Origin of crash

1350–1400; 1920–25 def. 16; 1870–75 for def 22; Middle English crasche, blend of crase to break (see craze) and masche mash1
Related formscrash·er, noun

Synonyms for crash

13. smash. 21. failure, ruin.




a plain-weave fabric of rough, irregular, or lumpy yarns, for toweling, dresses, etc.
Bookbinding. starched cotton fabric used to reinforce the spine of a bound book.

Origin of crash

1805–15; probably < Russian krashenína painted or dyed coarse linen, equivalent to kráshen(yĭ) painted (past participle of krásit' to paint) + -ina noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crash

Contemporary Examples of crash

Historical Examples of crash

  • The sea is sleeping sapphire that wakes to cream and crash upon the beach.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • It fell slowly, with a crash that was like a faint echo of the explosion.

  • The reply came with a soft distinctness that was like a crash of destiny.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • To use the one rein meant a crash into the rail, and surely death.


    W. A. Fraser

  • It hung for a moment and then fell into the boat below with a crash.

British Dictionary definitions for crash




to make or cause to make a loud noise as of solid objects smashing or clattering
to fall or cause to fall with force, breaking in pieces with a loud noise as of solid objects smashing
(intr) to break or smash in pieces with a loud noise
(intr) to collapse or fail suddenlythis business is sure to crash
to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage or (of an aircraft) to hit land or water in this way
to cause (a car, etc) to collide with another car or other object or (of two or more cars) to be involved in a collision
to move or cause to move violently or noisilyto crash through a barrier
British informal short for gate-crash
(intr) (of a computer system or program) to fail suddenly and completely because of a malfunction
(intr) slang another term for crash out
crash and burn informal to fail; be unsuccessful


an act or instance of breaking and falling to pieces
a sudden loud noisethe crash of thunder
a collision, as between vehicles
a sudden descent of an aircraft as a result of which it hits land or water
the sudden collapse of a business, stock exchange, etc, esp one causing further financial failure
  1. requiring or using intensive effort and all possible resources in order to accomplish something quicklya crash programme
  2. sudden or vigorousa crash halt; a crash tackle
crash-and-burn informal a complete failure
See also crash out
Derived Formscrasher, noun

Word Origin for crash

C14: probably from crasen to smash, shatter + dasshen to strike violently, dash 1; see craze




a coarse cotton or linen cloth used for towelling, curtains, etc

Word Origin for crash

C19: from Russian krashenina coloured linen
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

Word Origin and History for crash

c.1400, crasschen "break in pieces;" with no identifiable ancestors or relatives it probably is imitative. Computing sense is 1973, which makes it one of the earliest computer jargon words. Meaning "break into a party, etc." is 1922. Slang meaning "to sleep" dates from 1943; especially from 1965. Related: Crashed; crashing.


1570s, from crash (v.); sense of "financial collapse" is from 1817, "collision" is from 1910; references to falling of airplanes are from World War I.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper