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crown jewel

1. A precious jewel that is part of or featured on a monarch's or sovereign's regalia. Just one crown jewel from the Queen's regalia is worth enough money to buy a small country.
2. An asset or possession prized as being the best of a group of similar things. This vintage 1965 Corvette Stingray is the crown jewel of my car collection. The works of Shakespeare are the crown jewels of English drama.
See also: crown, jewel

crown jewels

1. The precious jewels, and the regalia or which they are featured, of a monarch or sovereign, as worn or used on a state occasion. One of the greatest mysteries of 20th-century Ireland was the case of the Irish Crown Jewels, which were stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907 and never recovered.
2. slang A man's genitals, especially the testicles. When she heard he had an affair, she kicked him right in the crown jewels.
See also: crown, jewel

crowning achievement

The most important, significant, or greatest accomplishment or moment of one's career or life. The author's oeuvre spans five novels, four plays, and six books of poetry, but this, her final novel, is by far her crowning achievement. I may have had success in business and led a somewhat romantic life, but my crowning achievement was by far the day I became a father.
See also: crown

crown of thorns

Something that causes one pain and suffering. Alludes to the crown of thorns that Jesus was made to wear before his crucifixion. Its usage is similar to the phrase "cross to bear. I can't stand to see how sick she has become. This illness is a real crown of thorns. This class is my crown of thorns. No matter how much I study, I just keep getting awful grades.
See also: crown, of, thorn

crown someone with something

1. Lit. to place a crown on someone's head. They crowned the prince with the heavily jeweled royal crown.
2. Fig. to strike someone on the head with something. She crowned him with a skillet. The carpenter crowned himself with a board he knocked loose.
See also: crown

crown something with something

Fig. to place something on the very top of something. (As if crowning royalty.) The chef crowned the cake with golden icing.
See also: crown

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Prov. A person who has a lot of power and prestige also has a lot of responsibilities, and therefore worries more than other people. (From Shakespeare's play, Henry IV, Part II.) Susan began to have trouble sleeping shortly after she was promoted to head of her department. "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," her friends teased.
See also: crown, head, lie, wear

the jewel in the crown

the best or most valuable thing in a group This college is the jewel in the crown of the city's university.
See also: crown, jewel

to cap/crown/top it all

something that you say when you want to tell someone the worst event in a series of bad events that has happened to you He spilled red wine on the carpet, insulted my mother, and to cap it all, broke my favourite vase.
See be all sweetness and light, for all cares, for all knows, That's all she wrote!, be all in a day's work, I've never [felt etc.] in all my days!, be all ears, if all else fails, all eyes are on, be all eyes, be all fur coat and no knickers, It's all go, All in good time, It's all Greek to me, be all heart, at all hours, at all hours, to all intents and purposes, and all that jazz, be all in the/ mind, in all modesty, be all moonlight and roses, be all mouth, in all but name, That's all need!, be all smiles, all systems go, be all talk, would for all the tea in China, be all things to all men, be all fingers and thumbs, go all the way, be all wet, All work and no play
See also: all, cap

to cap it all

if you have been describing bad things which happened and then say that to cap it all something else happened, you mean that the final thing was even worse He spilled red wine on the carpet, insulted my mother, and, to cap it all, he broke my favourite vase.
See to cap it all, If the cap fits, come cap in hand
See also: all, cap

the jewel in the crown

the best or most valuable thing in a group of things (often + of ) The island of Tresco, with its beautiful tropical gardens, is the jewel in the crown of the Scilly Isles.
See also: crown, jewel

crown jewels

1. A prized possession or asset, as in The Iliad and Odyssey are the crown jewels of ancient literature, or The software products are the company's crown jewels. This usage transfers the value of royal jewels to some other object. [Late 1800s]
2. Also, family jewels. The male genitals, especially the testicles. For example, She gave the would-be mugger a hard kick in the family jewels. A slang euphemism, the term dates from the 1970s, and the variant from the early 1900s.
See also: crown, jewel


tv. to hit someone on the head. The clerk crowned the robber with a champagne bottle.
References in classic literature ?
On she went to the Frost-King's throne, bearing two crowns, one of sparkling icicles, the other of pure white lilies, and kneeling before him, said,--
I am contented thou hast well spoken, Isaac six hundred crowns.
Or, if so please you,'' said Isaac, willing to curry favour with the outlaws, ``I can send to York for the six hundred crowns, out of certain monies in my hands, if so be that the most reverend Prior present will grant me a quittance.
I am a broken and impoverished man; a beggar's staff must be my portion through life, supposing I were to pay you fifty crowns.
But since ye require me to put a price upon this caitiff, I tell you openly that ye will wrong yourselves if you take from him a penny under a thousand crowns.
Deal uprightly with us, Isaac will paying this ransom of a thousand crowns leave thee altogether penniless?
We will take thee at the same ransom with Prior Aymer, or rather at one hundred crowns lower, which hundred crowns shall be mine own peculiar loss, and not light upon this worshipful community; and so we shall avoid the heinous offence of rating a Jew merchant as high as a Christian prelate, and thou wilt have six hundred crowns remaining to treat for thy daughter's ransom.
Usurer as thou art, thou didst never place coin at better interest than that poor silver mark, for it has this day saved thee five hundred crowns.
Well, Prior,'' said the Outlaw, ``I will detain thee no longer here than to give the Jew a quittance for the six hundred crowns at which thy ransom is fixed I accept of him for my pay-master; and if I hear that ye boggle at allowing him in his accompts the sum so paid by him, Saint Mary refuse me, an I burn not the abbey over thine head, though I hang ten years the sooner
With a much worse grace than that wherewith he had penned the letter to Bois-Guilbert, the Prior wrote an acquittance, discharging Isaac of York of six hundred crowns, advanced to him in his need for acquittal of his ransom, and faithfully promising to hold true compt with him for that sum.
He gave, accordingly, an order sealed with his signet, to a brother of his tribe at York, requiring him to pay to the bearer the sum of a thousand crowns, and to deliver certain merchandises specified in the note.
hath the payment of a thousand crowns put thy daughter's peril out of thy mind?
By this assistance, after many interviews with the bassa's agents, we agreed to pay four thousand three hundred crowns, which were accepted on condition that they should be paid down, and we should go on board within two hours: but, changing his resolution on a sudden, he sent us word by his treasurer that two of the most considerable among us should stay behind for security, while the rest went to procure the money they promised.
I renewed my promise to be her husband; and thus the next day that the bano chanced to be empty she at different times gave us by means of the reed and cloth two thousand gold crowns and a paper in which she said that the next Juma, that is to say Friday, she was going to her father's garden, but that before she went she would give us more money; and if it were not enough we were to let her know, as she would give us as much as we asked, for her father had so much he would not miss it, and besides she kept all the keys.
We at once gave the renegade five hundred crowns to buy the vessel, and with eight hundred I ransomed myself, giving the money to a Valencian merchant who happened to be in Algiers at the time, and who had me released on his word, pledging it that on the arrival of the first ship from Valencia he would pay my ransom; for if he had given the money at once it would have made the king suspect that my ransom money had been for a long time in Algiers, and that the merchant had for his own advantage kept it secret.