flaw; defect.
Origin of craze
1325-75; Middle English crasen to crush < Scandinavian; compare Swedish, Norwegian krasa to shatter, crush
10. vogue, mode. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for crazing
Historical Examples
  • Next he looked about him for some shelter from the scorching and crazing sunshine.

  • This is the reverse of crazing and is caused by the glaze being too large for the body.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • In the former case the crazing does not always appear at once and it grows worse upon standing.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • Have her appear like an adventuress, drawing Rafael on, tearing him from his mother's arms after crazing him with love?

    The Torrent Vicente Blasco Ibaez
  • It was all crazing him, and his nails bit into his palms as he sat there, silent and heavy-breathed.

  • But how can I believe she does when I see that it is breaking her poor heart, and crazing her brain, and killing her?

    Her Mother's Secret Emma D. E. N. Southworth
  • Rich fusible clays added to hard clays may stop the crazing, or the fusing point may be lowered by the addition of spar.

  • Hard refractory clays often remain porous and are a fruitful source of crazing and breaking.

  • crazing also occurs when both body and glaze are correctly fired but there is an inherent disagreement in expansion.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • Robertson turned swiftly in a frenzy of drink-begotten rage and crazing fear, and flung open the door.

    Thrice Armed Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for crazing


a short-lived current fashion
a wild or exaggerated enthusiasm: a craze for chestnuts
mental disturbance; insanity
to make or become mad
(ceramics, metallurgy) to develop or cause to develop a fine network of cracks
(transitive) (Brit, archaic or dialect) to break
(transitive) (archaic) to weaken
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: to break, shatter): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish krasa to shatter, ultimately of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crazing



mid-14c., crasen, craisen "to shatter," probably Germanic and perhaps ultimately from a Scandinavian source (e.g. Old Norse *krasa "shatter"), but entering English via an Old French form (cf. Modern French écraser). Original sense preserved in crazy quilt pattern and in reference to pottery glazing (1832). Mental sense perhaps comes via transferred sense of "be diseased or deformed" (mid-15c.), or it might be an image. Related: Crazed; crazing.


late 15c., "break down in health," from craze (v.) in its Middle English sense; this led to a noun sense of "mental breakdown," and by 1813 to the extension to "mania, fad," or, as The Century Dictionary (1902) defines it, "An unreasoning or capricious liking or affectation of liking, more or less sudden and temporary, and usually shared by a number of persons, especially in society, for something particular, uncommon, peculiar, or curious ...."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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