• WordNet 3.6
    • n crater a bowl-shaped depression formed by the impact of a meteorite or bomb
    • n Crater a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Hydra and Corvus
    • n crater a bowl-shaped geological formation at the top of a volcano
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are over three trillion craters on the moon, with some being having a diameter over three feet
    • Crater (Astron) A constellation of the southen hemisphere; -- called also the Cup.
    • Crater The basinlike opening or mouth of a volcano, through which the chief eruption comes; similarly, the mouth of a geyser, about which a cone of silica is often built up.
    • Crater (Mil) The pit left by the explosion of a bomb, shell, or mine.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The whirling cloud, a flat cloud hovering over the peak of an extinct volcano, Mount Jirinaj in Indonesia, affected by hot air rising from the crater, spins swiftly around and around.
    • n crater pl. crateres (krā˙-tē′ rēz). In classical antiquity, a large vessel or vase in which water was mixed with wine according to accepted formulas, and from which it was dipped out and served to the guests in the smaller pouring-vessels (oinochoe). The typical form of the crater is open and bell-like, with a foot, and a small handle placed very low on either side. Many beautiful Greek examples are preserved, especially in the red-figured pottery. Also written krater. Compare oxybaphon.
    • n crater In geology, the cup-shaped depression or cavity of a volcano, forming the orifice through which the erupted material finds its way to the surface, or has done so in former times if the volcano is at present extinct or dormant. Such a depression is usually surrounded by a pile of ashes and volcanic débris, which forms the cone. Some craters have a very regular form; others are broken down more or less on one side.
    • n crater Milit., a cavity formed by the explosion of a military mine.
    • n crater Any hollow made in the earth by subterranean forces.
    • n crater [capitalized] An ancient southern constellation south of Leo and Virgo. It is supposed to represent a vase with two handles and a base.
    • n crater In electricity, a hollow cavity formed in the positive carbon of an arclamp when continuous currents are used.
    • n crater A caldera.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The final resting-place for Dr. Eugene Shoemaker - the Moon. The famed U.S. Geological Survey astronomer, trained the Apollo astronauts about craters, but never made it into space. Mr. Shoemaker had wanted to be an astronaut but was rejected because of a medical problem. His ashes were placed on board the Lunar Prospector spacecraft before it was launched on January 6, 1998. NASA crashed the probe into a crater on the moon in an attempt to learn if there is water on the moon.
    • n Crater krāt′ėr the bowl-shaped mouth of a volcano
    • ***


  • Herman Melville
    “Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius crater for an inkstand!”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. crater, cratera, a mixing vessel, the mouth of a volcano, Gr. krath`r, fr. keranny`nai to mix; cf. Skr. çrī, to mix, çir, to cook, çrā, to cook. Cf. Grail, in Holy Grail,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—Gr. kratēr, a large bowl for mixing wine, from kerannynai, to mix.


In literature:

The long pennon of smoke from its crater forever floats out triumphantly in the air.
"The Dodge Club" by James De Mille
She felt so happy in beautiful France, the fruitful land of genius, with the crater of freedom.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
These are known as the lunar craters.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
An evil, haunted silence seemed to brood over the great, crater-like hollow.
"The Sign of the Spider" by Bertram Mitford
Nine years later Mount Rainier was added, and two years after that wonderful Crater Lake, both meeting fully the new standard.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
The lake itself lies in what must have been the crater in the prehistoric period of activity of Megamendoeng.
"Across the Equator" by Thomas H. Reid
In this seemingly endless plain, the two craters rise in a bold silhouette, grimly black.
"Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific" by Felix Speiser
But when he saw the next man, "Home Run Crater," facing him, our hero felt a little shaky.
"Baseball Joe in the Big League" by Lester Chadwick
D D D D D The surface of the larger crater.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845." by Various
The work is completed by rolling out and joining the edges of the little crater, which closes and becomes the hatching-chamber.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre

In poetry:

Now here is a mountain.
I shall never leave this.
What a giant growth of moss!
And a crater, a rose
of moist fire!
"The Insect" by Pablo Neruda
Lightnings! that from your cloud leap out,
Thunders! that in its bosom sleep,
Fires! that from Etna's crater spout,
Rocks! that the earthquake's records keep,—
"Hymns For Dedication XI" by John Pierpont
"Must know her weight, and pry into her age,
Count her old beach lines by their tidal swell;
Her sunken mountains name, her craters gauge,
Her cold volcanoes tell;
"Honours -- Part I" by Jean Ingelow
There was an Old Person from Gretna,
Who rushed down the crater of Etna;
When they said, 'Is it hot?'
He replied, 'No, it's not!'
That mendacious Old Person of Gretna.
"Limerick:There was an Old Person from Gretna" by Edward Lear
My soul looked down from a vague height with Death,
As unremembering how I rose or why,
And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth,
Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe,
And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques.
"The Show" by Wilfred Owen
Then low swift open land and the wasted flank
of a leprous hillside—over the ridge and past
the blackened stumps of Bois Vert, bleak and dead.
Our sidecar jolted and rocked, twisting between
craters, lunging at every rack and wrench.
"The Road to Bayonvillers" by John Allan Wyeth

In news:

Nasa Mars rover makes detailed crater image.
PASADENA, Calif (AP) _ The ancient Martian crater where the Curiosity rover landed looks strikingly similar to the Mojave Desert in California with its looming mountains and hanging haze, scientists say.
The ancient Martian crater where the Curiosity rover landed looks strikingly similar to the Mojave Desert in California with its looming mountains and hanging haze, scientists say.
Mars crater where rover landed looks 'Earth-like'.
The latest Mars destination is a giant crater near the equator with an odd feature: a mountain rising from the crater floor.
Gale Crater was gouged by a meteor impact more than 3 billion years ago.
Scientists target huge crater in the search for signs of life (+video).
If the nail-biter landing goes according to plan, the $2.5 billion probe will be looking in a massive crater for conditions that may have once hosted life.
Raw, violent, beautiful nature exposed at Oregon's Crater Lake.
Crater Lake, what's left after ancient Mount Mazama blew up in a volcanic eruption nearly 8,000 years ago, lies in south-central Oregon.
Cafe Press Shares Crater On Disappointing Financial Outlook.
Chesterfield Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle was elected chairman of the Crater Planning District Commission for FY 2012-2013 at the commission's quarterly meeting on June 28.
New Scientist explained that craters remain undiscovered because over time the land becomes eroded or is covered by newer, younger rocks.
Where are asteroid craters .
Only the deepest parts of the crater can survive.

In science:

Europa of Jupiter has a highly cratered surface, with up to 95% of the smaller ones being secondaries (Bierhas et al. 2005).
Astrophysics in 2006
If this preponderance of secondaries should prove to be true of Mars as well, it would affect estimates of the ages of various parts of the surface based on crater numbers.
Astrophysics in 2006
Moon craters have been impact features all of our lives (and most of its), but Van Frese (2006) suggests that back-side impacts could have triggered some front side volcanoes.
Astrophysics in 2006
Craters in the surface are probably not impact craters, but may result from mass-loss driven by sublimation.
Icy Bodies in the New Solar System
Note the large tongue-shaped smooth region in the lower half of the nucleus (a ground-hugging flow on an ob ject whose escape velocity is ∼1 m s−1 ?) and the relative lack of large craters compared to Figure 2.
Icy Bodies in the New Solar System