The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


costumey etymology costume + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang, of clothing) Overly elaborate, like a costume.
    • 2004, Paris Hilton, Merle Ginsberg, Jeff Vespa, Confessions of an heiress But I get bored fast, and I wear more costumey clothes — wild, crazy, funky stuff from all kinds of shops on Melrose or downtown Manhattan.
    • 2005, April Masini, Think and Date Like a Man Flappers and prohibition are not that interesting and anything too long will look costumey instead of fashionable...
cottage {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
etymology xno, from onf cot, cote + -age. Old Northern French cote probably from Old Norse kot, cognate of Old English cot of same Proto-Germanic origin. Slang sense “public toilet“ from 19th century, due to resemblance.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small house; a cot; a hut.
  2. A seasonal home of any size or stature. A recreational home or a home in a remote location.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.””
    exampleMost cottages in the area were larger and more elaborate than my home.
  3. (UK, slang, dated) A public toilet.
Sense “public toilet” dates from 19th century, now only in gay slang.
related terms:
  • cosset
  • cot#Etymology 2
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To stay at a seasonal home, to go cottaging.
  2. (intransitive, British, slang) Of men: To have homosexual sex in a public lavatory; to practice cottaging.
cottage cheese ass Alternative forms: cottage cheese arse (UK), cottage-cheese ass
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Buttocks that have various depression or impression on themselves; imperfectly smooth buttocks.
cottager etymology cottage + er; compare cotter.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person who has the tenure of a cottage, usually also the occupant.
    • Elizabeth Gaskell I don't like shoppy people. I think we are far better off, knowing only cottagers and labourers, and people without pretence.
  2. (British, slang) One who engages in sex in public lavatories; a practitioner of cottaging.
Synonyms: coscet, cotter
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, slang) Sexual activity in a public lavatory, especially involving homosexual or bisexual men.
    • 1993 October 6, Anna Kisselgoff, "Upstart and Formal Styles in Montreal", in , page C14: "MSM," a term that is reportedly English social-work jargon for "men seeking sex with men," explores the reasons why men, including heterosexuals, cruise in English lavatories, which are, believe it or not, called "cottages." The text is made up of actual interviews with those who go "cottaging."
  2. A seasonal activity involving a prolonged stay at one or more cottage; similar to visiting, but typically for a longer duration and at a seasonal home that one owns or rents.
    • 2004, C. Michael Hall, Dieter K. Muller, Tourism, Mobility and Second Homes (page 69) This comparison between the commercial cottager and the private cottager begins to give us an insight into differences between the private cottager and the commercial cottager, a difference that has implications for the relation of cottaging to city life.
related terms:
  • cottage
  • cottager
cotter {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mechanical engineering) A pin or wedge inserted through a slot to hold machine parts together.
  2. (informal) a cotter pin.
The terms cotter and "cotter pin" are sometimes used interchangeably, although they have different functions. Basically a cotter holds parts together and a "cotter pin" holds the cotter in its place. For a more detailed explanation see Wikipedia articles on cotter and cotter pin.
related terms:
  • cotter pin
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To fasten with a cotter.
etymology 2 Equivalent to cot + er, from Old English {[m|ang|cot}}. Alternative forms: cottar
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A peasant who performed labour in exchange for the right to live in a cottage.
Synonyms: coscet, cottager
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The harvesting of cotton
    • 1859 Opportunities for Industry and the Safe Investment of Capital The season of cotton-picking commences in the latter part of July, and continues without intermission to the Christmas holidays.
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (US, idiomatic, colloquial) An intensifier, like "darn", used for emphasis or to signify that something is of little value.
    • {{quote-book }}
    • 1967, Howard Fast. The Hunter and the Trap, page 14: "Oh, wait one damn cotton-picking minute," Andy said.
  2. (US, idiomatic, pejorative, colloquial) Describes a person who tends to become involved in matters outside of his area of concern.
    • {{quote-book }}
  • {{quote-journal }}
  • Often used with hands, as in "keep your cotton-picking hands off" (something or someone).
  • Also commonly used with minute, especially the phrase "wait just a cotton-picking minute".
  • Originally referred to slaves and other low status workers in the southern United States who picked cotton in fields by hand.
couch doctor etymology From couch + doctor.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, colloquial) A psychiatrist.
couchlock Alternative forms: couch-lock, couch lock etymology From couch + lock.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial, drugs) A state of idleness, laziness, or inactivity brought about by excessive consumption of drugs, typically marijuana.
    • 2011, Jason King, The Cannabible 3: Silver Goo is strong medicine—a bit heavy for some but not a complete couchlock. The Haze influence brings an up edge that balances the high nicely.
    • 2013, Robert E. Leihy, PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE FOR PERSONAL BENEFIT - Page 12: The young saleslady at the medical marijuana distribution center told me that one brownie was equal to one dose. Later I found out that it was equal to four doses. The brownie caused complete couchlock for about four hours, but I had no trouble whatsoever with the experience itself because I was already familiar with how to handle high doses.
cougar etymology French cougar, from Brazilian Portuguese suçuarana, perhaps from tup (suasuarana, from suasú; compare sɨwasuarána) or perhaps form Guarani (guaçuara).{{}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈkuːɡə/, [ˈkʰuːɡə]
  • (US) /ˈkuɡɚ/, [ˈkʰuɡɚ]
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A mountain lion; Puma concolor.
  2. (North America, slang) A woman of middle age who actively seeks the casual, often sexual, companionship of younger men, typically less than 35 years old; by implication a female “sexual predator”. A cougar approached Warren at the Palomino Club and asked for a dance.
Synonyms: (Puma concolor) catamount, catamountain, mountain lion, painter, panther, puma
  • (middle-aged person who seeks younger partners) cradle robber, cradle snatcher
  • (Puma concolor) Florida panther (a subspecies of mountain lion)
coordinate terms:
  • (middle-aged woman who seeks younger partners) manther
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (North America, slang) The seeking of casual, often sexual, companionship of younger males by an older woman.
  2. (roller derby) The act of deliberately picking up a minor penalty in order to visit the penalty box at a convenient time.
coulda etymology Written form of a of "could have" pronunciation
  • /ˈkʊdə/
  • {{rhymes}}
contraction: {{head}}
  1. (chiefly, slang) Could have. You coulda told him the truth.
related terms:
  • could've
  • couldna
  • shoulda
  • woulda
  • mighta
  • musta
couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery etymology Presents an example of a minimally simple project that the person or group described is presumed unable to accomplish.
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (UK, Australia, New Zealand, vulgar, slang, idiomatic) Is unable even to organise a project that requires no planning; is incompetent.
    • 2006, G. C. Lemans, Chantier: A tribute to the world's engineers and their partners in life, page 60, “Deladrieux should have stayed an accountant,” Murphy sighed. “He's got three people working for him but they're just administrative clerks, pencil-pushers, they couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery. That's what you get when you assign engineering jobs to non-engineers.…”
Synonyms: couldn't organise a two-ticket raffle, couldn't organise an orgy in a brothel, couldn't organise a bun fight in a bakery, couldn't pour water out of a boot
couldna etymology Written form of a of "could not have". pronunciation
  • /ˈkʊdnə/
contraction: {{head}}
  1. (chiefly, slang) contraction of could not have You couldna said it better if you tried.
related terms:
  • coulda
  • couldn've
  • shouldna
  • wouldna
contraction: {{en-cont}}
  1. (informal, nonstandard) alternative form of couldn't
coulrophobia {{wikipedia}} etymology From Ancient Greek κωλοβαθριστής 〈kōlobathristḗs〉, from κωλόβαθρον 〈kōlóbathron〉, from κῶλον 〈kō̂lon〉 + βαίνω 〈baínō〉 + -phobia, from φόβος 〈phóbos〉. pronunciation
  • /kɔʊl.ɹəʊ.ˈfəʊ.bi.ə/ {{rhymes}}
{{rfap}} {{rfap}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The irrational fear of clown.
    • 2004: Phineas Mollod & Jason Tesauro, The Modern Lover: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses & Ringless Carousers, p39 After you plug in your wish list and dating criteria, search results spit out matches; it’s like scanning a room of a thousand and pinpointing the ten who share your favorite author and chronic coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
    • 2005: Andy P. Field, Discovering Statistics Using SPSS: (and Sex, Drugs and Rock ‛n’ roll), p569 8Unfortunately, the first time they attempted the study, the clown accidentally burst one of the balloons. The noise frightened the children and they associated that fear response with the clown. All 15 children are currently in therapy for coulrophobia!
    • 2006: Crimson de la Voire, Crimson’s Erotica: Volume One — A Collection of Stories About Submission and Pleasure, p35 The ironic twist is that he recently admitted to a possible onset of coulrophobia.
Synonyms: bozophobia (humorous), clownophobia (informal)
countdown {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: count down, count-down etymology count + down
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A count backward in fixed units to the time of some event, especially the launch of a space vehicle
  2. The acts of preparation carried out during this period
  3. (slang) A radio or television program counting down the top songs of a given week, usually in reverse order ending with the No. 1.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (nonstandard) To count down
countercaster etymology counter + caster
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete, nonce, derogatory) A caster of account; a reckoner; a bookkeeper. {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
counterjumper etymology counter + jumper Alternative forms: counter-jumper
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, dated) A salesman in a shop; a shopman or clerk.
    • 1919, , , Her manner was brisk, and her good-breeding scarcely concealed her conviction that if you were not a soldier you might as well be a counter-jumper.
counter-offensive Alternative forms: counteroffensive etymology counter + offensive
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An attack made in response to a previous offensive, and intended to stop it.
Synonyms: counter-attack
country {{wikipedia}} etymology Middle English contree, contre, from Old French contree, from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata, derived from contra. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkʌntɹi/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) An area of land; a district, region. {{defdate}}
    • 2010, David Vann, The Observer, 7 Mar 2010: We walk along flat, open country, red dirt and spinifex grass, a few short trees{{nb...}}.
  2. A set region of land having particular human occupation or agreed limits, especially inhabited by members of the same race, language speakers etc., or associated with a given person, occupation, species etc. {{defdate}}
    • 2007, Chris Moss, The Guardian, 17 Feb 2007: This is condor country - the only region this far east where you can see the magnificent vulture - and a small national park straddling the passes, El Condorito, is a good stopover for walkers and birders.
  3. The territory of a nation, especially an independent nation state or formerly independent nation; a political entity asserting ultimate authority over a geographical area. {{defdate}}
    • 1935, [ George Goodchild] , Death on the Centre Court, 5 , “By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. […] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.”
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 3: It is a beautiful country of rolling hills, fertile valleys, and a thousand rivers and streams which keep the landscape green even in winter.
    • 2010, The Economist, 3 Feb 2011: These days corporate Germany looks rather different. Volkswagen, the country’s leading carmaker, wants to be the world’s biggest by 2018.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  4. {{senseid}}(usually preceded by “the”) A rural area, as opposed to a town or city; the countryside. {{defdate}}
    • {{RQ:Flr Mntgn Essays}}, II.17: I was borne and brought up in the Countrie, and amidst husbandry{{nb...}}.
    • 2000, Alexander Chancellor, The Guardian, 4 Mar.: I have always thought that one of the main reasons for the popularity of blood sports in the country is the pointlessness of going outdoors with no purpose or destination in mind.
  5. Country music. {{defdate}}
  6. (mining) The rock through which a vein runs.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. From or in the countryside or connected with it.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 5 , “When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.”
  2. Of or connected to country music.
  • {{rank}}
country bumpkin etymology From Flemish boomken = shrub
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) An unsophisticated person from the rural area of a particular country.
Synonyms: boer, boor, churl, hick, hillbilly, rustic, yokel
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Somebody from a certain country.
  2. Somebody from one's own country.
  3. country dweller, especially a follower of country pursuit
  4. (Irish, traveller) a settled person, as opposed to a traveller
country mile pronunciation
  • /ˌkʌntri ˈmaɪl/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A long way, a great distance.
    • 2000, Steve Holt, A Day at the Ballpark, Xlibris 2000, p. 13: I liked to imagine that my father had been a pretty fair country ballplayer who didn't pay attention to his batting average but could hit the ball a country mile and run like the wind.
country pop
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A subgenre of country music, blending the sounds of the Nashville sound and popular music; produced and marketed to reach a wide audience.
  2. (pejorative) Any country music that sounds more like popular music than traditional forms of country (e.g. honky tonk).
The term country pop is often used as a catch-all when referring to country music produced after 1990, when artists such as Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill rose to fame and their styles became very popular.
county brownie etymology Named for their brown uniforms and cars.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, Indiana, slang) A sheriff.
coupla etymology From couple of.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (singulare tantum, slang, used attributively only, always preceded by a) Two. There's a coupla guys here to see you.
  2. (singulare tantum, slang, used attributively only, always preceded by a) A few; a small number. I've been to New York a coupla times.
Synonyms: couple
  • copula
  • cupola
  • pocula
couple etymology From Old French couple, from Latin cōpula. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Two partners in a romantic or sexual relationship.
    • 1729, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; …
  2. Two of the same kind connected or considered together.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nicklebycouple of tables; one of which bore some preparations for supper; while, on the other …
  3. (informal) A small number.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby A couple of billiard balls, all mud and dirt, two battered hats, a champagne bottle …
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League ‘Oh, merely a couple of hundred a year, but the work is slight, and it need not interfere very much with one’s other occupations.’
    • 1902, A. Henry Savage Landor, Across Coveted Lands: When we got on board again after a couple of hours on shore…
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ […].” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.”
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, The Unknown Ajax, 1 , “And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.”
  4. One of the pairs of plates of two metals which compose a voltaic battery, called a voltaic couple or galvanic couple.
  5. (physics) Two forces that are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction (and acting along parallel lines), thus creating the turning effect of a torque or moment.
  6. (architecture) A couple-close.
  7. (obsolete) That which joins or links two things together; a bond or tie; a coupler.
    • Roger L'Estrange (1616-1704) It is in some sort with friends as it is with dogs in couples; they should be of the same size and humour.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616) I'll go in couples with her.
  • The traditional and still most broadly accepted usage of is as a noun, in which case it is followed by "of" when used to mean "two", as in "a couple of people". In this usage, "a couple of" is equivalent to "a pair of". is also used informally as a determiner (see definition below), in which case it is not followed by "of". In this usage, "a couple" is roughly equivalent to "a few". Usage manuals advise that be used only as a noun and not as a determiner in formal writing.
  • "A couple of things" or people may be used to mean two of them, but it is also often used to mean any small number. The farm is a couple of miles off the main highway [=a few miles away]. We’re going out to a restaurant with a couple of friends [=two friends]. Wait a couple of minutes [=two minutes or more].
Synonyms: (two partners), (two things of the same kind) brace, pair, (a small number of) few, handful
determiner: {{head}}
  1. (informal) A small number of.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To join (two things) together, or (one thing) to (another). Now the conductor will couple the train cars. I've coupled our system to theirs.
  2. (transitive, dated) To join in wedlock; to marry.
    • {{rfdate}}, A parson who couples all our beggars.
  3. (intransitive) To join in sexual intercourse; to copulate.
    • 1987 Alan Norman Bold & Robert Giddings, Who was really who in fiction, Longman On their wedding night they coupled nine times.
    • 2001 John Fisher & Geoff Garvey, The rough guide to Crete, p405 She had the brilliant inventor and craftsman Daedalus construct her an artificial cow, in which she hid and induced the bull to couple with her [...]
coupley etymology couple + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Pertaining to romantic couple.
    • 2004, Elisabeth Vincentelli, ABBA Gold (page 70) It's also one of the most coupley of Abba's videos — they're actually interacting with each other instead of posing in geometric shots and gazing into existential abysses.
    • {{quote-news}}
couplezilla etymology couple + zilla
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (usually, humorous) A couple who, in the course of planning their wedding, display difficult, selfish, narcissistic behaviour relating to the event.
  • bridezilla
  • groomzilla
  • weddingzilla
couply Alternative forms: coupley
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Characteristic of a couple
course {{wikipedia}} etymology From Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from currō. pronunciation
  • (UK) /kɔːs/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /koɹs/, /kɔəɹs/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • (Tasmania) /kɜːs/
  • {{homophones}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sequence of event. exampleThe normal course of events seems to be just one damned thing after another.
    1. A normal or customary sequence.
      • Shakespeare The course of true love never did run smooth.
      • Milton Day and night, / Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost, / Shall hold their course.
    2. A programme, a chosen manner of proceeding.
    3. Any ordered process or sequence or steps.
    4. A learning program, as in a school. exampleI need to take a French course.
      • 1661, John Fell (bishop), The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant…
      • {{quote-magazine}}
    5. (especially in medicine) A treatment plan.
    6. A stage of a meal. exampleWe offer seafood as the first course.
    7. The succession of one to another in office or duty; order; turn.
      • Bible, 2 Chron. viii. 14 He appointed … the courses of the priests.
  2. A path that something or someone moves along. exampleHis illness ran its course.
    1. The itinerary of a race. exampleThe cross-country course passes the canal.
    2. A racecourse.
    3. The path taken by a flow of water; a watercourse.
    4. (sports) The trajectory of a ball, frisbee etc.
    5. (golf) A golf course.
    6. (nautical) The direction of movement of a vessel at any given moment. exampleThe ship changed its course 15 degrees towards south.
    7. (navigation) The intended passage of voyage, such as a boat, ship, airplane, spaceship, etc. exampleA course was plotted to traverse the ocean.
  3. (nautical) The lowest square sail in a fully rigged mast, often named according to the mast. exampleMain course and mainsail are the same thing in a sailing ship.
  4. (in the plural, [[courses]], obsolete, euphemistic) Menses.
  5. A row or file of objects.
    1. (masonry) A row of bricks or blocks. exampleOn a building that size, two crews could only lay two courses in a day.
    2. (roofing) A row of material that forms the roofing, waterproofing or flashing system.
    3. (textiles) In weft knitting, a single row of loop connecting the loops of the preceding and following rows.
  6. (music) A string on a lute.
  7. (music) A pair of strings played together in some musical instruments, like the vihuela.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To run or flow (especially of liquid and more particularly blood). The oil coursed through the engine. Blood pumped around the human body courses throughout all its veins and arteries.
    • 2013, Martina Hyde, Is the pope Catholic? (in The Guardian, 20 September 2013) He is a South American, so perhaps revolutionary spirit courses through Francis's veins. But what, pray, does the Catholic church want with doubt?
  2. To run through or over.
    • Alexander Pope The bounding steed courses the dusty plain.
  3. To pursue by tracking or estimating the course taken by one's prey; to follow or chase after.
    • Shakespeare We coursed him at the heels.
  4. To cause to chase after or pursue game. to course greyhounds after deer
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (colloquial) alternative form of of course
  • {{rank}}
  • cerous
  • source
courtyard {{wikipedia}} etymology court + yard pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /ˈkɔɹt.jɑɹd/
  • (RP) /ˈkɔːt.jɑːd/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. an area, open to the sky, partially or wholly surrounded by wall or building She sat in the courtyard, enjoying the garden.
cousinfucker etymology From cousin + fucker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar) Motherfucker (generic term of abuse).
    • 2003, xxx, Re: Newsgroup Hostilities Group: 24hoursupport.helpdesk … don't be shy, impress the ng with your massive wit, you hillbilly "cousinfucker"
    • 2002, church muse, Re: Pictures Of Me In My Wheelchair, Begging.....NOT Group: You can't even count, you Georgian bred cousinfucker.
    • 2008, curt, Re: Breaking News: Alaska bipartisan panel unanimously finds Palin abused power.. Group: az.politics … and some cousinfucker from Arkansas went there. Big deal
  2. (literally, vulgar) One who engages in incestuous sex with one's cousin
Synonyms: cousin humper
Cousin Jack {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang, dated) A person from Cornwall, England.
cove {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /kəʊv/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From Old English cofa, from Proto-Germanic *kubô. Cognate with German Koben, Swedish kofva. This word has probably survived as long as it has due to its coincidental phonetic resemblence to the unrelated word "cave".
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (now uncommon) A hollow in a rock; a cave or cavern. {{defdate}}
  2. (architecture) A concave vault or archway, especially the arch of a ceiling. {{defdate}}
  3. A small coastal inlet, especially one having high cliffs protecting vessels from prevailing winds. {{defdate}}
    • Holland vessels which were in readiness for him within secret coves and nooks
  4. (US) A strip of prairie extending into woodland.
  5. A recess or sheltered area on the slopes of a mountain. {{defdate}}
  6. (nautical) The wooden roof of the stern gallery of an old sailing warship. {{defdate}}
  7. (nautical) A thin line, sometimes gilded, along a yacht's strake below deck level. {{defdate}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (architecture) To arch over; to build in a hollow concave form; to make in the form of a cove.
    • H. Swinburne The mosques and other buildings of the Arabians are rounded into domes and coved roofs.
etymology 2 From Romany kodo. Perhaps change in consonants due to lower class th-fronting.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British) A fellow; a man.
  2. (Australia) A friend; a mate.
etymology 3 Compare French couver, Italian covare. See covey.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To brood, cover, over, or sit over, as birds their eggs.
    • Holland Not being able to cove or sit upon them [eggs], she [the female tortoise] bestoweth them in the gravel.
cover {{wikipedia}} etymology Middle English coveren, from Old French covrir (Modern French couvrir) from ll coperire from Latin cooperio, from co-, intensive prefix, + operio. Displaced native Middle English thecchen and bithecchen (from Old English þeccan, beþeccan), Middle English helen (from Old English helan), Middle English wreon (from Old English wreon), Middle English hodren (from Low German hudren). According to the , the original sense of the verb and noun cover was hide from view as in its cognate covert. Except in the limited sense of cover again, the word recover is unrelated and is cognate with recuperate. pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /ˈkʌvɚ/
  • (RP) /ˈkʌvə/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A lid.
  2. A hiding from view.
  3. A front and back of a book or magazine.
  4. A top sheet of a bed.
  5. A cover charge. exampleThere's a $15 cover tonight.
  6. A setting at a restaurant table or formal dinner. exampleWe need to set another cover for the Smith party.
  7. (music) A rerecording of a previously recorded song; a cover version; a cover song.
  8. (cricket) A fielding position on the off side, between point and mid off, about 30° forward of square; a fielder in this position.
  9. (topology) A set (more often known as a family) of sets, whose union contains the given set. exampleThe open intervals are a cover for the real numbers.
  10. (philately) An envelope complete with stamp and postmark etc.
  11. (military) A solid object, including terrain, that provides protection from enemy fire.
  12. (legal) In commercial law, a buyer’s purchase on the open market of goods similar or identical to the goods contracted for after a seller has breach a contract of sale by failure to deliver the goods contracted for.
  13. (insurance) An insurance contract; coverage by an insurance contract.
  14. (espionage) A persona maintained by a spy or undercover operative, cover story
  15. The portion of a slate, tile, or shingle that is hidden by the overlap of the course above. {{rfquotek}}
  16. In a steam engine, the lap of a slide valve.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or pertaining to the front cover of a book or magazine.
  2. (music) Of, pertaining to, or consisting of cover version.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To place something over or upon, as to conceal or protect. exampleHe covered the baby with a blanket. exampleWhen the pot comes to a boil, cover it and reduce the heat to medium.
  2. To be over or upon, as to conceal or protect. exampleThe blanket covered the baby.
    • {{RQ:BLwnds TLdgr}} A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  3. To be upon all of, so as to completely conceal. exampleRegular hexagons can cover the plane.
  4. To set upon all of, so as to completely conceal. exampleYou can cover the plane with regular hexagons.
  5. To invest (oneself with something); to bring upon (oneself). exampleThe heroic soldier covered himself with glory.
    • John Brougham (1814-1880) the powers that covered themselves with everlasting infamy by the partition of Poland
  6. (of a publication) To discuss thoroughly; to provide coverage of. exampleThe magazine covers such diverse topics as politics, news from the world of science, and the economy.
  7. To deal with.
    • 2010 (publication date), "Contributors", , ISSN 0274-7529, volume 32, number 1, January–February 2011, page 7: Richard Morgan covers science for The Economist, The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired.
  8. To be enough money for. exampleWe've earned enough to cover most of our costs. exampleTen dollars should cover lunch.
  9. (intransitive) To act as a replacement. exampleI need to take off Tuesday. Can you cover for me?
  10. (transitive) To have as an assignment or responsibility. exampleCan you cover the morning shift tomorrow? I'll give you off next Monday instead. exampleHe is our salesman covering companies with headquarters in the northern provinces.
  11. (music) To make a cover version of (a song that was originally recorded by another artist).
  12. (military, law enforcement) To protect using an aimed firearm and the threat of firing; or to protect using continuous, heaving fire at or in the direction of the enemy so as to force the enemy to remain in cover; or to threaten using an aimed firearm.
  13. To provide insurance coverage for. exampleDoes my policy cover accidental loss?
  14. To copulate with (said of certain male animals such as dogs and horses). exampleI would like to have my bitch covered next spring. exampleThe stallion has not covered the mare yet.
  15. (chess, transitive) To protect or control (a piece or square). exampleIn order to checkmate a king on the side of the board, the five squares adjacent to the king must all be covered.
  • {{seeCites}}
  • German: covern
cover girl Alternative forms: cover-girl
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) An attractive, usually well-known, female model whose image has been featured on one or more magazine covers.
    • 2008, Frank Eltman, "Christie Brinkley divorce trial set to begin," Associated Press, 2 Jul., Whether it's in next-to-nothing swimsuits in Sports Illustrated or starring in ex-husband Billy Joel's rock videos or in countless boldface tabloid mentions, the quintessential California blond cover girl has become a fixture on the cultural landscape.
    • {{quote-news}}
covering space
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mathematics) A map from a topological space onto another by local homeomorphism of disjoint preimage.
  2. (mathematics, informal) The space so mapped.
covey {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From Old French covee (Modern French couvée), from Latin cubō. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkʌvi/
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. A group of 8-12 (or more) quail. See gaggle, host, flock.
  2. A brood of partridge, grouse, etc.
  3. A party or group (of persons or things).
    • 1906, O. Henry, The store is on a corner about which coveys of ragged-plumed, hilarious children play and become candidates for the cough drops and soothing syrups that wait for them inside.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 736 A covey of grey soldiers clanked down the platform at the double with their equipment and embarked, but in absolute silence, which seemed to them very singular.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To brood; to incubate.
    • Holland [Tortoises] covey a whole year before they hatch.
    • 1869, Florida. Commissioner of Lands and Immigration, Florida: Its Climate, Soil, and Productions (page 108) There is a duck called the raft duck, because it is so numerous, coveying together in "whole rafts."
etymology 2 cove + y pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈkəʊvi/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈkoʊvi/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, slang, dated) A man.
    • 1846, Justin Jones, The prince and the queen; or, Scenes in high life 'Pooh!' said he, 'you are as easily wounded as an unfledged dove — don't mind what an old covey like me says — I understand it all.'
    • 1850, Waldo Howard, The mistake of a life-time, or, The robber of the Rhine (page 140) There vas an old covey as lived in Wapping, at the time I'm telling you of, who vas connected vith us by ties of common interest.
    • 1851, William Thomas Moncrieff, Selections from the dramatic works of William T. Moncrieff I don't know what would become of these here young chaps, if it wasn't for such careful old coveys as we are—
Synonyms: bloke (UK), chap (UK), chappie (UK), cove (UK), guy
  • voyce
cow pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /kaʊ̯/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English cou, cu, from Old English , from Proto-Germanic *kūz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷṓws 〈*gʷṓws〉. Cognate with Sanskrit गो 〈gō〉, Ancient Greek βοῦς 〈boûs〉, Persian گاو 〈gạw〉), Proto-Slavic *govędo (Serbo-Croatian govedo), Scots coo, Northern Frisian ko, , Western Frisian ko, Dutch koe, Low German Koh, German Kuh, Swedish ko, Norwegian ku, Icelandic kýr, Latin bōs, Armenian կով 〈kov〉.
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}} (see usage notes)
  1. A female domesticated ox or other bovine, especially an adult after she has had a calf.
  2. More generally, any domestic bovine regardless of sex or age.
  3. The meat of such animals as food (more commonly called beef).
  4. The female of larger species of mammal, including bovines, moose, whale, seal, hippo, rhino, manatee, and elephant.
  5. (derogatory, informal) A woman who is considered despicable in some way, especially one considered to be fat, lazy, ugly, argumentative, mean or spiteful.
  6. (informal) Anything that is annoyingly difficult, awkward or graceless. That website is a real cow to navigate.
  7. (informal) A conniption fit or hissy fit; a state of agitation (only in the phrase have a cow).
  8. (mining) A wedge or brake to stop a machine or car; a chock. {{rfquotek}}
The plural cows is the normal plural for multiple individuals, while cattle is used in a more collective sense. The umlaut plurals ky, kye and kine are archaic and no longer in common use. Synonyms: (derogatory: despicable woman) bitch, (informal: anything annoyingly difficult) bastard, bitch, bugger (UK)
  • (female domesticated ox or other bovine) bull (male, uncastrated), ox or steer (male, castrated), heifer (female, immature)
etymology 2 Probably from Old Norse kúga (whence also Danish and Norwegian kue, Swedish kuva); compare Icelandic kúfa and Faroese kúga.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To intimidate; to daunt the spirits or courage of. Found primarily in the passive voice. Con artists are not cowed by the law.
    • Shakespeare To vanquish a people already cowed.
etymology 3
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, dialect) A chimney cowl.
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers‎ Who could live to gaze from day to day on bricks and slates, who had once felt the influence of a scene like this? Who could continue to exist, where there are no cows but the cows on the chimneypots; nothing redolent of Pan but pan-tiles; …
  • CWO
cowabunga etymology See . pronunciation
  • (AusE) /ˌkæɔ.ə.ˈbaŋ.ɡə/
  • (UK) /ˌkaʊ.ə.ˈbʌŋ.ɡə/
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang) an expression of surprise or amazement, often followed by "dude" Cowabunga, dude! Look at that crazy Godzilla!
etymology 1 First attested in 1598.
etymology {{rfe}} Alternative forms: kowan {{defdate}}, cowen {{defdate}} pronunciation
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈkəʊən/
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. A worker in unmortar stone; a stonemason who has not served an apprenticeship.
  2. (freemasonry) A person who attempts to pass himself off as a Freemason without having experienced the rituals or going through the degree.
  3. (slang) A sneak; an inquisitive or pry person.
  4. (in attributive use) uninitiated, outside, “profane
etymology 2 First attested in 1722; perhaps from the Scottish Gaelic cobhan. pronunciation {{rfp}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Scottish, obsolete, rare) A fishing-boat.
coward etymology From Old French coart, cuard ( > French couard), from coe + -ard; is in turn from Latin cauda. The reference seems to be to an animal “turning tail”, or having its tail between its legs, especially a dog. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈkaʊəd/
  • (US) /ˈkaʊɚd/
  • {{hyphenation}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person who lacks courage.
