[ krey-ter ]
/ ˈkreɪ tər /


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.

verb (used without object)

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

Origin of crater

1605–15; < Latin < Greek krātḗr mixing bowl, literally, mixer, equivalent to krā- (base of kerannýnai to mix) + -tēr agentive suffix; cf. crasis

Related forms

cra·ter·al, cra·ter·ous, adjectivecra·ter·like, adjectivein·ter·cra·ter, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cratering

British Dictionary definitions for cratering (1 of 2)


/ (ˈkreɪtə) /



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

Derived Forms

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 cratering (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

Medicine definitions for cratering


[ 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.

Science definitions for cratering


[ 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.