- grouchy; ill-natured; irritable; churlish.
- perverse; contrary; obstinate.
- hard to understand; intricate and obscure.
- difficult to read or decipher, as handwriting.
Origin of crabbed
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- any decapod crustacean of the suborder Brachyura, having the eyes on short stalks and a short, broad, more or less flattened body, the abdomen being small and folded under the thorax.
- any of various other crustaceans, as the hermit crab, or other animals, as the horseshoe crab, resembling the true crabs.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the zodiacal constellation or sign Cancer.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Crab Nebula.
- any of various mechanical contrivances for hoisting or pulling.
- Aeronautics. the maneuver of crabbing.
- Informal. the crab louse.See under louse(def 1).
- (used with a singular verb)a losing throw, as two aces, in the game of hazard.
- to catch or attempt to catch crabs.
- to move sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt bursts of speed; scuttle.
- Aeronautics. (of an aircraft) to head partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
- Nautical. to drift or advance with some movement sideways, especially when under tow.
- to move (a vehicle or object) sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt movements.
- Aeronautics. to head (an aircraft) partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
- catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.
Origin of crab1
- Informal. an ill-tempered or grouchy person.
- Informal. to find fault; complain.
- (of hawks) to claw each other.
- Informal. to find fault with.
- to make ill-tempered or grouchy; embitter.
- (of a hawk) to claw (another hawk).
- Slang. to spoil.
Origin of crab3
Examples from the Web for crabbed
Nobody wanted to hand a plum invasion spot to some fat egghead from a snooty rag, he crabbed.The Story of the American Journalists Who Landed on D-Day
Timothy M. Gay
June 6, 2012
But the crabbed, cruel uncle turns him away also, and bolts the door.The Book of Khalid
The times were harsh and crabbed, and the song they yielded was like unto themselves.The Balladists
He's crabbed on the drink question; that's why he settled in Colorado Springs.They of the High Trails
He studied the crabbed handwriting of its pages and often grew meditative over it.Almayer's Folly
That made me real happy; for I am not a crabbed old bachelor by any means.Neighbor Nelly Socks
Sarah L. Barrow
- surly; irritable; perverse
- (esp of handwriting) cramped and hard to decipher
- the Crab the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac
- any chiefly marine decapod crustacean of the genus Cancer and related genera (section Brachyura), having a broad flattened carapace covering the cephalothorax, beneath which is folded the abdomen. The first pair of limbs are modified as pincersSee also fiddler crab, soft-shell crab, pea crab, oyster crab Related adjective: cancroid
- any of various similar or related arthropods, such as the hermit crab and horseshoe crab
- short for crab louse
- a manoeuvre in which an aircraft flies slightly into the crosswind to compensate for drift
- a mechanical lifting device, esp the travelling hoist of a gantry crane
- wrestling See Boston crab
- catch a crab rowing to make a stroke in which the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply, causing the rower to fall backwards
- (intr) to hunt or catch crabs
- (tr) to fly (an aircraft) slightly into a crosswind to compensate for drift
- (intr) nautical to move forwards with a slight sideways motion, as to overcome an offsetting current
- (intr) to move sideways
- (intr) to find fault; grumble
- (tr) mainly US to spoil (esp in the phrase crab someone's act)
- an irritable person
- draw the crabs Australian to attract unwelcome attention
- short for crab apple
Word Origin and History for crabbed
crustacean, Old English crabba, from a general Germanic root (cf. Dutch krab, Old High German krebiz, German Krabbe, Old Norse krabbi "crab"), related to Low German krabben, Dutch krabelen "to scratch, claw," from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve). The constellation name is attested in English from c.1000; the Crab Nebula (1868), however, is in Taurus, and is so called for its shape. French crabe (13c.) is from Dutch.
"fruit of the wild apple tree," c.1300, crabbe, perhaps from Scandinavian scrab, of obscure origin (cf. Swedish krabbäpple). The combination of "bad-tempered, combative" and "sour" in the two nouns crab naturally yielded a verb meaning of "to vex, irritate" (c.1400), later "to complain irritably, find fault" (c.1500). The noun meaning "sour person" is from 1570s.