    • 1856: Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part II Chapter IV, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling He tortured himself to find out how he could make his declaration to her, and always halting between the fear of displeasing her and the shame of being such a coward, he wept with discouragement and desire. Then he took energetic resolutions, wrote letters that he tore up, put it off to times that he again deferred.
Synonyms: chicken, See also
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Cowardly.
    • {{RQ:Flr Mntgn Essays}}, II.17: It is a coward and servile humour, for a man to disguise and hide himselfe under a maske, and not dare to shew himselfe as he is.
    • Shakespeare He raised the house with loud and coward cries.
    • Prior Invading fears repel my coward joy.
  2. (heraldry, of a lion) Borne in the escutcheon with his tail doubled between his legs.
cowardice {{wikipedia}} etymology Middle English cowardise, from xno cuardise (modern French: couardise). pronunciation
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈkaʊədɪs/
  • (US) /ˈkaʊɚdɪs/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Lack of courage.
Synonyms: cowardliness
related terms:
  • coward
  • cowardly
cowardy custard etymology Probably suggesting trembling in fear in the way that custard wobbles.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (childish) A coward; a timid or fearful person.
cowboy etymology
  • cow + boy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A man who tends free-range cattle, especially in the American West.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane , Twelve O'Clock, 1 , “There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town. “Mason Rickets, he had ten big punkins a-sittin' in front of his store, an' them fellers from the Upside-down-F ranch shot 'em up […].””
  2. A man who identifies with cowboy culture, including wearing a cowboy hat and being a fan of country and western music.
  3. (informal) A person who engages in reckless behavior, especially for the purpose of showing off.
  4. (British, informal) A dishonest and/or incompetent independent tradesman.
  5. (card games slang) A playing card of king rank.
related terms:
  • cowman
coordinate terms:
  • cowgirl
  • cowhand
  • cowperson
  • cowpoke
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To work as a cowboy, herding cattle.
    • 1994, Sherry Robinson, El Malpais, Mt. Taylor, and the Zuni Mountains: a hiking guide and history Besides cowboying he worked at a small sawmill that cut logs into "four slabs and a tie" and sold ties to the railroad.
    • 1995, American Cowboy (volume 2, number 4, Nov-Dec 1995, page 26) Derwood Bailey cowboyed for 50 cents a day, a noon meal, and a gallon of oats for his horse.
    • 2003, C. J. Hadley, Trappings of the Great Basin Buckaroo I still had never ridden or cowboyed, and I wanted to learn something about it. I'd been making the damn saddles for years but didn't know how to use them.
cowboy caviar
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, informal) Baked beans (various different recipes).
cowboyish etymology cowboy + ish
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) cowboylike
cow corner {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (cricket, slang) Region of the field, roughly between deep midwicket and long on.
related terms:
  • cow shot
cowfucker etymology From cow + fucker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, offensive, vulgar) Term of abuse.
cowgirl etymology cow + girl
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. a woman who tends free-range cattle, especially in the American West.
  2. a woman who identifies with cowboy culture, including clothing such as the cowboy hat.
  3. (card games slang) a playing card of queen rank.
  4. A sex position where the woman is on top; cowgirl position.
Synonyms: (sex position) woman-on-top
coordinate terms:
  • cowboy
  • cowhand
  • cowperson
  • cowpoke
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (rare, intransitive) To work as a cowgirl, herding cattle.
    • 1998, Linda M. Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier, Nancy Curtis, Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West She also cowgirled and hired out to do ranch and timber work.
    • 2007, American Cowboy (volume 13, number 5, Jan-Feb 2007, page 56) Only 250 miles down the road a reclusive beauty named Joann Brebner was living the bucolic life, cowgirling, helping out at her family's remote ranch-based resort.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Geordie, slang) A pill, especially of ecstasy.
  2. (British, northeast) Left-hander.
cow juice
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, humorous) Milk.
cow-orker Alternative forms: cow orker etymology Deliberate corruption of co-worker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) co-worker
    • 1989, Charles Anderson, Re: Words (mundane),, The above quote has been rated as gross, digusting, and tacky by my cow-orkers at work...are you a cow orker?
    • 1998, cluelessnewbie, Re: I give up on alt.slack, alt.slack, At this point, my cow-orker got real pissed off and firmly and courageously said: Hey, as a result of channeling, I discovered I used to be a cow in a previous lifetime.
    • 2006, Richard Bos, Re: Casting malloc (was: Reading a string of unknown size), comp.lang.c, You must be a popular cow-orker.
Cowper's fluid {{wikipedia}} etymology Named after the gland from which the fluid originates, the Cowper's or bulbourethral gland
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. the clear, colorless, viscous fluid that is secreted from an aroused penis before ejaculation
Synonyms: pre-ejaculate, (slang) precum, pre-cum
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang) A cowhand (one who tends free-range cattle)
  2. (US, dated) A device used in 19th century, some of which were patented or farm made and used around the neck of cows and other livestock to prevent them from challenging fencing. The action of the device was to poke the cow when the device came in contact with the fence.
Synonyms: (person) cowhand, cowperson
  • (person) cowboy, cowgirl
cowpuncher Alternative forms: cow-puncher
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A cowboy
    • about 1900, O. Henry, The miscellaneous setting of horses, dogs, saddles, wagons, guns, and cow-punchers' paraphernalia oppressed the metropolitan eyes of the wrecked sportsman.
cowshit etymology cow + shit
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar) The excrement of a cow.
cow shot
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (cricket, slang) A batting stroke played across the line and aiming to hit the ball towards cow corner. Regarded as inelegant, and indeed risky, but can be very effective for a batsman with strength and a good eye.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (Canada, slang) The city of Calgary, centre of the Canadian cattle industry.
cowtown etymology cow + town
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A small town, a hick or backwards town.
  2. A town or city noted for its link to the cattle industry.
Synonyms: (small, hick or backwards town) hicktown, hicksville, Woop Woop, one-horse town
coxie pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkɒksi/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Canada, slang) A coxswain.
coyote ugly
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, slang, derogatory, generally applied to women) Very ugly. The woman was so coyote ugly that if she wanted to hold my hand, I would chew it off at the wrist and give it to her.
etymology 1
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) cousin (usually as a term of address). "Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone" Romeo & Juliet Act I Scene 5
etymology 2 Alternative forms: ’cause, cos (informal) pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
conjunction: {{en-con}}
  1. (informal) because
cozzer etymology {{blend}}, both slang for British police.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, slang) a policeman, especially a detective; a rozzer
CPU {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (computer hardware) central processing unit
related terms:
  • FPU
  • GPU
  • PPU
  • MMU
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (video games) Any character or entity controlled by the game software.
  2. (slang) the main computer case containing the central components of a personal computer
Synonyms: (videogames) NPC
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (nursing education) Clinical practice unit.
  • cup
  • PUC
  • UPC
crab {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /kræb/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba, from Proto-Germanic *krabbô (compare Dutch krab, Low German Krabb, Swedish krabba), from *krabbōną 'to creep, crawl' (compare Saterland Frisian Kraabe, Dutch krabben), from Proto-Indo-European *grobʰ-, a variant of *gerebʰ-. More at carve. Further cognates with frequentative-infix are Dutch krabbelen and German krabbeln
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A crustacean of the infraorder Brachyura, having five pairs of legs, the foremost of which are in the form of claw, and a carapace.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, The Unknown Ajax, 1 , “But Richmond…appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw…that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.”
  2. A bad-tempered person.
  3. (in plural crabs, informal) An infestation of pubic lice, {{taxlink}}. exampleAlthough crabs themselves are an easily treated inconvenience, the patient and his partner(s) clearly run major STD risks.
  4. (slang) A playing card with the rank of three.
  5. (rowing) A position in rowing where the oar is pushed under the rigger by the force of the water.
