1725, "hard blow," from smash (v.). Meaning "broken-up condition" is from 1798; that of "failure, financial collapse" is from 1839. Tennis sense is from 1882. Meaning "great success" is from 1923 (Variety magazine headline, Oct. 16, in reference to Broadway productions of "The Fool" and "The Rise of Rosie O'Reilly").
mid-14c., "smash, shatter, break into fragments or small particles; force down and bruise by heavy weight," also figuratively, "overpower, subdue," from Old French cruissir (Modern French écraser), variant of croissir "to gnash (teeth), crash, smash, break," which is perhaps from Frankish *krostjan "to gnash" (cognates: Gothic kriustan, Old Swedish krysta "to gnash").
Figurative sense of "to humiliate, demoralize" is by c. 1600. Related: Crushed; crushing; crusher. Italian crosciare, Catalan cruxir, Spanish crujir "to crack, creak" are Germanic loan-words.
Old English brysan "to crush, pound, injure by a blow which discolors the skin," from Proto-Germanic *brusjan, from PIE root *bhreu- "to smash, cut, break up" (source also of Old Irish bronnaim "I wrong, I hurt;" Breton brezel "war," Vulgar Latin *brisare "to break"). Merged by 17c. with Anglo-French bruiser "to break, smash," from Old French bruisier "to break, shatter," perhaps from Gaulish *brus-, from the same PIE root. Of fruits from early 14c. Intransitive sense "become bruised" is by 1912. Related: Bruised; bruising.