General English


  • adjective used for describing food that is hard, is able to be broken into pieces and makes a noise when you bite it
  • noun a thin slice of potato, fried till crisp and eaten cold as a snack


  • used to describe white wine that is dry and refreshing to taste, normally because the acidity level has been well-judged by the winemaker

Origin & History of “crisp”

Historically, crisp means ‘curly’. It was borrowed into Old English from Latin crispus ‘curled’ (which was also the source of French crêpe, acquired by English as crape in the 17th century and then reborrowed in the original French form in the 19th century). The reason for the emergence of the word’s modern sense ‘brittle’, which happened in the early 16th century, is not clear, it may simply be that the sound of the word suggested brittleness.