use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

crush (krŭsh)
Share:
v. crushed, crush·ing, crush·es
v.tr.
1.
a. To press between opposing bodies so as to break, compress, or injure: The falling rock crushed the car.
b. To break, pound, or grind (stone or ore, for example) into small fragments or powder.
2.
a. To put down with force; subdue: The regime crushed the rebellion.
b. To overwhelm or oppress severely: spirits that had been crushed by rejection and failure.
c. To defeat overwhelmingly: Our team was crushed in the playoffs.
3. To crumple or rumple: crushed the freshly ironed shirt.
4. To hug, especially with great force.
5. To hit or propel with great force: a swing of the bat that crushed a fastball over the wall.
6. To press upon, shove, or crowd.
7. To extract or obtain by pressing or squeezing: crush juice from a grape.
v.intr.
1. To be or become crushed: Aluminum cans crush easily.
2. To proceed or move by crowding or pressing: The fans crushed forward to get a glimpse of the movie star.
n.
1. The act of crushing or the pressure involved in crushing: matter superheated by the crush of gravity around black holes.
2. A great crowd: a crush of spectators.
3. A substance prepared by or as if by crushing, especially a fruit drink: orange crush.
4. Informal
a. A usually temporary infatuation: had a crush on her friend's cousin.
b. One who is the object of such an infatuation.
Phrasal Verb:
crush on Slang
To be infatuated with (someone).

[Middle English crushen, from Old French croissir, of Germanic origin.]

crusha·ble adj.
crusher n.
crushproof (-prf) adj.

Synonyms: crush, mash, smash, squash2
These verbs mean to press forcefully so as to reduce to a pulpy mass: crushed the rose geranium leaves; mashed the sweet potatoes; smashed the bamboo stems with a hammer; squashed the wine grapes. See Also Synonyms at crowd1.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.