an accident in which a vehicle hits something, for example another vehicle, usually causing damage and often injuring or killing the passengers:
A girl was killed yesterday in a crash involving a stolen car; a car/plane crash
SYNONYMS crash slam • collide • smash • wreck
These are all words that can be used when something, especially a vehicle, hits something else very hard and is damaged or destroyed.
crash (rather informal) to hit an object or another vehicle, causing damage; to make a vehicle do this: I was terrified that the plane would crash. slam (something) into/against somebody/something to crash into something with a lot of force; to make something do this: The car skidded and slammed into a tree. collide (rather formal) (of two vehicles or people) to crash into each other; (of a vehicle or person) to crash into somebody/something else: The car and the van collided head-on in thick fog. smash (rather informal) to crash into something with a lot of force; to make something do this; to crash a car: Ramraiders smashed a stolen car through the shop window.
CRASH, SLAM OR SMASH? Crash is used particularly for vehicles and can be used without a preposition: We’re going to crash, aren’t we? In this meaning slam and smash always take a preposition. They are used for a much wider range of things than just vehicles. Crash can also be used for other things, if used with a preposition: He crashed down the telephone receiver.
wreck to crash a vehicle and damage it so badly that it is not worth repairing
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS • The two vehicles crashed/collided. • The two vehicles crashed/slammed/smashed into each other. • The car/plane crashed/slammed/smashed into a tree. • I’ve crashed/smashed/wrecked the car. • to crash/slam/collide/smash head-on (into/with something)