Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kraw-fish] /ˈkrɔˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) crawfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) crawfishes.
verb (used without object), crawfished, crawfishing.
Informal. to back out or retreat from a position or undertaking.
Origin of crawfish
1615-25; earlier crafish, cravish, cravis, variant outcomes of Middle French crevice crayfish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for crawfish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Little was eaten at dinner, for they had done too much honor to the crawfish at noon.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • They are inhabited by fish and crawfish, sightless and perfectly white.

    The Mines and its Wonders W.H.G. Kingston
  • Our guide had brought a net, with which he caught some fish and crawfish.

    With Axe and Rifle W.H.G. Kingston
  • The Riverlawns were encamped at the foot of a hill not far from crawfish Springs.

    An Undivided Union Oliver Optic
  • There are eyeless fish and crawfish, and a prolific population of bats.

British Dictionary definitions for crawfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
a variant (esp US) of crayfish (sense 2)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for crawfish

1620s, generally dismissed by British etymologists as a 19c. American English variant of crayfish, but perhaps it existed in Middle English. Also in 19c. American English as a verb, "to back out," in reference to the creature's movements.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for crawfish



To renege; retreat; back out: He started to crawfish when he realized who the competition was (1842+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for crawfish

Word Value for crawfish

Scrabble Words With Friends