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[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 crating
Historical Examples
  • "I guess we'll be crating from now till tonight without a stop," he said unhappily.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • Gathering, bundling, crating, and shipping are all to be watched carefully.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • Mother, you know very well what the crating and freight would have cost, and you sold your stuff for more than it was worth.

    Polly in New York Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • She found even the wrapping of chair legs with excelsior, and the crating of bureau and tables, interesting.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
  • Through the transparent walls he could see the staff packing the records, crating them for shipment.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • At Wargla the explorers remained for several days, boxing and crating their specimens and antiquities.

    Captured by the Arabs James H. Foster
  • It can be used for crating and for partitions and other purposes in loading the car.

  • Ten million feet of lumber were used, chiefly in boxing and crating, as very little wood is now used in the reaper.

    Inventors Philip Gengembre Hubert
  • This plan would save time, and also the cost of crating and expressage if done at Tarrytown.

    Natalie: A Garden Scout Lillian Elizabeth Roy
British Dictionary definitions for crating


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 crating



"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 crating



  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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