verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- (of a sailing vessel) to sail in high winds under sails that would normally be furled.
- (of a power vessel) to advance at full speed in heavy weather.
- to suffer a mental or emotional breakdown.
- to crash, as in an automobile or airplane: He skidded into the telephone pole and cracked up.
- to wreck an automobile, airplane, or other vehicle.
- to laugh or to cause to laugh unrestrainedly: That story about the revolving door really cracked me up. Ed cracked up, too, when he heard it.
- to begin moving or working; start: Let's get cracking on these dirty dishes!
- to work or move more quickly.
Origin of crack
- the very instant that the sun rises
- very early in the morning
Word Origin for crack
"split, opening," 14c., from crack (v.). Meaning "try, attempt" first attested 1836, probably a hunting metaphor, from slang sense of "fire a gun." Meaning "rock cocaine" is first attested 1985. The superstition that it is bad luck to step on sidewalk cracks has been traced to c.1890. Adjectival meaning in "top-notch, superior" is slang from 1793 (e.g. a crack shot).
Past tense of crack up.
cracked up to be. Reputed to be. This expression is always used in a negative way, as in I don't think this book is all it's cracked up to be. It relies on the now obsolete use of to crack up to mean “to praise extravagantly.” It appeared in The Kentuckian: “He is not the thing he is cracked up for” (May 28, 1829). [Early 1800s]
Under the influence of crack (a form of cocaine). For example, “Who's cracked up, who's cracked out, and who's dead?” (World News Tonight, ABC-TV, May 12, 1992). [1980s]
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
- 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)