1926, in reference to airplane crashes; 1936, "disintegration under stress, mental collapse" [Fitzgerald]; from the verbal phrase, from crack (v.) + up (adv.). The verbal phrase in the meaning "to break up laughing" is by 1967, transitive and intransitive. Its earliest sense was "to praise extravagantly" (as in not all it's cracked up to be).
1570s, "loud, harsh, complex sound, as of heavy things falling or breaking," from crash (v.). From 1718 as "a falling down or to pieces." Sense of "financial collapse" is from 1817; that of "collision" is from 1910; references to falling of airplanes are from World War I. Crash-landing attested by 1928. Crash-program in reference to rapid, intense instruction is by 1947; crash-course in the same sense is by 1958.
1823, "act of flopping; any action that produces the sound 'flop;' the sound itself," from flop (v.). Figurative sense of "a failure; that which is a failure" is by 1893, from the notion of a sudden break-down or collapse. Extended form flopperoo is attested by 1936. The Fosbury flop high-jumping technique (1968) is so called in reference to U.S. athlete Dick Fosbury (b. 1947), who used it to win the 1968 Olympic gold medal.
"disaster," 1848, from French débâcle "downfall, collapse, disaster" (17c.), a figurative use, literally "breaking up (of ice on a river) in consequence of a rise in the water," extended to the violent flood that follows when the river ice melts in spring; from débâcler "to free," earlier desbacler "to unbar," from des- "off" (see dis-) + bacler "to bar," from Vulgar Latin *bacculare, from Latin baculum "stick" (see bacillus).
The literal sense is attested in English from 1802, in geology, to explain the landscapes left by the ice ages. Figurative sense of "disaster" was present in French before English borrowed the word.
also break-down, 1832, "a collapse, a falling apart," from the verbal phrase (attested by late 14c. in the sense "take down by breaking" (trans.); 1831 in the intransitive sense "come down by breaking; 1856 as "to fail through incapacity, excess emotion, etc."); see break (v.) + down (adv.). The noun, specifically of machinery, is from 1838; meaning "an analysis in detail" is from 1936 (from the verbal phrase in the sense "analyze, classify," 1934). Also in 19c. American English "a noisy, lively dance sometimes accompanied by singing" (1864). Nervous breakdown is from 1866.
"loosely joined, ill-made or out of good condition; chaotic or likely to collapse," 1809, an alternative form of ramshackled, earlier ranshackled (1670s), an alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle (from the same source as ransack). "Said chiefly of carriages and houses" [OED]. This form of the word seems to have been originally Scottish.
Reading over this note to an American gentleman, he seemed to take alarm, lest the word ramshackle should be palmed on his country. I take it home willingly, as a Scotticism, and one well applied, as may be afterwards shown. [Robert Gourlay, "General Introduction to a Statistical Account of Upper Canada," London, 1822]
Jamieson's "Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language" (1825) has it as a noun meaning "thoughtless, ignorant fellow."
And to show how entire the neglect and confusion have been, they speak in the same breath of all these explosions, and of the explosion of a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, the result of which, instead of being a gas or an enlargement of bulk, a positive quantity, is a negative one. It is a vacuum, in a popular sense, because the produce is water. The result is an implosion (to coin a word), not an explosion .... ["Gas-light," Westminster Review, October 1829]
In early use often in reference to effect of deep sea pressures, or in phonetics. Figurative sense is by 1960.
Middle English rough (late 14c.), also rouhe, rouwe, roghe, rugh, etc., from Old English ruh, rug- "not smooth to the touch, coarse (of cloth); hairy, shaggy;" of hides, "undressed, untrimmed;" of ground, "uncultivated." This is from West Germanic *rukhwaz "shaggy, hairy, rough" (source also of Middle Dutch ruuch, Dutch ruig, Old High German ruher, German rauh), from Proto-Germanic *rukhaz, which is perhaps related to the source of Sanskrit ruksah "rough;" Latin ruere "to rush, fall violently, collapse," ruina "a collapse;" Lithuanian raukas "wrinkle," rukti "to shrink."
The original -gh- sound was guttural, as in Scottish loch. The form row was a regular variant from early 16c. and lingered in dialects. Of actions, "characterized by harshness or disparity," c. 1300; of land, terrain, late 15c. as "rugged, hard to traverse." Of stormy weather from mid-14c.; by late 14c. of turbulent seas, rude language, discordant sounds.
From mid-14c. as "crudely made;" c. 1600 as "rudely sufficient, not smooth or formed by art." Rough stone "undressed stone mortared together" is from mid-15c. Of writing or literary style, "lacking refinement, unpolished," 1530s. The sense of "approximate" is recorded from c. 1600.
Rough draft (or draught) is from 1690s. Rough-and-ready "rude and disorderly" is by 1832, from an earlier noun (1810), originally military; rough-and-tumble "not elaborately or carefully ordered" is from a style of free-fighting characterized by indiscriminate blows and falls (1810). Rough music "din produced by banging pots, pans, etc. for the purpose of annoying or punishing a neighbor" is by 1708. Rough-snout (c. 1300) was an old term for "a bearded face."
1801, "one of the pieces with which the game of dominoes is played," from French domino (1771), perhaps (on a perceived resemblance to the black tiles of the game) from the earlier meaning "hood with a cloak worn by canons or priests over other vestments in cold weather" (1690s in English), from Latin dominus "lord, master" (from domus "house," from PIE root *dem- "house, household"), but the connection is not clear.
Metaphoric use in geopolitics dates to 1953, when U.S. President Eisenhower used the image in reference to what happens when you set dominoes upright in a row and knock the first one down. It came to be known as the domino theory.
President Eisenhower, on August 4, 1953, explained that if Indonesia fell, "the peninsula, the last little bit of land hanging on down there, would be scarcely defensible." "All India," he continued, "would be outflanked," and "Burma would be in no position for defense. On April 7, 1954, the President was still warning that if Indochina fell, all of southeast Asia would collapse like "falling dominoes." The President said, that as the last domino in the line falls inevitably from the toppling of the first, the loss of Indochina would lead to the loss of Burma, of Thailand, and Indonesia, and a threat to Australia and New Zealand. [Rep. Joseph R. McCarthy, Congressional Record, Aug. 2, 1955]