[ krey-ter ]
/ ˈkreɪ tər /
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verb (used with object)

to make craters in: Bombs had cratered the landscape.
  1. to cancel, abandon, or cast aside: to crater the new project.
  2. to destroy or ruin: One more disappointment won't crater me.
  3. to collapse, plunge, or fail suddenly; crash: The company’s stock has cratered 35% this year.

verb (used without object)

to form a crater or craters: The surface of the concrete cratered and cracked under the repeated impacts.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of crater

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin crātēr, from Greek krātḗr “mixing bowl,” literally, “mixer”, equivalent to krā- (base of kerannýnai “to mix”) + -tēr agent suffix; cf. crasis


cra·ter·al, cra·ter·ous, adjectivecra·ter·like, adjectivein·ter·cra·ter, adjective

Definition for crater (2 of 2)

[ krey-ter ]
/ ˈkreɪ tər /


Joseph Force [fawrs, fohrs], /fɔrs, foʊrs/, 1889–?, a judge of the New York State Supreme Court: his mysterious disappearance on August 6, 1930, has never been solved.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for crater

British Dictionary definitions for crater (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkreɪtə) /



to make or form craters in (a surface, such as the ground)
slang to fail; collapse; crash

Derived forms of crater

cratered, adjectivecraterless, adjectivecrater-like, adjective

Word Origin for crater

C17: from Latin: mixing bowl, crater, from Greek kratēr, from kerannunai to mix

British Dictionary definitions for crater (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkreɪtə) /

noun Latin genitive Crateris (ˈkreɪtərɪs)

a small faint constellation in the S hemisphere lying between Virgo and Hydra
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

Medical definitions for crater

[ krātər ]


A circular depression or pit in the surface of a tissue or body part.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for crater

[ krātər ]

A bowl-shaped depression at the top of a volcano or at the mouth of a geyser. Volcanic craters can form because of magma explosions in which a large amount of lava is thrown out from a volcano, leaving a hole, or because the roof of rock over an underground magma pool collapses after the magma has flowed away.
A shallow, bowl-shaped depression in a surface, formed by an explosion or by the impact of a body, such as a meteorite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.