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crab grass

an annual grass, Digitaria sanguinalis, common in cultivated and waste grounds and often occurring as a pest weed in lawns.
Origin of crab grass
First recorded in 1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for crabgrass

crab grass

any of several coarse weedy grasses of the genus Digitaria, which grow in warm regions and tend to displace other grasses in lawns
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crabgrass

c.1600, from crab (n.1) + grass. Originally a marine grass of salt marshes; modern meaning is from 1743. Perhaps partly for its crooked form.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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