  6. A defect in an outwardly normal object that may render it inconvenient and troublesome to use.
    • 1915, W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, : -- "I suppose you wouldn't like to do a locum for a month on the South coast? Three guineas a week with board and lodging." -- "I wouldn't mind," said Philip. -- "It's at Farnley, in Dorsetshire. Doctor South. You'd have to go down at once; his assistant has developed mumps. I believe it's a very pleasant place." There was something in the secretary's manner that puzzled Philip. It was a little doubtful. -- "What's the crab in it?" he asked.
    • 1940, Horace Annesley Vachell, Little Tyrannies Arrested by the low price of another “desirable residence”, I asked “What's the crab?” The agent assured me that there was no crab. I fell in love with this house at sight. Happily, I discovered that it was reputed to be haunted.
related terms:
  • craber
  • crabier
  • crabite
  • crab-skuit
  • panier de crabes
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To fish for crabs.
  2. (transitive, US, slang) To ruin.
    • 1940, Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Penguin 2010, p. 224: ‘Just so we understand each other,’ he said after a pause. ‘If you crab this case, you'll be in a jam.’
  3. (intransitive) To complain.
  4. (intransitive, nautical, aviation) To drift sideways or to leeward (by analogy with the movement of a crab). {{rfquotek}}
  5. (transitive) To navigate (an aircraft, e.g. a glider) sideways against an air current in order to maintain a straight-line course.
  6. (obsolete, World War I), to fly slightly off the straight-line course towards an enemy aircraft, as the machine gun on early aircraft did not allow firing through the propeller disk.
  7. (rare) To back out of something.
    • {{RQ:Wodehouse Offing}}
etymology 2 Middle English crabbe, of Germanic origin, plausibly from Scandinavian, cognate with Swedish dialect scrabba
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The crab apple or wild apple.
    • 1610, , by , act 2 scene 2 I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts;
  2. The tree bearing crab apples, which has a dogbane-like bitter bark with medical use.
  3. A cudgel made of the wood of the crab tree; a crabstick. {{rfquotek}}
  4. A movable winch or windlass with powerful gearing, used with derricks, etc.
  5. A form of windlass, or geared capstan, for hauling ships into dock, etc.
  6. A machine used in ropewalks to stretch the yarn.
  7. A claw for anchoring a portable machine.
Synonyms: (crab apple) crab apple, (tree) crab apple
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (obsolete) To irritate, make surly or sour
  2. To be ill-tempered; to complain or find fault.
    • Glanvill Sickness sours or crabs our nature.
  3. (British dialect) To cudgel or beat, as with a crabstick {{rfquotek}}
etymology 3 Possibly a corruption of the genus name {{taxlink}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The tree species {{taxlink}}, native of South America.
etymology 4 Alternation of carabiner
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Short for carabiner.
  • BRAC
  • carb
crab louse {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A parasitic insect, {{taxlink}}, that lives amongst the pubic hair of humans and feeds on blood.
Synonyms: (Pthirus pubis) crab, pubic louse
crabs pronunciation
  • /kræbz/ {{rhymes}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of crab
  2. (slang) pubic lice
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of crab
  • carbs
crack pronunciation
  • /kɹæk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English crakken, craken, from Old English cracian, from Proto-Germanic *krakōną, from Proto-Indo-European *gArg-, *grā-, from Proto-Indo-European *gerh₂- 〈*gerh₂-〉. Cognate with Scots crak, Western Frisian kreakje, Dutch kraken, Low German kraken, German krachen, Lithuanian gìrgžděti, Old Armenian կարկաչ 〈karkačʻ〉, Sanskrit .
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. {{senseid}}(intransitive) To form cracks. It's been so dry, the ground is starting to crack.
  2. (intransitive) To break apart under pressure. When I tried to stand on the chair, it cracked.
  3. (intransitive) To become debilitated by psychological pressure. Anyone would crack after being hounded like that.
  4. (intransitive) To break down or yield, especially under interrogation or torture. When we showed him the pictures of the murder scene, he cracked.
  5. (intransitive) To make a cracking sound. The bat cracked with authority and the ball went for six.
  6. (intransitive, of a voice) To change rapidly in register. His voice cracked with emotion.
  7. (intransitive, of a pubescent boy's voice) To alternate between high and low register in the process of eventually lowering. His voice finally cracked when he was fourteen.
  8. (intransitive) To make a sharply humorous comment. "I would too, with a face like that," she cracked.
  9. (transitive) To make a crack or cracks in. The ball cracked the window.
  10. (transitive) To break open or crush to small pieces by impact or stress. You'll need a hammer to crack a black walnut.
  11. (transitive) To strike forcefully. She cracked him over the head with her handbag.
  12. (transitive) To open slightly. Could you please crack the window?
  13. (transitive) To cause to yield under interrogation or other pressure. (Figurative) They managed to crack him on the third day.
  14. (transitive) To solve a difficult problem. (Figurative, from cracking a nut.) I've finally cracked it, and of course the answer is obvious in hindsight.
  15. (transitive) To overcome a security system or a component. It took a minute to crack the lock, three minutes to crack the security system, and about twenty minutes to crack the safe. They finally cracked the code.
  16. (transitive) To cause to make a sharp sound. to crack a whip
    • 2001, Doug McGuinn, The Apple Indians Hershell cracked his knuckles, a nervous habit that drove Inez crazy…
  17. (transitive) To tell (a joke). The performance was fine until he cracked that dead baby joke.
  18. (transitive, chemistry, informal) To break down (a complex molecule), especially with the application of heat: to pyrolyse. Acetone is cracked to ketene and methane at 700°C.
  19. (transitive, computing) To circumvent software restrictions such as regional coding or time limits. That software licence will expire tomorrow unless we can crack it.
  20. (transitive, informal) To open a canned beverage, or any packaged drink or food. I'd love to crack open a beer.
  21. (obsolete) To brag, boast.
    • {{RQ:RBrtn AntmyMlncly}}, II.4.1.v: Cardan cracks that he can cure all diseases with water alone, as Hippocrates of old did most infirmities with one medicine.
    • Shakespeare Ethoipes of their sweet complexion crack.
  22. (archaic, colloquial) To be ruined or impaired; to fail.
    • Dryden The credit…of exchequers cracks, when little comes in and much goes out.
related terms:
  • crazed (exhibiting fine-line cracks)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. {{senseid}}A thin and usually jagged space opened in a previously solid material. A large crack had formed in the roadway.
  2. A narrow opening. We managed to squeeze through a crack in the rock wall. Open the door a crack.
    • {{quote-news }}
  3. A sharply humorous comment; a wisecrack. I didn't appreciate that crack about my hairstyle.
  4. A potent, relatively cheap, addictive variety of cocaine; often a rock, usually smoked through a crack-pipe.
    • {{rfdate}} : I wouldn't use it, if I was going to use it I can afford real cocaine. Crack is wack.
  5. (onomatopoeia) The sharp sound made when solid material breaks. The crack of the falling branch could be heard for miles.
  6. (onomatopoeia) Any sharp sound. The crack of the bat hitting the ball.
    • {{quote-news }}
  7. (informal) An attempt at something. I'd like to take a crack at that game.
  8. (vulgar, slang) vagina. I'm so horny even the crack of dawn isn't safe!
  9. (vulgar) The space between the buttock. Pull up your pants! Your crack is showing.
  10. (Northern England, Scotland, Ireland) Conviviality; fun; good conversation, chat, gossip, or humourous storytelling; good company.
    • 2001, William F. Gray, The Villain, iUniverse, p. 214: Being a native of Northumberland, she was enjoying their banter and Geordie good humour. This was what she needed — good company and good crack.
    • 2004, Bill Griffiths, Dictionary of North East Dialect, Northumbria University Press (quoting Dunn, 1950) "his a bit o' good crack — interesting to talk to"
    • 2006, Patrick McCabe, Winterwood, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 10: By the time we've got a good drunk on us there'll be more crack in this valley than the night I pissed on the electric fence!
    The crack was good. That was good crack. He/she is quare good crack. The party was great crack.
  11. (Northern England, Scotland, Ireland) Business/events/news What's the crack?
  12. (computing) A program or procedure designed to circumvent restrictions or usage limits on software. Has anyone got a crack for DocumentWriter 3.0?
  13. (Cumbria, elsewhere throughout the North of the UK) a meaningful chat.
  14. (Internet slang) Extremely silly, absurd or off-the-wall ideas or prose.
  15. The tone of voice when changed at puberty.
    • Shakespeare Though now our voices / Have got the mannish crack.
  16. (archaic) A mental flaw; a touch of craziness; partial insanity. He has a crack.
  17. (archaic) A crazy or crack-brained person.
    • Addison I … can not get the Parliament to listen to me, who look upon me as a crack and a projector.
  18. (obsolete) A boast; boasting.
    • Burton crack and brags
    • Shakespeare vainglorious cracks
  19. (obsolete) Breach of chastity. {{rfquotek}}
  20. (obsolete) A boy, generally a pert, lively boy.
    • Shakespeare - 'Tis a noble child.- A crack, madam.
  21. (slang, dated, UK) A brief time; an instant; a jiffy. I'll be with you in a crack.
  • (Scots language, common in lowland Scotland and Ulster, conviviality) In the last few decades the word has been adopted into Gaelic; as there is no "k" in the Irish language the spelling craic has been devised.
Synonyms: (vulgar: space between the buttocks) bum crack (UK), arse crack (UK), ass crack (US), (cocaine that is heat-altered at the moment of inhalation) crack cocaine
etymology 2 1793 slang, of unknown origin
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Highly trained and competent. Even a crack team of investigators would have trouble solving this case.
  2. Excellent, first-rate, superior, top-notch. She's a crack shot with that rifle.
related terms:
  • cracker-jack
cracka etymology Modification of cracker with -a
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, pejorative, racial slur, slang) alternative spelling of cracker (impoverished white person)
crack a crib
verb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, criminal slang, dated) To break into a house.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Red-Headed League, “He'll crack a crib in Scotland one week, and be raising money to build an orphanage in Cornwall the next.”
    • 1942: Here in Macedonia I learned that honey is not so successful as one believes, that no bee ever realizes its full intention, and that the perfumer is a clumsy bungler who never cracks the fragile crib he covets, by approaching a town built in the Turkish manner, with a multitude of little gardens, at a time when the sun had been working for many hours on the acacia trees. — Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006, p. 795)
crack a fat
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar, slang) To have an erection.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (informal, slang) plural of cracka
crack baby {{wikipedia}} etymology From crack ("slang for cocaine") + baby
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) A child born to a mother who uses cocaine, especially crack cocaine or any child with substance abuse related birth defects
    • 1995 Mother Jones Magazine
    Developmental psychologist Claire Coles, who is also a clinician, has seen "crack babies" who were in fact colicky babies.
crackberry Alternative forms: Crackberry etymology {{blend}}, referring to crack cocaine for its addictive nature.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A BlackBerry, a handheld device considered addictive for its networking capability.
    • 2001 May 16, Steve Pyles, “Blackberry Service around WDW”, rec.arts.disney.parks, Usenet many people call theirs a CrackBerry. This thing is absolutely addictive! This unit can websurf, send/receive email, ...
    • 2003 December 1, Greg Brown, Latin Trade, Freedom Magazines, Inc. BlackBerry 7210 Phone and handheld computer US$449 The corporate gold standard, once called "crackberries" in Silicon Valley because executives seemed addicted to them.
    • 2005 March 1, Ron Seigneur (interviewee), Rick Telberg (author), Journal of Accountancy, American Institute of CPA's I just moved to a Treo 600 to replace my old cell phone and my Palm Pilot. Not quite a "Crackberry," but I just cannot stand those who have to check e-mail every five minutes.
    • 2005 October 1, Waxer, Cindy, Chief Executive (U.S.), Chief Executive Publishing Today, over 50,000 organizations and 3 million subscribers count on BlackBerry, dubbed 'crackberry' for its addictiveness, to receive and deliver email messages on the spot.
    • 2005 October, Paul Cunningham and M. Cunningham (editors), Innovation and the Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications, Case Studies, page 1368, IOS Press The Blackberry mobile office typifies this workstyle with...levels of stress generated in the individual such that productivity may be quantitative but not necessarily qualitative (the “Crackberry” syndrome).
    • 2006 February, Bill Sammon, Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the the Mainstream Media, Regnery Publishing Roberts seemed driven to distraction by whatever was on the screen of his "crackberry"—which is what the infernal devices were nicknamed by their hopelessly addicted users.
    • 2006 May, Thomas Louis Ampeliotis, Pursuit of a Perfectionist, page 9, iUniverse It is a goal that...I have been obsessing over, and emailing myself on my crackberry so I don’t forget ideas, and one that I bother my friends with constantly.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Broken so that crack appear on, or under, the surface.
  2. Broken into coarse pieces.
  3. (of a voice) Harsh or dissonant.
  4. (slang) Crazy; crackpot.
Synonyms: (broken so that cracks appear): crazed, (broken into coarse pieces):, (of a voice): discordant, dissonant, harsh, inharmonious, raspy, rough, (slang: crazy): See also
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of crack
cracker {{wikipedia}}{{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkrækə(r)/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From the verb to crack. Hard "bread/biscuit" sense first attested 1739, though "hard wafer" sense attested 1440. Sense of computer cracker, crack, cracking, were promoted in the 1980s as an alternative to hacker, by programmers concerned about negative public associations of hack, hacking. See .
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A dry, thin, crispy baked bread (usually salty or savoury, but sometimes sweet, as in the case of graham cracker and animal cracker).
  2. A short piece of twisted string tied to the end of a whip that creates the distinctive sound when the whip is thrown or cracked.
  3. A firecracker.
  4. A person or thing that cracks, or that cracks a thing (e.g. whip cracker; nutcracker).
  5. (Perhaps from previous sense.) A native of Florida or Georgia. See
  6. (pejorative, ethnic slur) A white person, especially one form the Southeastern United States. Also "white cracker". See
  7. A Christmas cracker.
  8. Refinery equipment used to pyrolyse organic feedstocks. If catalyst is used to aid pyrolysis it is informally called a cat-cracker
  9. (chiefly, British) A fine thing or person (crackerjack). She's an absolute cracker! The show was a cracker!
    • {{quote-news }}
  10. An ambitious or hard-working person (i.e. someone who arises at the 'crack' of dawn).
  11. (computing) One who crack (i.e. overcomes) computer software or security restrictions.
    • 1984, Richard Sedric Fox Eells, Peter Raymond Nehemkis, Corporate Intelligence and Espionage: A Blueprint for Executive Decision Making, Macmillan, p 137: It stated to one of the company's operators, “The Phantom, the system cracker, strikes again . . . Soon I will zero (expletive deleted) your desks and your backups on System A. I have already cracked your System B.
    • 2002, Steve Jones, Encyclopedia of New Media (page 1925) Likewise, early software pirates and "crackers" often used phrases like "information wants to be free" to protest the regulations against the copying of proprietary software packages and computer systems.
  12. (obsolete) A noisy boaster; a swagger fellow.
    • Shakespeare What cracker is this same that deafs our ears?
  13. A northern pintail, species of dabbling duck.
  14. (obsolete) A pair of fluted roll for grind caoutchouc. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: (hard, salty bread) biscuit, (twisted string on a whip) popper, snapper, (one who defeats software security) black hat hacker, (one who defeats software security) hacker, (white person) honky, wonderbread, whitey
related terms:
  • biscuit (UK)
  • cookie
etymology 2 Various theories exists regarding this term's application to poor white Southerners. One theory holds that it originated with disadvantaged corn and wheat farmers ("corncrackers"), who cracked their crops rather than taking them to the mill. Another theory asserts that it was applied due to Georgia and Florida settlers () who cracked loud whips to drive herds of cattle, or, alternatively, from the whip cracking of plantation slave drivers. Yet another theory maintains that the term cracker was in use in times to describe braggarts (see crack). An early reference that supports this sense is a letter dated June 27, 1766 from Gavin Cochrane to the : I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas and Georgia, who often change their places of abode."[ cracker]" in the ''Online Etymology Dictionary'', Douglas Harper, 2001"[ cracker]" in ''The New Georgia Encyclopedia'', John A. Burrison, Georgia State University, 2002
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, pejorative, racial slur) An impoverished white person from the southeastern United States, originally associated with Georgia and parts of Florida; by extension: any white person.
