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crack

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verb British English pronunciation: crack /kræk/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theycrack
he/she/itcracks
present participlecracking
past tensecracked
past participlecracked
  1. 1
    [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.

    1. a.
      [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. 2
    [transitive] to deliberately break something open in order to get what is inside

    They used a hammer to crack open the coconuts.

  3. 4
    [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.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to hit someone on the head with a lot of force

      She cracked him over the head with a saucepan.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 8
    [transitive] to succeed in stopping crime or criminal activity

    Residents are working together to crack crime on the estate.

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