crush


crush
crush vb
1 Crush, mash, smash, bruise, squash, macerate are comparable when they mean to reduce or be reduced to a pulpy or broken mass.
Crush implies a compressing between- two hard or resistant surfaces that succeeds, usually, in destroying the shape and integrity of the mass; the result depends on the texture of what is crushed, whether it is permanently deformed and destroyed, broken into fragments, or capable of springing back into shape
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crushed her fingers between the rollers of a mangle

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[the ostrich] leaveth her eggs in the earth . . . and forgetteth that the foot may crush them— Job 39:14-15

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many persons were crushed to death in the panic

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this hat crushes easily

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the crushed leaves of mint have a strong smell

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Mash implies the beating or pounding of something, often deliberately, to a soft pulp; in this sense mash may come close to crush in meaning
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this hand shall . . . mash all his bones— Pope

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but it is more often used in reference to the preparation of certain vegetables and fruits in the kitchen by similar means
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mash cooked potatoes

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mash strawberries for jam

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Smash carries a stronger implication of violence in implying a force that shatters or batters; it also often suggests the uselessness for all purposes of what is smashed
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smash a bottle to bits

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the upshot of which, was, to smash this witness like a crockery vessel, and shiver his part of the case to useless lumber— Dickens

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his hair was black and close-cut; his skin indurated; and the bridge of his nose smashed level with his face— Shaw

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Bruise, though more commonly used in reference to an injury of the flesh, also carries a sense related to that of crush, smash, or mash in which it implies the pressing or beating of something so as to break it down with the effect of setting the juices running or of softening the fibers
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nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hooves of hostile paces— Shak.

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some scatt'ring pot-herbs . . . bruised with vervain— Dryden

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Squash differs from the preceding words chiefly in its applicability to objects that are very soft (as through overripeness or immaturity) or that require little effort to crush by pressure
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every pear that fell from the tree was squashed

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he squashed under his foot every beetle he could find

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Macerate is used chiefly in reference to a process of steeping something in a liquid so as to soften or detach its fibers or to wear away its soft parts; the softening or detachment of fibers is chiefly emphasized, and macerate often refers to a step in an industrial process or to a part of a digestive process
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macerate rags as the first step in papermaking

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corn is macerated in the gizzard of afowl

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The term may, however, imply a wearing away of the soft part from whatever cause; it particularly suggests a wasting away of the body (as through fasting or worry)
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the fierce unrest, the deathless flame, that slowly macerates my frame— Martin

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Analogous words: *press, squeeze, crowd, jam: batter, mangle, *maim: *beat, pound
2 Crush, quell, extinguish, suppress, quench, quash are comparable when they mean to bring to an end by destroying or defeating.
Crush in this sense retains from its basic meaning the implication of being destroyed or injured severely by pressure from without, but it differs in being more often applied to immaterial than to material things and in implying a force at work that makes for the destruction of effective opposition or operation especially by preventing resistance or by depriving of the freedom necessary for expansion or thriving
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truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again— Bryant

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the free play of passion and thought, the graces and arts of life . . . were crushed out of existence under this stern and rigid rule— Dickinson

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the mere volume of work was enough to crush the most diligent of rulers— Buchan

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Quell means to overwhelm completely and reduce wholly to submission, to inactivity, or to passivity; the term may be used in respect to people or animals or to (usually immaterial) things; thus, one may quell a riot or the rioters; quell a mutiny or the mutineers
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the nation obeyed the call, rallied round the sovereign, and enabled him to quell the disaffected minority— Macaulay

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had some difficulty in quelling the tumult that arose when the bell was answered— Shaw

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Extinguish (see also ABOLISH) implies an end as sudden or as complete as the blowing out of a candle or the putting out of a fire with water
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the sudden and soon extinguished genius of Marlowe— T. S. Eliot

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lives that were to be extinguished in Hitler's gas chambers— Deutscher

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Suppress differs from crush especially in implying conscious action, in more strongly suggesting a power or force that openly quells or extinguishes, and in more often taking as its object a definite objective person or thing
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suppress a political organization

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one purpose of the purchase was to suppress competition between the two roads— Justice Holmes

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deeply as the Cistercians disliked and distrusted Abelard, they did not violently suppress him— Henry Adams

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Quench, which is close to extinguish in its basic meaning, differs from it in extended use in stressing a satisfying, dampening, cooling, or decreasing (as of ardor) as the cause of extinction. Although it is used specifically of thirst, it is also frequently referred to emotions, sensations, and desires
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many waters cannot quench loveSong of Solomon 8:7

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to be damned by the praise that quenches all desire to read the book— T. S. Eliot

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he then turns to those who do not belong to the leisure class, and quenches their aspirations after wisdom— Crothers

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Quash basically implies a shaking or dashing that destroys; in the present sense (see also ANNUL) it implies a sudden and summary extinction
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quash a rebellion

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he foresaw that the dreadful woman . . . would quash his last chance of life— Dickens

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the lady, together with her family, was dispatched to the safe distance of the Far East. . . . Thus was quashed an idyll— S. H. Adams

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Analogous words: *destroy, demolish: *ruin, wreck: annihilate, *abolish: obliterate, blot out, efface (see ERASE)
crush n press, throng, *crowd, horde, mob, rout
Analogous words: *multitude, army, legion, host

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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