adjective, crisp·er, crisp·est.

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become crisp.
to curl.


Chiefly British. potato chip.
a dessert of fruit, as apples or apricots, baked with a crunchy mixture, usually of bread crumbs, chopped nutmeats, butter, and brown sugar.

Origin of crisp

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

Synonyms for crisp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crisply

Contemporary Examples of crisply

Historical Examples of crisply

  • "There's one thing I don't understand about either of you," Alice returned, crisply.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • “Take a chair, please,” he said crisply, without looking up.

  • "I don't know what you understand, Daniels," he said, crisply.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "No one took particular pains, I should imagine," she said, crisply.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • Her tone was so crisply sarcastic that he turned in astonishment.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for crisply



dry and brittle
fresh and firmcrisp lettuce
invigorating or bracinga crisp breeze
clear; sharpcrisp reasoning
lively or stimulatingcrisp conversation
clean and orderly; neata crisp appearance
concise and pithy; tersea crisp reply
wrinkled or curlycrisp hair


to make or become crisp


British a very thin slice of potato fried and eaten cold as a snack
something that is crisp
Derived Formscrisply, adverbcrispness, noun

Word Origin for crisp

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 crisply



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with crisply


see burn to a cinder (crisp).

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