adj. crisp·er, crisp·est
1. Firm but easily broken or crumbled; brittle: crisp potato chips.
2. Pleasingly firm and fresh: crisp carrot and celery sticks.
a. Bracing; invigorating: crisp mountain air.
b. Lively; sprightly: music with a crisp rhythm.
4. Conspicuously clean or new: a crisp dollar bill.
5. Marked by clarity, conciseness, and briskness: a crisp reply.
6. Having small curls, waves, or ripples. Used of hair.
v. crisped, crisp·ing, crisps
To make or keep crisp.
To become or remain crisp.
1. Something crisp or easily crumbled: The roast was burned to a crisp.
2. A dessert of fruit baked with a sweet crumbly topping: apple crisp.
3. Chiefly British A potato chip.
[Middle English, curly, from Old English, from Latin crispus; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.