Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a line made on cloth or paper when it is folded or crushed

the line in front of the wicket where a batsman stands to hit the ball in the game of cricket

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The noun and verb crease are of uncertain origin: they may be related to ‘crest’. Both were first used towards the end of the 16th century.


A crease is a line on cloth or paper that appears when it is crushed or folded, or a fine line on someone’s skin, especially their face. A crease in fabric may be made inadvertently or deliberately, for example when you iron a visible line down the length of a trouser leg. A crease is also a line on a cricket pitch, especially one that indicates where a batsman stands to defend the wicket. A batsman who is defending a wicket is said to be at the crease. The term crease also indicates the area in front of the goal in a game such as ice hockey or lacrosse where a player stands to prevent the other team from scoring. Crease is also a verb, with meanings that include to make lines on cloth or paper by folding or crushing it, and to cause lines to appear on someone’s face when their expression changes. Something that is creased is marked with a crease or creases. To crease up or crease is to start laughing or make someone laugh.


Why does my mum always iron a crease in my jeans?
(enTenTen15 corpus)

As you age and your skin loses its elasticity, those creases deepen into static, or permanent, lines and wrinkles.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Fred shrugged, his lined face creasing into a wry smile.
(British National Corpus)

The three old mates, and a fourth, 90-year-old Reg Davis, creased up with laughter.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Related words

crinkle, fold, kink, wrinkle

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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