The word “crush” has multiple meanings and definitions. It is used differently in each context. To easily understand all the meanings of crush, we’ve divided them into seven different senses and sections.
“Crush” in the sense of love or infatuation.
- feel love-sick for someone.
- a strong desire to be with someone.
- short-term but extreme feelings of love for someone.
- to have strong feelings of love for someone, mostly one-sided.
- to have romantic feelings for a person, usually with no results.
- I think Steve has a crush on our new English teacher; he always looks forward to her classes and even goes to ask questions after classes, though he doesn’t need to.
- When I was young, I had a big crush on one of the top actresses of our time; I even had posters of her all over my room.
- Teenagers usually have a crush on famous personalities—film stars, celebrities, sportspersons—but as they grow older, they outgrow these fantasies.
- Elvis Presley was a major star of his time; he was so popular that many young women had a crush on him.
- My niece told me that she has a crush on the new boy in her class; she finds him very cute and attractive.
- After being spurned twice, Sally said she would never have a crush on anyone again.
- My sister thinks she has a crush on someone I know. Who can that be?
- Joe is the athletic champion of our school, and many girls have a crush on him.
“Crush” in the sense of breaking or grinding.
- to break something into tiny pieces.
- to grind something hard into a powder.
- John crushed the can after using it.
- Add a piece of crushed ginger to make a tasty gravy.
- The chainsaw badly crushed his hand while he was cutting trees.
- I need to crush the black pepper to sprinkle on the dish.
- Crush the garlic by striking it multiple times with the stone.
“Crush” in the sense of spoiling and ruining.
- to shatter or destroy something, such as a feeling, desire, and so on.
- to ruin or spoil something, like a plan or project.
- Andrew isn’t letting COVID-19 crush his holiday spirit.
- A girl’s plans were crushed when she couldn’t meet her dad.
- Everything kids do is pure and untainted by society’s standards. No one should crush their happiness.
- Her lack of confidence may crush her dreams.
“Crush” in the sense of squeezing or pressing.
- exert such force on something that it is damaged, broken, or injured.
- Remove the dress from the suitcase to avoid getting it crushed.
- She crushed the cup and threw it into the trash.
- The box got completely crushed when a heavy block fell on top of it.
- Those who want it spicy should crush the pepper at the end of cooking and add it to their portion.
- A wall fell and crushed three men in the accident.
- The years have rather sadly crushed the silk dress, but hopefully you can imagine it in its original, pristine condition.
“Crush” in the sense of defeating.
- to absolutely defeat someone or something.
- to perform very well in a specific task, situation, contest, or challenge.
- to beat an opposite team or party in a game or competition.
- The England cricket team is strong enough to crush the opposition.
- The defense minister called upon the military to help crush the rebellions.
- America crushed Russia by 10 to 3 in the last match in Tokyo.
- The Austrian ski team is being crushed by the Canadians.
- Amazon’s new strategies will crush small, offline businesses.
“Crush” in the sense of demoralization.
- to irritate, disturb, or shock someone.
- to be heartbroken.
- Rob was crushed by the news of his wife’s car accident.
- Never listen to your haters, and don’t be crushed by them.
- She was crushed when she lost her last chance to win the prize.
- If you cheat on her again, it will crush her heart.
“Crush” in the sense of the crowd.
- a swarm of people pressed up against one another.
- a massive gathering of people
- We have to struggle through the crush to get to the train on time.
- I’m not too fond of the crush at the mall on Black Friday sales.
- I am pretty sure that anyone can get lost in this crush.
- My mum will stay with us, but it’ll be a bit of a crush in our house. (British)
Crush Synonym Words
- love; attraction; obsession; passion; infatuation
- squash; break; smash
- overcome; subdue; overpower conquer
- demoralize; depress; discourage; devastate; put down
- squeeze; press; enfold
- crowd; throng; mob; herd; jam; gathering
Origin of Crush
“Crush on somebody” is a variation on the older phrase “to have a crush on,” which has been around since at least 1995, when the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina described the verb crush as:
“to be totally gaga over a girl or guy. Usage: ‘Have you seen the way Wanda looks at that new guy in algebra class? She is totally crushing on him.'”
Crush was introduced in English around 1398, probably from the Old French verb croissir, which meant to crack or break and make a noise.
The romantic sense of “crush” was first published in the 1884 journal of Isabella Maud Rittenhouse. It mentioned the object of the obsession:
“Wintie is weeping because her crush is gone.”
After a few years, the crush defined the infatuation itself.
“Miss Palfrey … consented to wear his bunch of blue violets. It was a ‘crush,’ you see, on both sides,” John Seymour Wood wrote in Yale yarns in 1895.
A linguist, Eric Partridge, suggested that crush might have been a variation on mash since, by 1870, mashed was a common way of saying flirtatious or head over heels in love, and to crush something was to mash it. To be on the mash, or to make a mash on someone, was to flirt with that person. A masher was a guy who could entice a young lady with a crafty glimpse and a smooth line of conversation.