Crack Up

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Meaning of Idiom 'Crack Up'

1. To go insane or have an emotional or mental breakdown. 1,2

Compare Come Apart at the Seams.

2. Cause damage to or wreck a vehicle; to be in a vehicular crash. 2

3. To laugh heartily or cause someone to laugh. 1

Compare Not All It's Cracked Up To Be.


"Ramos completely cracked up after he was caught embezzling."

"There was a crack up on the interstate today. I was stuck in traffic for hours."

"Mitchell is hysterical. He cracks me up every time I see him."


To crack up originally meant to toast or praise. The present idiom seems unrelated. Here, the word crack has the sense of "breaking into pieces." 2

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

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