cream of the crop, the best or choicest: a college that accepts only students who are the cream of the crop.

Origin of cream

1300–50; Middle English creme < Anglo-French, Old French cresme < Late Latin chrīsma chrism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cream

Contemporary Examples of cream

Historical Examples of cream

British Dictionary definitions for cream



  1. the fatty part of milk, which rises to the top if the milk is allowed to stand
  2. (as modifier)cream buns
anything resembling cream in consistencyshoe cream; beauty cream
the best one or most essential part of something; pickthe cream of the bunch; the cream of the joke
a soup containing cream or milkcream of chicken soup
any of various dishes, cakes, biscuits, etc, resembling or containing cream
a confection made of fondant or soft fudge, often covered in chocolate
cream sherry a full-bodied sweet sherry
  1. a yellowish-white colour
  2. (as adjective)cream wallpaper


(tr) to skim or otherwise separate the cream from (milk)
(tr) to beat (foodstuffs, esp butter and sugar) to a light creamy consistency
(intr) to form cream
(tr) to add or apply cream or any creamlike substance toto cream one's face; to cream coffee
(tr sometimes foll by off) to take away the best part of
(tr) to prepare or cook (vegetables, chicken, etc) with cream or milk
to allow (milk) to form a layer of cream on its surface or (of milk) to form such a layer
(tr) slang, mainly US, Canadian and Australian to beat thoroughly
(intr) slang (of a man) to ejaculate during orgasm
Derived Formscreamlike, adjective

Word Origin for cream

C14: from Old French cresme, from Late Latin crāmum cream, of Celtic origin; influenced by Church Latin chrisma unction, chrism
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 cream

early 14c., creyme, from Old French cresme (13c., Modern French crème) "chrism, holy oil," blend of Late Latin chrisma "ointment" (from Greek khrisma "unguent;" see chrism) and Late Latin cramum "cream," which is perhaps from Gaulish. Replaced Old English ream. Re-borrowed 19c. from French as creme. Figurative sense of "most excellent element or part" is from 1580s. Cream-cheese is from 1580s.


mid-15c., "to foam," from cream (n.). Meaning "to beat, thrash, wreck" is 1929, U.S. colloquial. Related: Creamed; creaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cream




The yellowish fatty component of unhomogenized milk that tends to accumulate at the surface.
A pharmaceutical preparation consisting of a semisolid emulsion of either the oil-in-water or the water-in-oil type, ordinarily intended for topical use.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.