Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A glass or crystal orb used by fortune tellers and mystics in popular culture to see into the future. The soothsayer, peering into her crystal ball, foretold that I would come to possess a great fortune by the year's end.
2. By extension, any figurative means of predicting future events. She must have some kind of crystal ball for the economy, because every business decision she's made has been timed perfectly to market fluctuations. Well, Mike, what does your crystal ball say about the team's chances in the playoffs?
1. Of a thing or image, strikingly clear or clean. (Sometimes hyphenated when used as a modifier before a noun.) The picture on this new high-definition TV is crystal clear! The crystal-clear skies at the top of the mountain afforded a spectacular view of the whole state down below.
2. Of information or communication, very easy to understand; not vague or ambiguous. (Sometimes hyphenated when used as a modifier before a noun.) A: "You have to drop this package off by 5 PM sharp, or it won't get delivered. Is that clear?" B: "Crystal clear." A good lecturer provides crystal-clear lessons in class, but a great one makes them engaging.
Male impotence due to drug use (typically crystal methamphetamine). If you keep doing meth, you better be prepared for crystal dick.
be as clear as crystal
To be easily visible and/or understandable. I want the language in these legal contracts to be as clear as crystal so that there is no confusion. The sign is right there on the door—it's as clear as crystal.
(as) clear as crystal
Easily visible and/or understandable. I want the language in these legal contracts to be as clear as crystal so that there is no confusion. The sign is right there on the door—it's as clear as crystal.
*clear as crystal
1. Cliché very clear; transparent. (*Also: as ~.) The stream was as clear as crystal. She cleaned the windowpane until it was clear as crystal.
2. Cliché very clear; easy to understand. (*Also: as ~.) The explanation was as clear as crystal. Her lecture was not clear as crystal, but at least it was not dull.
A means of predicting the future, as in So what does your crystal ball say about the coming election? The term is a figurative use of the crystal or glass ball used by fortune-tellers. [c. 1900]
crystal clear, be
Also, be clear as crystal. Be easy to understand, have a very obvious meaning. For example, The directions for installing the door are crystal clear, or Her intentions are clear as crystal. Allusions to crystal's very high degree of transparency have been made since the 15th century.
See also: crystal
a crystal ball
COMMON You talk about a crystal ball when you are saying how difficult it is to predict the future. What you really need to help you select your new car is a crystal ball to tell you how much it will be worth in three or four years' time. Note: You can call the activity of predicting the future crystal ball gazing. Can I ask you now to do a bit of crystal ball gazing? How high do you think the price of oil could go? Note: A crystal ball is a glass ball used by some traditional fortune-tellers (= people who predict what will happen to you in the future). They say that they can see visions of future events within the ball.
clear as crystal
1. If something is as clear as crystal, it is transparent or very clear. It was a brilliant blue day, as clear as crystal, with a sun that was just comfortably hot. Note: People also use the more frequent adjective crystal clear. The water is crystal clear.
2. If something is as clear as crystal, it is very obvious or easy to understand. The policy is very clear - it's as clear as crystal. Note: People also use the more frequent adjective crystal clear. Make sure your instructions are crystal clear.
crystal clear1 completely transparent and unclouded. 2 unambiguous; easily understood.
ˌcrystal ˈclearvery easy to understand; completely obvious: After Anne was late for the third time in a week, her boss made it crystal clear that it must not happen again. OPPOSITE: (as) clear as mud
1. n. crystallized cocaine. (see also crack.) Crystal—an older name for crack—was a favorite many years ago.
2. n. liquid Methedrine in glass ampoules. (Drugs.) I hear that Willy’s shooting crystal. Is that true?
n. the testicles. (From crystal balls.) He got hit right in the crystals. It was real embarrassing, as well as painful.
See also: crystal
An early type of radio. The first type of radio had only five components: an antenna that picked up the signal, a wire tuning coil with which the listener selected the station, an earphone to hear the broadcast, a ground wire to dissipate the electricity, and at the heart of the apparatus, a crystal detector that produced the audible signal. The crystal was a tiny chip of crystalline ore or stone such as galena. Generations of youths built the sets from scratch and spent hours hunched over the device to hear broadcasts from nearby stations. The reception range tended to be limited, so the introduction of diode tubes that increased reception marked the end of crystal sets' popularity.