Idioms

Origin of crack

before 1000; Middle English crak(k)en (v.), crak (noun), Old English cracian to resound; akin to German krachen, Dutch kraken (v.), and German Krach, Dutch krak (noun)
Related formscrack·a·ble, adjectivecrack·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for crack up (1 of 2)

crack up


verb (adverb)

(intr) to break into pieces
(intr) informal to undergo a physical or mental breakdown
(tr) informal to present or report, esp in glowing termsit's not all it's cracked up to be
informal, mainly US and Canadian to laugh or cause to laugh uproariously or uncontrollably

noun crackup

informal a physical or mental breakdown

British Dictionary definitions for crack up (2 of 2)

crack

/ (kræk) /

verb

noun

adjective

(prenominal) slang first-class; excellenta crack shot

Word Origin for crack

Old English cracian; related to Old High German krahhōn, Dutch kraken, Sanskrit gárjati he roars
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

Idioms and Phrases with crack up (1 of 2)

crack up


1

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]

2

Damage or wreck a vehicle or vessel. For example, I'm always afraid that I'll crack up the car.

3

Experience a crash, as in We cracked up on the freeway in the middle of the ice storm.

4

Also, crack someone up. Burst or cause to burst out laughing, as in The audience cracked up, or That joke really cracked me up. [Slang; c. 1940] Also see break up, def. 6. All of these expressions derive from crack in the sense of “break into pieces” or “collapse,” a usage dating from the late 1600s. Also see cracked up.

Idioms and Phrases with crack up (2 of 2)

crack


In addition to the idioms beginning with crack

  • crack a book
  • crack a bottle
  • crack a joke
  • crack a smile
  • crack down
  • cracked up
  • crack of dawn
  • crack the whip
  • crack up

also see:

  • by jove (cracky)
  • fall between the cracks
  • get cracking
  • hard nut to crack
  • have a crack at
  • make a crack
  • not all it's cracked up to be
  • paper over (the cracks)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.