verb (used without object)
  1. to make a loud, clattering noise, as of something dashed to pieces.
  2. to break or fall to pieces with noise.
  3. (of moving vehicles, objects, etc.) to collide, especially violently and noisily.
  4. to move or go with a crash; strike with a crash.
  5. Aeronautics. to land in an abnormal manner, usually causing severe damage: The airliner crashed.
  6. to collapse or fail suddenly, as a financial enterprise: The stock market crashed.
  7. Informal. to gain admittance to a party, performance, etc., without an invitation, ticket, or permission.
  8. Slang.
    1. to sleep.
    2. to have a temporary place to sleep or live without payment: He let me crash at his house.
    3. to fall asleep: I get home in the evening and I just crash till it's time for dinner.
  9. Slang. to experience unpleasant sensations, as sudden exhaustion or depression, when a drug, especially an amphetamine, wears off.
  10. Medicine/Medical Slang. to suffer cardiac arrest.
  11. Ecology. (of a population) to decline rapidly.
  12. Computers. to shut down because of a malfunction of hardware or software.
verb (used with object)
  1. to break into pieces violently and noisily; shatter.
  2. to force or drive with violence and noise (usually followed by in, through, out, etc.).
  3. Aeronautics. to cause (an aircraft) to make a landing in an abnormal manner, usually damaging or wrecking the aircraft.
  4. Informal.
    1. to gain admittance to, even though uninvited: to crash a party.
    2. to enter without a ticket, permission, etc.: to crash the gate at a football game.
  1. a sudden loud noise, as of something being violently smashed or struck: the crash of thunder.
  2. a breaking or falling to pieces with loud noise: the sudden crash of dishes.
  3. a collision or crashing, as of automobiles, trains, etc.
  4. the shock of collision and breaking.
  5. a sudden and violent falling to ruin.
  6. a sudden general collapse of a business enterprise, prosperity, the stock market, etc.: the crash of 1929.
  7. Aeronautics. an act or instance of crashing.
  8. Ecology. a sudden, rapid decline in the size of a population.
  1. characterized by an intensive effort, especially to deal with an emergency, meet a deadline, etc.: a crash plan to house flood victims; a crash diet.

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for crash out

crash out

verb (intr, adverb) slang
    1. to go to sleep
    2. to spend the night (in a place)we crashed out at John's place
  1. to pass out
  2. informal to be eliminated from a competition in a way that brings disgrace or embarrassment


  1. to make or cause to make a loud noise as of solid objects smashing or clattering
  2. to fall or cause to fall with force, breaking in pieces with a loud noise as of solid objects smashing
  3. (intr) to break or smash in pieces with a loud noise
  4. (intr) to collapse or fail suddenlythis business is sure to crash
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. to move or cause to move violently or noisilyto crash through a barrier
  8. British informal short for gate-crash
  9. (intr) (of a computer system or program) to fail suddenly and completely because of a malfunction
  10. (intr) slang another term for crash out
  11. crash and burn informal to fail; be unsuccessful
  1. an act or instance of breaking and falling to pieces
  2. a sudden loud noisethe crash of thunder
  3. a collision, as between vehicles
  4. a sudden descent of an aircraft as a result of which it hits land or water
  5. the sudden collapse of a business, stock exchange, etc, esp one causing further financial failure
  6. (modifier)
    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
  7. 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


  1. 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 out



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