See more synonyms for crate on
  1. a slatted wooden box or framework for packing, shopping, or storing fruit, furniture, glassware, crockery, etc.
  2. any completely enclosed boxlike packing or shipping case.
  3. Informal. something rickety and dilapidated, especially an automobile: They're still driving around in the old crate they bought 20 years ago.
  4. a quantity, especially of fruit, that is often packed in a crate approximately 2 × 1 × 1 foot (0.6 × 0.3 × 0.3 meters): a crate of oranges.
verb (used with object), crat·ed, crat·ing.
  1. to pack in a crate.

Origin of crate

1350–1400; 1915–20 for def 3; Middle English, obscurely akin to Latin crātis wickerwork, hurdle
Related formsre·crate, verb (used with object), re·crat·ed, re·crat·ing.un·crate, verb (used with object), un·crat·ed, un·crat·ing.un·crat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crate

box, carton, cage, case, chest, package

Examples from the Web for crate

Contemporary Examples of crate

Historical Examples of crate

  • At first she had insisted he take the crate out to his workshop.

    Weak on Square Roots

    Russell Burton

  • And he glanced at the crate that Westray was steadying with his hand on the opposite seat.

    The Nebuly Coat

    John Meade Falkner

  • All my crate iteas will gome to me now for some dime in the night.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • When they had given up, I boomed orders at them through a speaker in the crate.

    The Repairman

    Harry Harrison

  • It was from the summit of a crate of holly-wreaths that she telephoned this time.

    Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs

    Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for crate


  1. a fairly large container, usually made of wooden slats or wickerwork, used for packing, storing, or transporting goods
  2. slang an old car, aeroplane, etc
  1. (tr) to pack or place in a crate
Derived Formscrater, nouncrateful, noun

Word Origin for crate

C16: from Latin crātis wickerwork, hurdle
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 crate

"large box," 1680s, earlier "hurdle, grillwork" (late 14c.), from Latin cratis "wickerwork, lattice, kitchen-rack," or from Dutch krat "basket;" both perhaps from a common PIE root *kert- "to turn, entwine" (see hurdle (n.)).


"to put in a crate," 1871, from crate (n.). Related: Crated; crating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper