General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun a collision either with another car or into some usually stationary object


  • noun a failure of a component or a bug in a program during a run, which halts and prevents further use of the system
  • verb to fail suddenly and completely, or to cause a computer system or piece of software to fail


  • A complete and unexpected program or system halt. Caused by a program deficiency or a hardware failure. Also called abnormal termination, abnormal end, or bomb.
  • A hard disk failure in which the read/write head collides with the surface of a disk. This may be caused by a foreign object such as dust, or a misalignment. data is destroyed, and generally both the read/write head and the platter must be replaced. Also called head crash.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to come to a sudden stop as a result of an accident

Media Studies

  • verb to carry on broadcasting a live event for longer than intended because of overruns etc.


  • noun super, heavy gauze used to make the hinges for a binding


  • adjective excellent, attractive, exciting. In this sense, fashionable since 2000, the word may be a shortening of crash-hot or an unrelated coinage.
  • verb to go to sleep, lie down and lose consciousness. This word was very popular in the hippy era, perhaps because the suggestion of sudden collapse coincided with drug-induced sleep or simply curling up on a floor exhausted. Crash sounded rather dated by the late 1990s; it originated in armed-services slang in World War II, probably among airmen, and was adopted by bohemian travellers and beatniks during the 1950s.
  • verb to gatecrash. A word made especially popular by the teenage custom (from the 1960s onward) of arriving uninvited at parties.
  • verb to cadge, borrow or lend. In use among working-class speakers and members of the armed services in the 1950s, this term became popular among adolescents in the 1990s. It is heard particularly in the Scottish Lowlands and the north of England.


  • verb to suffer a total loss of physical or mental energy, often because of exhaustion or stress


  • noun an accident in a car, bus, coach, plane or train

Origin & History of “crash”

Crash suddenly appeared from nowhere in middle English (meaning ‘break in pieces noisily’), with apparently no relatives in other Germanic languages. Its form suggests that it originated in imitation of the sound of noisy breaking, but it has been further suggested that it may be a blend of craze and dash. The financial or business sense of the noun, ‘sudden collapse’, is first recorded in the early 19th century in the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.