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verb (used with object)
  1. to press or squeeze with a force that destroys or deforms.
  2. to squeeze or pound into small fragments or particles, as ore, stone, etc.
  3. to force out by pressing or squeezing; extract: to crush cottonseeds in order to produce oil.
  4. to rumple; wrinkle; crease.
  5. to smooth or flatten by pressure: to crush leather.
  6. to hug or embrace forcibly or strongly: He crushed her in his arms.
  7. to destroy, subdue, or suppress utterly: to crush a revolt.
  8. to overwhelm with confusion, chagrin, or humiliation, as by argumentation or a slighting action or remark; squelch.
  9. to oppress grievously.
  10. Archaic. to finish drinking (wine, ale, etc.).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become crushed.
  2. to advance with crushing; press or crowd forcibly.
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  1. the act of crushing; state of being crushed.
  2. a great crowd: a crush of shoppers.
  3. Informal.
    1. an intense but usually short-lived infatuation.
    2. the object of such an infatuation: Who is your latest crush?
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Origin of crush

1300–50; Middle English crus-chen < Middle French cruisir < Germanic; compare Old Swedish krusa, krosa, Middle Low German krossen to crush
Related formscrush·a·ble, adjectivecrush·a·bil·i·ty, nouncrush·a·bly, adverbcrush·er, nounun·crush·a·ble, adjectiveun·crushed, adjectivewell-crushed, adjective


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Synonym study

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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for crush

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Beneath the car of this Juggernaut we must flout our judgments and crush our affections.

  • And she seemed about to crush it on the top of the stone balustrade at the edge of the platform.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • That's a kind of human feeling you don't want to crush out in a man.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • He was daily worse fed, and as the weeks went by was daily less able to crush a foe.

    The Biography of a Grizzly

    Ernest Seton-Thompson

  • Before, he had looked like a giant; now Wahb felt he could crush him with one paw.

    The Biography of a Grizzly

    Ernest Seton-Thompson

British Dictionary definitions for crush


verb (mainly tr)
  1. to press, mash, or squeeze so as to injure, break, crease, etc
  2. to break or grind (rock, ore, etc) into small particles
  3. to put down or subdue, esp by forceto crush a rebellion
  4. to extract (juice, water, etc) by pressingto crush the juice from a lemon
  5. to oppress harshly
  6. to hug or clasp tightlyhe crushed her to him
  7. to defeat or humiliate utterly, as in argument or by a cruel remark
  8. (intr) to crowd; throng
  9. (intr) to become injured, broken, or distorted by pressure
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  1. a dense crowd, esp at a social occasion
  2. the act of crushing; pressure
  3. a drink or pulp prepared by or as if by crushing fruitorange crush
  4. informal
    1. an infatuationshe had a crush on him
    2. the person with whom one is infatuated
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Derived Formscrushable, adjectivecrushability, nouncrusher, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French croissir, of Germanic origin; compare Gothic kriustan to gnash; see crunch


  1. vet science a construction designed to confine and limit the movement of an animal, esp a large or dangerous animal, for examination or to perform a procedure on it
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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 crush


mid-14c., from Old French cruissir (Modern French écraser), variant of croissir "to gnash (teeth), crash, break," perhaps from Frankish *krostjan "to gnash" (cf. Gothic kriustan, Old Swedish krysta "to gnash"). Figurative sense of "to humiliate, demoralize" is c.1600. Related: Crushed; crushing. Italian crosciare, Catalan cruxir, Spanish crujirare "to crack" are Germanic loan-words.

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1590s, "act of crushing," from crush (v.). Meaning "thick crowd" is from 1806. Sense of "person one is infatuated with" is first recorded 1884; to have a crush on is from 1913.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with crush


see have a crush on.

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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.