From the second edition (1989):
crush, v.
(krʌʃ) Forms: 5 crusch-en, -yn, crussh-yn, (crusse), 5–6 crusshe, 6 crousshe, 7 chrush, 6– crush. Cf. croose v. [app. a. OF. croissir, croisir, sometimes cruis(s)ir, rarely crusir, croussir, to gnash (the teeth), to make a crashing or cracking noise, to crash, crack, smash, break; in Cotgr., 1611, ‘to cracke, or crash, or crackle, as wood thats readie to breake’; = Cat. croxir, Sp. cruxir, crujir to crackle, to rustle, It. †croscere, crosciare to crackle, crash, clatter; ‘also to squease, to crush, or squash’ (Florio); med.L. cruscire to crackle (Du Cange). The Romanic word is app. of Ger. origin: see Diez and Mackel, and cf. MHG. krosen, krösen to gnash with the teeth, make a crackling noise, bruise or crush with a crackling sound, crash, craunch, for which Hildebrand infers an OHG. chrosôn, chrosian.
The notion of noise present in the foreign words appears also in early uses of cruss, crussh, but is practically absent from later use, being now expressed by crash.]


1. To dash together with the sound of violent percussion, to clash, crash; to make the harsh grating noise of things forcibly smashed or pounded to fragments. Obs.

1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. x. vii. (1495) 379 Cole quenchyd though it greue not wyth brennynge hym that trede theron it makyth crusshynge and grete noyse. c1400 Destr. Troy 4752 At yche cornell of þe castell was crusshyng of weppon. Ibid. 5852 Crakkyng of cristis, crusshyng of speires. Ibid. 7298 There was crie of ken men, crussing of wepyn.


2. trans. To compress with violence, so as to break, bruise, destroy, squeeze out of natural shape or condition: said of the effect of pressure whether acting with momentum or otherwise.

?a1400 Morte Arth. 1134 He [the geaunt] caughte hyme in armez, And enclosez hyme clenly, to cruschene hys rybbez. c1440 Promp. Parv. 106 Crusshyn' bonys, ocillo. 1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 234b, The worme yt is crusshed or poysoned. 1611 Bible Job xxxix. 15 The Ostrich‥leaueth her egges in the earth‥And forgetteth that the foot may crush them. 1665 Hooke Microgr. 33 Some of these I broke‥by crushing it [the stem] with a small pair of Plyers. 1715–20 Pope Iliad xii. 83 In one promiscuous carnage crush'd and bruis'd. 1840 F. D. Bennett Whaling Voy. II. 357 The leaves, when crushed, emit a powerful smell of camphor. 1860 Tyndall Glac. i. ii. 9 The shock which would crush a railway carriage.
absol. 1885 Mrs. H. Ward tr. Amiel's Jrnl. (1891) 18 The wish to crush, roused irresistibly by all that creeps.


b. With advb. extension, defining the result.

1530 Palsgr. 502/2 He hath crousshed his legge with the fall all to peces. 1594 Shakes. Rich. III, v. iii. 111 That they may crush downe with a heauy fall, Th' vsurping Helmets of our Aduersaries. 1628 Earle Microcosm., Selfe-conceited Man (Arb.) 33 He is a bladder blown vp with wind, which the least flaw crushes to nothing. 1665 Sir T. Herbert Trav. (1677) 50 Some‥cast themselves in the way and are crusht to death. 1768 J. Byron Narr. Patagonia 222 We expected‥the roof and walls of our prison to fall in upon us, and crush us to pieces. 1853 Kingsley Hypatia xxiv. 299 Philammon crushed the letter together in his hand. Mod. Crushed flat under the feet of the crowd.


c. To crumple or put out of shape (cloth, a dress, etc.) by pressure or rough handling.

Mod. Her bonnet and dress were all crushed.


d. intr. To advance with crushing.

1876 Whittier Lost Occasion 24 Crushing as if with Talus' flail Through Error's logic-woven mail.


e. intr. (for refl.) To become violently compressed, squeezed out of shape, or otherwise injured, by outside pressure.

1755 Johnson, Crush, to be condensed. 1776 Withering Brit. Plants (1796) IV. 282 Its texture tender, soon crushing and becoming watery when gathered. 1786 T. Jefferson Writ. (1859) I. 553 Their rotten machine must crush under the trial. 1866 G. Macdonald Ann. Q. Neighb. xxxix. (1878) 506, I heard the hailstones crush between my feet and the soft grass of the lawn.


f. In imprecations. Obs.

