What does “crash course” mean?

Discover the meaning and origins of a crash course, a brief and intense learning experience that teaches you a lot in a short time. Explore synonyms like intensive course, boot camp, and accelerated learning program.

Definition and Origin

Meaning of Crash Course

A crash course is a brief, intensive course of study that is designed to teach a lot of information in a short period of time.

This idiom is often used to describe a program or class that teaches the basics of a particular subject in a condensed timeframe.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a crash course is “a rapid and intense course of study; also: an experience that resembles such a course.”

Here are three example sentences using the idiom “crash course”:

  • She took a crash course in cooking before her dinner party.
  • He enrolled in a crash course to prepare for the bar exam.
  • They signed up for a crash course in Spanish before their trip to Mexico.

Etymology and Language

The term “crash course” has been in use since the early 20th century.

It was originally used to describe a highly accelerated course of instruction that was compressed into a short period of time.

The phrase became more common in the 1920s and 1930s, and it has been used ever since to describe any type of brief, intensive learning experience.

In American English, the phrase “crash course” is the most commonly used term.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a crash course is “a course that teaches you a lot of basic facts in a very short time.” In British English, the term “cram course” is sometimes used interchangeably with “crash course.” According to the Collins English Dictionary, a cram course is “a short and intensive course of study.”

Here are three synonyms for the idiom “crash course”:

  • Intensive course
  • Boot camp
  • Accelerated learning program