9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kreyt] /kreɪt/
a slatted wooden box or framework for packing, shopping, or storing fruit, furniture, glassware, crockery, etc.
any completely enclosed boxlike packing or shipping case.
Informal. something rickety and dilapidated, especially an automobile:
They're still driving around in the old crate they bought 20 years ago.
a quantity, especially of fruit, that is often packed in a crate approximately 2 × 1 × 1 foot (0.6 × 0.3 × 0.3 meters):
a crate of oranges.
verb (used with object), crated, crating.
to pack in a crate.
Origin of crate
1350-1400; 1915-20 for def 3; Middle English, obscurely akin to Latin crātis wickerwork, hurdle
Related forms
recrate, verb (used with object), recrated, recrating.
uncrate, verb (used with object), uncrated, uncrating.
uncrated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for crate
  • Grey parrots crammed into a travel crate and smuggled to emerging markets.
  • It all came packed inside a single crate, complete with an engine and an inflation compressor.
  • The rhino is sedated in its crate, and all the vehicles move away.
  • There was also the much more compelling hide-and-hiss factor of two felines really not interested in having an outing in a crate.
  • And, with the aid workers have come some jobs, and a few more trucks carrying food and the odd crate of beer.
  • One green and one blue crate are provided to single family households.
British Dictionary definitions for crate


a fairly large container, usually made of wooden slats or wickerwork, used for packing, storing, or transporting goods
(slang) an old car, aeroplane, etc
(transitive) to pack or place in a crate
Derived Forms
crater, noun
crateful, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin crātis wickerwork, hurdle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crate

"large box," 1680s, earlier "hurdle, grillwork" (late 14c.), from Latin cratis "wickerwork, lattice, kitchen-rack," or from Dutch krat "basket;" both perhaps from a common PIE root *kert- "to turn, entwine" (see hurdle (n.)).


"to put in a crate," 1871, from crate (n.). Related: Crated; crating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for crate


  1. A car, bus, airplane, etc, esp an old rickety one •Seems to have been used for airplanes before cars; this may be because early airplanes were literally wooden and cloth crates: A ''crate'' is a ''junker'' with one surge left (1920+)
  2. A jail (1920s+ Hoboes)

To arrest and jail: We crate Major and they'll go. But they won't leave him there (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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