AskDefine | Define crater

Dictionary Definition



1 a bowl-shaped opening at the top of a volcano [syn: volcanic crater]
2 a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Hydra and Corvus
3 a bowl-shaped depression formed by the impact of a meteorite or bomb

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

First coined 1613, from etyl la crater#Latin < etyl grc κρατήρ < κράμα < κεράννυμι.



  1. A hemispherical pit created by the impact of a meteor or other object.
  2. The basinlike opening or mouth of a volcano, through which the chief eruption comes; similarly, the mouth of a geyser, about which a cone of silica is often built up.
  3. The pit left by the explosion of a mine or bomb.
  4. Any large, roughly circular depression or hole.
astronomy: hemispherical pit
  • French: cratère
  • German: Krater
  • Greek: κρήτηρ
  • Hebrew: מכתש (makhtesh)
  • Italian: cratere
  • Norwegian: krater
  • Slovene: krater
  • Swedish: krater, nedslagskrater
geology: opening of a volcano
  • French: cratère
  • German: Krater
  • Italian: cratere
  • Norwegian: krater
  • Slovene: krater
  • Swedish: krater, vulkankrater
pit left by an explosion
  • French: cratère
  • German: Krater
  • Hebrew: מכתש (makhtesh)
  • Italian: cratere
  • Norwegian: krater
  • Slovene: krater
  • Swedish: krater


  1. To crash or fall.
    He cratered into that snow bank about five seconds after his first lesson.

Etymology 2

  1. Possibly a diminutive of creature.



  1. A term of endearment, a dote, a wretched thing.
    1843 - I then had the two best tarriers beneath the canopy; this poor crater is their daughter," and he patted the dog's head affectionately. William Hamilton Maxwell, Wild Sports of the West: With Legendary Tales, and Local Sketches , Publisher R. Bentley, page 77,
    1859 - She is a charming crater; I would venture to say that, if I was not her father. The British Drama: A Collection of the Most Esteemed Tragedies, Comedies ...
Usage notes
This term is still commonly used in speech but rarely appears in modern writing. see craterin


Alternative spellings


From the romanized form of the (Doric) lang=grc (Ionic) lang=grc < "to mix, mingle" < lang=grc


crater (genitive: crateris); , third declension
  1. A basin or bowl for water or for mixing.
  2. The opening of a volcano.

Extensive Definition

Crater may refer to:
In landforms:
  • Impact crater, caused by two celestial bodies impacting each other, such as a meteorite hitting a planet
  • Volcanic crater or caldera, formed by volcanic activity
  • Subsidence crater, from an underground (usually nuclear) explosion
  • A maar crater, a relief crater caused by a phreatic eruption or explosion
  • pit crater, a crater that forms through sinking of the surface and not as a vent for lava

See also

  • Krater, a Greek vessel used to mix wine and water (the original meaning)
crater in Catalan: Cràter
crater in German: Krater
crater in Spanish: Cráter
crater in Esperanto: Kratero
crater in French: Cratère
crater in Korean: 구덩이
crater in Croatian: Krater (razdvojba)
crater in Italian: Cratere
crater in Hebrew: מכתש
crater in Swahili (macrolanguage): Kasoko
crater in Latin: Crater
crater in Hungarian: Kráter
crater in Dutch: Krater
crater in Polish: Krater
crater in Russian: Кратер
crater in Simple English: Crater
crater in Finnish: Kraatteri (täsmennyssivu)
crater in Turkish: Krater

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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