verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- (of a sailing vessel) to sail in high winds under sails that would normally be furled.
- (of a power vessel) to advance at full speed in heavy weather.
- to suffer a mental or emotional breakdown.
- to crash, as in an automobile or airplane: He skidded into the telephone pole and cracked up.
- to wreck an automobile, airplane, or other vehicle.
- to laugh or to cause to laugh unrestrainedly: That story about the revolving door really cracked me up. Ed cracked up, too, when he heard it.
- crack a book,
- crack a bottle,
- crack a joke,
- crack a smile,
- crack down
- to begin moving or working; start: Let's get cracking on these dirty dishes!
- to work or move more quickly.
Origin of crack
- the very instant that the sun rises
- very early in the morning
Word Origin for crack
Old English cracian "make a sharp noise," from Proto-Germanic *krakojan (cf. Middle Dutch craken, Dutch kraken, German krachen), probably imitative. Related: Cracked; cracking. To crack a smile is from 1840s; to crack the whip in the figurative sense is from 1940s.
"split, opening," 14c., from crack (v.). Meaning "try, attempt" first attested 1836, probably a hunting metaphor, from slang sense of "fire a gun." Meaning "rock cocaine" is first attested 1985. The superstition that it is bad luck to step on sidewalk cracks has been traced to c.1890. Adjectival meaning in "top-notch, superior" is slang from 1793 (e.g. a crack shot).
In addition to the idioms beginning with crack
- crack a book
- crack a bottle
- crack a joke
- crack a smile
- crack down
- cracked up
- crack of dawn
- crack the whip
- crack up
- by jove (cracky)
- fall between the cracks
- get cracking
- hard nut to crack
- have a crack at
- make a crack
- not all it's cracked up to be
- paper over (the cracks)