A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Crack (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 498

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 498

To Crack. v.a. [kraecken, Dutch.]

  1. To break into chinks; to divide the parts a little from each other.

    Look to your pipes, and cover them with fresh and warm litter out of the stable, a good thickness, lest the frosts crack them. Mortimer.

  2. To break; to split.

    O, madam, my heart is crack'd, it's crack'd. Shakespeare.

    Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hasel-eyes. Sh. Rom. and Jul.

    Should some wild fig-tree take her native bent,
    And heave below the gaudy monument,
    Would crack the marble titles, and disperse
    The characters of all the lying verse.
    Dryd. Juv. Sat. 10.

    Or as a lute, which in moist weather rings
    Her knell alone, by cracking of her strings.
    Donne.

    Honour is like that glassy bubble,
    That finds philosphers such trouble;
    Whose least part crack'd, the whole does fly,
    And wits are crack'd to find out why.
    Hudibras, p. ii. cant. 2.

  3. To do any thing with quickness or smartness.

    Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks;
    He takes his chirping pint, he cracks his jokes.
    Pope's Epist.

  4. To break or destroy any thing.

    You'll crack a quart together! Ha, will you not? Shakesp.

    Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father. Shakespeare's King Lear.

  5. To craze; to weaken the intellect.

    I was ever of opinion, that the philosophers stone, and an holy war, were but the rendezvous of cracked brains, that wore their feather in their heads. Bacon's Holy War.

    He thought none poets 'till their brains were crackt. Rosc.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Dillon, Wentworth (Roscommon) (31) · Donne, John (44) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Mortimer, John (62) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (46)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Crack (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 16, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2979.


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