Synonyms: (whites) corn-cracker, (sometimes) crack head, honky, peckerwood, redneck, trailer trash, white trash
  • {{seeCites}}
crackerass etymology cracker + ass. Likely from Georgia Cracker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (offensive, derogatory, ethnic slur) A contemptible white person
    • 1974, Jack Olsen, Alphabet Jackson: a novel, link New Orleans holds us on downs, and Malley goes in to punt and that little crackerass No. 28 slices through and blocks it.
    • 1989, Windsor Chorlton, Rites of sacrifice, link If that crackerass wants to get in touch, tell him I can't be located.
    • 1989, Analog science fiction/science fact: Volume 109, Issues 10-13, link Those crackerass bureaucrats in the Pentagon don't care how good it works, they just want to go on using them crappy old machines they built their own selves."
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (derogatory) Relating to the negative attributes of a white person
    • 2002, Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/underdog, page 27 Dressing up like some crackerass white man, some dead president and letting people shoot at you sounds like a hustle to me.
    • 2006, Will Kaufman, The Civil War in American culture, page 72 Booth Dressing up like some crackerass white man, some dead president and letting people shoot at you sounds like a hustle to me.
    • 2012, Les Standiford, Bone Key, page 65 It might have been ruled an accident, except for the fact that it had happened in a crackerass town in rural Georgia, and that Russell had thrown off his gloves at one point and used his bare fists to continue the process.
cracker-ass etymology cracker + ass
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, offensive, ethnic slur) Of or relating to white people.
crackerbox etymology cracker + box, suggesting a square package of biscuits.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, Canada, sometimes, derogatory) An uncomfortably small and boxy house or car.
    • {{quote-news}}
crackerjack Alternative forms: crackajack, crack-a-jack, cracker-jack, cracker jack
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Exceptionally fine or excellent; top-notch; high quality.
  2. Expert, top-rated or high-performing.
  3. (US, slang) Referring to clothing items (pants, jersey, collar) that comprise the traditional blue uniform of the enlisted men of the US Navy, following the sailor uniform worn by Sailor Jack on boxes of Cracker Jack snacks.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An exceptionally fine or excellent thing or person.
  2. An expert or top-rated individual (e.g., a marksman)
  3. (US, slang, in the plural) The traditional blue uniforms of the enlisted men of the US Navy.
  4. (US, slang) A sailor.
  5. (US) popcorn candied and pressed into small cakes.
    • 1946, James T. Farrell, Bernard Clare (page 280) "Here, here's the popcorn man," Sid said as a vendor passed, pushing a cart. Sid bought a package of crackerjack and opened it while Mickey jumped up and down, unable to wait.
Cracker Jacks
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of Cracker Jack
  2. (uncountable, informal) Some of the Cracker Jack caramel-coated popcorn snack. A box of Cracker Jacks is enough for two, unless one of the two has a sweet tooth.
Synonyms: (some of the Cracker Jack caramel-coated popcorn snack) Cracker Jack
crackers etymology See cracker. The South African sense derive their name from their sound and their status as a plurale tantum by association with "trousers". The adjectival sense derives from British naval expressions referring to firecracker in one's head, originally as "he's got the crackers" and then "he's gone crackers" before the present "he is crackers".
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of cracker
  2. (South Africa, only plural) A kind of noisy leather pants or trousers.
    • 1849, E.E. Napier, Excursions in Southern Africa, Vol. II, p. 13: Sheepskin trousers—which, from the sound they make at every movement of the wearer, are called ‘crackers’.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK colloquial) Crazy, insane.
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of cracker
Cracker State etymology See Georgia Cracker.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) Georgia, United States
crackhead Alternative forms: crack head etymology From crack + -head.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative, slang) A person who is addicted to or regularly uses crack cocaine.
Synonyms: See also
crack head etymology From slang word crack, as in cocaine.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) alternative spelling of crackhead
crack house
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A residential building where crack cocaine is manufacture, sold, or consume.
    • 2008, "N.H. gets first conviction under federal crack house law," Boston Globe, 5 Jun. (retrieved 3 July 2008), A woman who ran a crack house in Nashua has become the first to be convicted in New Hampshire under a law criminalizing the use of a house or apartment to violate federal drug laws.
crackpot pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) An eccentric, crazy or foolish person. A kook. Time will tell whether he is a crackpot or a genius for promoting that sort of idea.
  2. (informal) Someone addicted to crack cocaine (i.e. a drug addict). See also crackhead.
Synonyms: crank (UK), crazy, kook, live one, nut ball, nutbag, nutbar, nutcase, nutter
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Eccentric or impractical a crackpot idea
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic, informal) A burglar or safebreaker.
    • {{RQ:Vance Nobody}} She was frankly disappointed. For some reason she had thought to discover a burglar of one or another accepted type—either a dashing cracksman in full-blown evening dress, lithe, polished, pantherish, or a common yegg, a red-eyed, unshaven burly brute in the rags and tatters of a tramp.
crack up
verb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) To laugh heartily. It was hilarious. We were cracking up the whole time.
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To cause to laugh heartily The joke about the nuns in the bath cracked me up.
  3. (intransitive, idiomatic) To become insane; to suffer a mental breakdown. She got through the war, but cracked up when her sister died.
  4. (transitive, slang, archaic) To cry up; to extol.
crackwhore etymology From crack + whore.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar) A prostitute who exchanges sexual favor for crack cocaine instead of money.
  2. (vulgar, slang, derogatory) A sexually promiscuous or adulterous woman.
crack whore
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A person addicted to crack cocaine who finances the habit through prostitution.
etymology 1 crack + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Having lots of crack.
  2. (slang) crazy, mad I know my idea seems cracky, but it has potential.
related terms:
  • crack up
  • cracked
etymology 2 Alteration of democrat
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) Democrat.
cradle robber Alternative forms: cradle-robber
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, pejorative) A person who marries or becomes romantically involved with someone who is much younger or who employs or otherwise engages a young person for a purpose inappropriate for his or her age.
    • 1914, , "The Man Who Could Not Lose": "And no mother," he shouted, "can call ME a ‘fortune-hunter’ and a ‘cradle-robber’ and think I'll make good by marrying her daughter!"
    • 2006, Francine Maroukian, "Modern Love: We Lived in the Present, Then the Future Arrived," New York Times, 29 Oct.: I was a 50-year-old woman; he was a 25-year-old man. . . . I was out of my pajamas and into a short skirt before you could say “cradle robber”.
Synonyms: cradle snatcher
  • cougar (North America)
  • manther (North America)
related terms:
  • rob the cradle
cradle snatcher etymology Refers to the idea of snatching someone from a cradle, i.e. they are very young.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A person who prefers to date people significantly younger than themselves.
Synonyms: cradle robber
  • cougar (North America)
  • manther (North America)
craftsy etymology crafts + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Suggesting traditional handicraft.
    • {{quote-news}}
cragger etymology crag + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A mountaineer.
    • {{quote-news}}
craigslist {{wikipedia}} etymology From the name of the website, itself from Craig + 's + list (after founder Craig Newmark).
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, Internet, informal) To advertise (a product or service) on the website.
    • 2009, Mary Elizabeth Williams, Gimme Shelter (page 207) Over the days that follow Andrew's party, the craigslisting mania from our potential seller does not abate.

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