Pronunciation: (krak), [key]
1. to break without complete separation of parts; become fissured: The plate cracked when I dropped it, but it was still usable.
2. to break with a sudden, sharp sound: The branch cracked under the weight of the snow.
3. to make a sudden, sharp sound in or as if in breaking; snap: The whip cracked.
4. (of the voice) to break abruptly and discordantly, esp. into an upper register, as because of weariness or emotion.
5. to fail; give way: His confidence cracked under the strain.
6. to succumb or break down, esp. under severe psychological pressure, torture, or the like: They questioned him steadily for 24 hours before he finally cracked.
7. Chem.to decompose as a result of being subjected to heat.
8. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.to brag; boast.
9. Chiefly Scot.to chat; gossip.
1. to cause to make a sudden sharp sound: The driver cracked the whip.
2. to break without complete separation of parts; break into fissures.
3. to break with a sudden, sharp sound: to crack walnuts.
4. to strike and thereby make a sharp noise: The boxer cracked his opponent on the jaw.
5. to induce or cause to be stricken with sorrow or emotion; affect deeply.
6. to utter or tell: to crack jokes.
7. to cause to make a cracking sound: to crack one's knuckles.
8. to damage, weaken, etc.: The new evidence against him cracked his composure.
9. to make mentally unsound.
10. to make (the voice) harsh or unmanageable.
11. to solve; decipher: to crack a murder case.
12. Informal.to break into (a safe, vault, etc.).
13. Chem.to subject to the process of cracking, as in the distillation of petroleum.
14. Informal.to open and drink (a bottle of wine, liquor, beer, etc.).
15. crack a book, Informal.to open a book in order to study or read: He hardly ever cracked a book.
16. crack a smile, Informal.to smile.
17. crack down, to take severe or stern measures, esp. in enforcing obedience to laws or regulations: The police are starting to crack down on local drug dealers.
18. crack off, to cause (a piece of hot glass) to fall from a blowpipe or punty.
19. crack on, Naut.
a. (of a sailing vessel) to sail in high winds under sails that would normally be furled.
b. (of a power vessel) to advance at full speed in heavy weather.
20. crack up, Informal.
a. to suffer a mental or emotional breakdown.
b. to crash, as in an automobile or airplane: He skidded into the telephone pole and cracked up.
c. to wreck an automobile, airplane, or other vehicle.
d. 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.
21. crack wise, Slang.to wisecrack: We tried to be serious, but he was always cracking wise.
22. get cracking, Informal.
a. to begin moving or working; start: Let's get cracking on these dirty dishes!
b. to work or move more quickly.
1. a break without complete separation of parts; fissure.
2. a slight opening, as between boards in a floor or wall, or between a door and its doorpost.
3. a sudden, sharp noise, as of something breaking.
4. the snap of or as of a whip.
5. a resounding blow: He received a terrific crack on the head when the branch fell.
6. Informal.a witty or cutting remark; wisecrack.
7. a break or change in the flow or tone of the voice.
8. Informal.opportunity; chance; try: Give him first crack at the new job.
9. a flaw or defect.
10. Also called rock. Slang.pellet-size pieces of highly purified cocaine, prepared with other ingredients for smoking, and known to be especially potent and addicting.
11. Masonry.check1 (def. 46).
12. a mental defect or deficiency.
13. a shot, as with a rifle: At the first crack, the deer fell.
14. a moment; instant: He was on his feet again in a crack.
15. Slang.a burglary, esp. an instance of housebreaking.
16. Chiefly Brit.a person or thing that excels in some respect.
17. Slang (vulgar). the vulva.
18. Chiefly Scot.conversation; chat.
19. Brit. Dial.boasting; braggadocio.
20. Archaic.a burglar.
21. fall through the cracks, to be overlooked, missed, or neglected: In any inspection process some defective materials will fall through the cracks. Also,slip between the cracks.
first-rate; excellent: a crack shot.
with a cracking sound.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.