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cracking

[ krak-ing ]
/ ˈkræk ɪŋ /
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See synonyms for: cracking / crackings on Thesaurus.com

noun

(in the distillation of petroleum or the like) the process of breaking down certain hydrocarbons into simpler ones of lower boiling points by means of excess heat, distillation under pressure, etc., in order to give a greater yield of low-boiling products than could be obtained by simple distillation.Compare catalytic cracking.

adverb

extremely; unusually: We saw a cracking good match at the stadium.

adjective Informal.

done with precision; smart: A cracking salute from the honor guard.

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Idioms for cracking

    get cracking. crack (def. 54).

Origin of cracking

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at crack, -ing1, -ing2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for cracking

British Dictionary definitions for cracking

cracking
/ (ˈkrækɪŋ) /

adjective

(prenominal) informal fast; vigorous (esp in the phrase a cracking pace)
get cracking informal to start doing something quickly or do something with increased speed

adverb, adjective

British informal first-class; excellenta cracking good match

noun

the process in which molecules are cracked, esp the oil-refining process in which heavy oils are broken down into hydrocarbons of lower molecular weight by heat or catalysisSee also catalytic cracker
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

Scientific definitions for cracking

cracking
[ krăkĭng ]

The process of breaking down complex chemical compounds by heating them. Sometimes a catalyst is added to lower the amount of heat needed for the reaction. Cracking is used especially for breaking petroleum molecules into shorter molecules and to extract low-boiling fractions, such as gasoline, from petroleum. See also hydrocracking.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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