I UK [kræk] / US verb
Word forms "crack":
present tense I/you/we/they crack he/she/it cracks present participle cracking past tense cracked past participle cracked
a) [transitive] to damage something so that a line or long narrow hole appears on its surface, but it does not break into pieces

I dropped a plate and cracked it.

She cracked several ribs and broke her arm skiing.

b) [intransitive] if something cracks, a line or long narrow hole appears on its surface, but it does not break into pieces

The ice was starting to crack at the edges.

The egg cracked open and a little chick struggled out.

2) [transitive] to deliberately break something open in order to get what is inside

They used a hammer to crack open the coconuts.

a) [intransitive] to make a short sudden loud noise like a small explosion

Thunder cracked overhead.

b) [transitive] to make a whip make a short sudden loud noise
a) [transitive] to accidentally hit a part of your body against something with a lot of force

Dad fell and cracked his head against the door.

b) [transitive] to hit someone on the head with a lot of force

She cracked him over the head with a saucepan.

5) [transitive] to solve a complicated problem, or to find the answer to a mystery

Detectives believe they are near to cracking the case.

It was a code that seemed impossible to crack.

crack it (= succeed in solving a particular problem):

I've been trying all morning to get this to work, and I've finally cracked it.

6) [intransitive] to lose control of yourself and say or do things that you would not normally say or do, for example, because you are tired or you have been threatened

Heston never cracked, even when they tortured him.

crack under the pressure/strain:

She won the game because her opponent cracked under the pressure.

7) [intransitive] if your voice cracks, it goes higher and lower, and you cannot control it, especially because of a strong emotion or because you are going to cry
8) [transitive] to succeed in stopping crime or criminal activity

Residents are working together to crack crime on the estate.

Phrasal verbs:
II UK [kræk] / US noun
Word forms "crack":
singular crack plural cracks
1) [countable] a line on a surface where something is beginning to break apart

Many old buildings have cracks in their walls.

hairline crack (= an extremely thin crack):

Hairline cracks appear in the paint when it dries too quickly.

2) [countable] a narrow opening between two things or parts of things

She peered out through the crack in the curtains.

3) [countable] a sign that an organization, relationship, or plan is weak or beginning to fail

events which deepened the cracks in the monarchy

cracks start to appear (in something):

After only a year cracks started to appear in their marriage.

4) [countable] a short sudden loud noise like a small explosion

the sharp crack of a single gunshot

5) [countable] informal a hard hit on a part of your body

He's had a nasty crack on the head.

6) [countable] informal an attempt to do something
have/take a crack at (doing) something:

We thought we'd have a crack at running our own business.

7) [countable] informal a rude or insulting joke about someone or something

Some of the students were making cracks about her appearance.

8) crack or crack cocaine
[uncountable] a pure form of the illegal drug cocaine

crack addicts

9) another spelling of craic

a (fair) crack of the whipBritish

informal an opportunity to do something or to succeed at something

slip/fall through the cracks — to not be dealt with by a system that is designed to help you or to stop you doing something

Too many neglected children are slipping through the cracks.

what's the crack?British

informal used for asking someone what is happening or what has happened recently


III UK [kræk] / US adjective [only before noun]
very skilful, especially as a result of being trained well

soldiers in a crack regiment

a crack shot (= someone who is very accurate in shooting a gun):

She's a crack shot with a rifle.

English dictionary. 2014.