crisp (adj.)

Old English crisp "curly, crimped, wavy" (of hair, wool, etc.) from Latin crispus "curled, wrinkled, having curly hair," from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."

It began to mean "brittle" 1520s, for obscure reasons, perhaps based on what happens to flat things when they are cooked. Sense of "neat, brisk, having a fresh appearance" (1814) is perhaps a figurative use, or perhaps a separate word. Of air, "chill, bracing" by 1869.

As a noun from mid-14c., originally the name of a light, crinkly material formerly used for kerchiefs, veils, etc.; late 14c. as a kind of pastry. By 1826 as "overdone piece of anything cooked" (as in burned to a crisp). Potato crisps (now the British version of U.S. potato chips, but not originally exclusively British) is by 1897; as simply crisps by 1935. In U.S., crisps began to be used by 1903 in trade names of breakfast cereals. Related: Crisply; crispness.

crisp (v.)

late 14c., "to curl, to twist into short, stiff waves or ringlets" (of the hair, beard, mane, etc.) from crisp (adj.) or else from Old French crespir, Latin crispare, from the adjectives. Meaning "to become brittle" is from 1805. Related: Crisped; crisping; crispation.

Definitions of crisp
crisp (adj.)
tender and brittle;
crisp potato chips
Synonyms: crispy
crisp (adj.)
(of something seen or heard) clearly defined;
the crisp snap of dry leaves underfoot
Synonyms: sharp
crisp (adj.)
pleasantly cold and invigorating;
crisp clear nights and frosty mornings
Synonyms: frosty / nipping / nippy / snappy
crisp (adj.)
pleasingly firm and fresh;
crisp lettuce
crisp (adj.)
(of hair) in small tight curls;
Synonyms: frizzly / frizzy / kinky / nappy
crisp (adj.)
brief and to the point; effectively cut short; "the laconic reply; `yes'";
a crisp retort
Synonyms: curt / laconic / terse
crisp (v.)
make wrinkles or creases on a smooth surface; make a pressed, folded or wrinkled line in; `crisp' is archaic;
Synonyms: wrinkle / ruckle / crease / crinkle / scrunch / scrunch up
crisp (v.)
make brown and crisp by heating;
crisp potatoes
Synonyms: crispen / toast
crisp (n.)
a thin crisp slice of potato fried in deep fat;
Synonyms: chip / potato chip / Saratoga chip