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 crispness

Historical Examples of crispness

  • Marston spoke with the crispness of a man who had settled the matter.

  • These must be eaten as soon as they come from the oven or they lose their crispness.

    Health on the Farm

    H. F. Harris

  • They often impart a crispness to the expressions in which they occur.

  • Bobby asked, with a crispness that pleased him tremendously as he used it.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit

    George Randolph Chester

  • The man took it, felt its crispness and stowed it away in a secure pocket.

    The Blue Germ

    Martin Swayne

British Dictionary definitions for crispness



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 crispness



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 crispness


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.