• synonyms


  1. a person or thing that crisps, corrugates, or curls.
  2. a drawer or compartment in a refrigerator for keeping lettuce, celery, and other vegetables crisp.
  3. an ovenlike appliance for restoring the crispness of crackers, cookies, etc., by dry heating.
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Origin of crisper

First recorded in 1825–35; crisp + -er1


adjective, crisp·er, crisp·est.
  1. (especially of food) hard but easily breakable; brittle: crisp toast.
  2. (especially of food) firm and fresh; not soft or wilted: a crisp leaf of lettuce.
  3. brisk; sharp; clear; decided: a crisp reply.
  4. lively; pithy; sparkling: crisp repartee.
  5. clean-cut, neat, and well-pressed; well-groomed.
  6. bracing; invigorating: crisp air.
  7. crinkled, wrinkled, or rippled, as skin or water.
  8. in small, stiff, or firm curls; curly.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become crisp.
  2. to curl.
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  1. Chiefly British. potato chip.
  2. a dessert of fruit, as apples or apricots, baked with a crunchy mixture, usually of bread crumbs, chopped nutmeats, butter, and brown sugar.
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Origin of crisp

before 900; Middle English, Old English < Latin crispus curled
Related formscrisp·ly, adverbcrisp·ness, noun


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for crisper

Historical Examples

  • I shall not miss poor Schmidt now; your touch is crisper than his!'

    Chatterbox, 1906


  • The late autumn morning was not crisper and sunnier than she.

  • The crushed ice in the glass was no cooler nor crisper than St. George's tone.

    Kennedy Square

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • And it was a crisper step that he resumed, with a face more radiant than before.

  • The air was crisper and fresher than usual, and to both of them it felt divine.

    The Free Rangers

    Joseph A. Altsheler

British Dictionary definitions for crisper


  1. a compartment in a refrigerator for storing salads, vegetables, etc, in order to keep them fresh
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  1. dry and brittle
  2. fresh and firmcrisp lettuce
  3. invigorating or bracinga crisp breeze
  4. clear; sharpcrisp reasoning
  5. lively or stimulatingcrisp conversation
  6. clean and orderly; neata crisp appearance
  7. concise and pithy; tersea crisp reply
  8. wrinkled or curlycrisp hair
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  1. to make or become crisp
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  1. British a very thin slice of potato fried and eaten cold as a snack
  2. something that is crisp
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Derived Formscrisply, adverbcrispness, noun

Word Origin

Old English, from Latin crispus curled, uneven, wrinkled
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 crisper



Old English crisp "curly," from Latin crispus "curled, wrinkled, having curly hair," from PIE root *(s)ker- "to turn, bend." It began to mean "brittle" 1520s, for obscure reasons, perhaps based on what happens to flat things when they are cooked. Figurative sense of "neat, brisk" is from 1814; perhaps a separate word. As a noun, from late 14c. Potato crisps (the British version of U.S. potato chips) is from 1929.

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late 14c., "to curl," from crisp (adj.). Meaning "to become brittle" is from 1805. Related: Crisped; crisping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with crisper


see burn to a cinder (crisp).

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.