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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.
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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 or something) with (something)

1. Literally, to adorn one's head with a crown. The headmaster crowned the May Queen with roses during the ceremony.
2. By extension, to top something with something. What do you want the architect to crown the column with?
3. To hit one violently in the head. When the strange man came closer, I crowned him with a baseball bat.
See also: crown

the jewel in the crown

An asset or possession prized as being the best of a group of similar things. This vintage 1965 Corvette Stingray is the jewel in the crown of my car collection. The works of Shakespeare are the jewels in the crown of English drama.
See also: crown, jewel

to crown it all

An expression indicating the final item in a list of particularly positive or negative experiences or situations. What a bad day: I left my phone in the grocery store, my car broke down on the way home, and, to crown it all, my groceries broke through the bag as I was walking to the front door. They really threw me a wonderful party. Costumes, games, and, to crown it all, my favorite kind of pie.
See also: all, crown

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.
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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.
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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, that, wear

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

the jewel in someone's/something's crown

or

the jewel in the crown of someone/something

COMMON If something or someone is the jewel in someone's or something's crown or the jewel in the crown of someone or something, it is the best thing they have, or their greatest achievement. He has written a number of excellent books but this novel is surely the jewel in his crown. The jewel in the architectural crown of North Yorkshire is almost certainly Castle Howard. Note: This expression was known in Victorian times, but is probably most well known as the title of a novel by Paul Scott, published in 1966, that formed part of a series set in the Raj, or Victorian India. In this title, India is seen as the `jewel', and the `crown' is the British Empire.
See also: crown, jewel

crowning glory

1 the best and most notable aspect of something. 2 a person's hair. informal
See also: crown, glory

the jewel in the (or someone's) crown

the most attractive or successful part of something.
In the early 20th century, this was used as a term for the British imperial colonies as a whole. The Jewel in the Crown was subsequently used by Paul Scott as the title of the first novel of his Raj Quartet, which is set in the last days of British rule in India.
See also: crown, jewel

the jewel in the ˈcrown

the most attractive or valuable part of something: The research facility is considered the jewel in the crown of the nation’s technology industry.
See also: crown, jewel

to ˌtop/ˌcap/ˌcrown it ˈall

(spoken) used to introduce the final piece of information that is worse than the other bad things you have already mentioned: We went to a horrible restaurant. The food was awful, the music was far too loud, and to top it all, the waiter was rude to us.
See also: all, cap, crown, top

crown

tv. to hit someone on the head. The clerk crowned the robber with a champagne bottle.
References in classic literature ?
Crowned with heavy lotus-blossoms you had sat on the prow of Adrian's barge, gazing across the green turbid Nile.
At the same moment the stage buzzed with a new sound and, amid a crowd of men in evening-dress, all talking and gesticulating together, appeared a man who seemed very calm and displayed a pleasant face, all pink and chubby-cheeked, crowned with curly hair and lit up by a pair of wonderfully serene blue eyes.
The third cook, crowned with a resplendent tin basin and wrapped royally in a table-cloth mottled with grease-spots and coffee stains, and bearing a sceptre that looked strangely like a belaying-pin, walked upon a dilapidated carpet and perched himself on the capstan, careless of the flying spray; his tarred and weather-beaten Chamberlains, Dukes and Lord High Admirals surrounded him, arrayed in all the pomp that spare tarpaulins and remnants of old sails could furnish.
Then to the Rose Dame Nature spoke, and crowned her with "a costly crown with shining rubies bright.
dandelions, with whose golden blooms Walter had crowned her his queen of love and future bride--dandelions, the harbingers of spring, her sorrow's crown of sorrow--reminder of her happiest days.