[ krak-uhp ]
See synonyms for: crackupcrackups on

  1. a crash; collision.

  2. a breakdown in health, especially a mental breakdown.

  1. collapse or disintegration: the crackup of an alliance.

Origin of crackup

First recorded in 1850–55; noun use of verb phrase crack up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use crackup in a sentence

  • Some brave soul had hauled me out of that crack-up before the fuel tank went up in the fire.

    Highways in Hiding | George Oliver Smith
  • Nor was there a trace anywhere in a vast circle—almost a half mile they searched—from the crack-up.

    Highways in Hiding | George Oliver Smith
  • The puzzle began to go around and around in my head again, all the way back to that gleaming road and the crack-up.

    Highways in Hiding | George Oliver Smith
  • Now, it is only ignorance which causes ladies to believe that there is any necessity to 'crack up' the character of a servant.

    Some Private Views | James Payn
  • They were being drawn earthward, and all the pilot could do only delayed the inevitable crack-up.

    Voodoo Planet | Andre Norton

British Dictionary definitions for crack up

crack up

  1. (intr) to break into pieces

  2. (intr) informal to undergo a physical or mental breakdown

  1. (tr) informal to present or report, esp in glowing terms: it's not all it's cracked up to be

  2. informal, mainly US and Canadian to laugh or cause to laugh uproariously or uncontrollably

  1. informal a physical or mental breakdown

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with crackup


Suffer an emotional breakdown, become insane, as in He might crack up under the strain. This usage alludes to the result of cracking one's skull; from the early 1600s to crack alone was used in this way. [Slang; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.