1770 Foote Lame Lover i. Wks. 1799. II 60 Crush me if ever I saw any thing half so handsome before!


3. To press or squeeze forcibly or violently. (The force, not the effect, being the prominent notion.) Also with advb. extension, to crush against, crush into, crush out of, crush through, etc.

1592 Shakes. Ven. & Ad. 611 ‘Fie, fie’, he says, ‘you crush me, let me go’. 1596 —— 1 Hen. IV, v. i. 13 To crush our old limbes in vngentle Steele. 1611 Bible Num. xxii. 25 The asse‥crusht [Coverd. thrust, Geneva dasht] Balaams foote against the wall. 1884 Sir N. Lindley in Law Rep. 9 Probate Div. 205 The salving vessel‥was crushed against the landing-stage‥and was damaged. Mod. Too many people were crushed into the carriage. The article was in type but has been crushed out by the pressure of political news.


b. intr. (for refl.) To advance or make one's way by crushing or pressure.

1755 Johnson, Crush‥to come in a close body. 1860 Sat. Rev. X. 444/1 The multitude which crushes round the Prince.


4. fig. a. To break down the strength or power of; to conquer beyond resistance, subdue or overcome completely.

1596 Spenser State Irel. Wks. (Globe) 672/2 They use them‥to oppress and crush some of their owne to stubburne free-holders. 1611 Bible Lam. i. 15 He hath called an assembly against mee, to crush my yong men. 1781 Gibbon Decl. & F. III. xlix. 86 His enemies were crushed by his valour. 1838 Thirlwall Greece V. 95 Such an opportunity of crushing or humbling Sparta. 1848 Gaskell Mary Barton (1882) 82/1 He sank upon a seat, almost crushed with the knowledge of the consequences of his‥action.


b. Of actions, feelings, etc.: To put down, subdue utterly, extinguish, stamp out.

1610 R. Niccols Mirr. Mag. 573 And at my state with her proud hornes did push In hope my fame‥ to crush. 1697 W. Dampier Voy. (1698) I. xiii. 371 These disorders might have been crusht. 1720 Gay Poems (1745) I. 172 Crush'd is thy pride. 1853 C. Kingsley Hypatia xxiv. 299 She was to crush the voice of conscience and reason. 1867 Smiles Huguenots Eng. i. (1880) 1 Wherever free inquiry showed itself‥the Church endeavoured to crush it. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 160 The higher feelings of humanity are far too strong to be crushed out.


c. To oppress with harshness or rigour.

1611 Bible Amos iv. 1 Yea kine of Bashan‥which oppresse the poore, which crush the needy. 1665 Sir T. Herbert Trav. (1677) 293 There the poor are crusht without a cause. 1846 Whittier The Branded Hand x, Woe to him who crushes the soul with chain and rod.


5. To bruise, bray, break down into small pieces; esp. applied to the comminution of ore, quartz, coke, sugar-cane, oil-seeds, etc. in various industrial processes.

1588 Greene Pandosto Ded. (1607) 2 Unicornes being glutted with brousing on rootes of Lycoras, sharpen their stomacks, with crushing bitter grasse. 1667 Milton P.L. v. 345 For drink the grape She crushes. 1830 M. Donovan Dom. Econ. I. 309 The apples had‥been well crushed and pressed. 1839 Penny Cycl. XV. 245/1 The lumps of‥ore‥falling through between the rollers‥are completely crushed into small fragments. 1873 C. Robinson N. S. Wales 18 Cane crushed at the large mills on the Clarence.


6. To force out by squeezing or pressing; to press or squeeze out. Also fig.

1602 Marston Antonio's Rev. v. i. Wks. 1856 I. 132 And crush lives sap from out Pieros vaines. a1626 Bacon (J.), He crushed treasure out of his subjects purses by forfeitures. 1634 Milton Comus 47 Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine. 1690 Dryden Don Sebastian (J.), I wanted weight of feeble Moors upon me To crush my soul out.


7. to crush a cup of wine, pot of ale, etc.: to drink, quaff, ‘discuss’ it: cf. crack v. 10.

1592 Greene Def. Conny Catch. Wks. (Grosart) XI. 43 If euer I brought my Conny but to crush a potte of ale with mee. 1592 Shakes. Rom. & Jul. i. ii. 86, I pray come and crush a cup of wine. 1822 Scott Nigel v, You shall crush a cup of wine to the health of the Fathers of the city. 1845 Whitehall xxx. 206 They had crushed several pottles of wine.