“Prime Minister Kishida stated that, as the G7 Presidency, Japan would maintain the unity of the G7 in imposing strict sanctions against Russia and providing support to Ukraine,” a joint statement from the two leaders said.

Don’t expect any cracks in G7 unity over Ukraine at the summit.

The source

I don't get what the exact meaning of 'cracks' is here. I looked it up in the free dictionary:

a. A partial split or break; a fissure: cracks in the basement wall.

b. A slight narrow space: The window was open a crack.

c. Informal the fissure between the buttocks.

  1. A defect or flaw: cracks in the argument; a crack in his composure.
  2. A sharp snapping sound, such as the report of a firearm.
  3. A sharp resounding blow: gave him a crack on the head.
  4. A breaking, harshly dissonant vocal tone or sound, as in hoarseness.
  5. An attempt or try: gave him a crack at the job; took a crack at photography.
  6. A witty or sarcastic remark. See Synonyms at joke.
  7. A moment; an instant: at the crack of dawn.
  8. Irish Fun had when socializing; social amusement.
  9. Slang Crack cocaine.

It seems to me that the sense 1b make some sense, which means that there isn't any slight narrow space in the unity. But I don't have the confidence. Can anyone help?

  • 4
    It's 1a: A partial split or break (in their unity). May 19, 2023 at 9:11
  • 4
    1a: In this context "crack" is a metaphor. The G7 nations are joined together like a stone wall and without weakness ("cracks") in the cement that holds them together.
    – Yogi
    May 19, 2023 at 9:24
  • 1
    Merriam-Webster has "a weakness" as one of its meanings. It's a good idea to look up a word in multiple dictionaries if you are unsure about its meaning (especially a word like "crack" which has a lot of figurative or metaphorical meanings).
    – Stuart F
    May 19, 2023 at 9:55
  • 1
    It's a metaphor. cracks in an argument, cracks in our discussion. That is in your definitions.
    – Lambie
    May 19, 2023 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


There are two important aspects the writer is trying to convey with "crack". One is the idea of some kind of splitting of a whole; the other is that the splitting is unwanted or undesirable.

So, definition #2 captures much of that, with #1a picking up the rest.

But you can see from the fact that they are offering 12 different options that the word can be used in lots of ways, some overlapping with others. The best way to build your confidence in figuring out nuances like this is to keep reading and exposing yourself to more and more examples.

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