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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a low-pitched, harsh cry, as the sound of a frog or a raven.
  2. to speak with a low, rasping voice.
  3. Slang. to die.
  4. to talk despondingly; prophesy trouble or evil; grumble.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or announce by croaking.
  2. Slang. to kill.
  1. the act or sound of croaking.

Origin of croak

1550–60; earlier croke, probably imitative; compare Old English cræcetian (of a raven) to croak
Can be confusedcreak creek croak
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for croak


  1. (intr) (of frogs, crows, etc) to make a low, hoarse cry
  2. to utter (something) in this mannerhe croaked out the news
  3. (intr) to grumble or be pessimistic
  4. slang
    1. (intr)to die
    2. (tr)to kill
  1. a low hoarse utterance or sound
Derived Formscroaky, adjectivecroakily, adverbcroakiness, noun

Word Origin

Old English crācettan; related to Old Norse krāka a crow; see creak
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

Word Origin and History for croak


early 14c., crouken, imitative or related to Old English cracian (see crack (v.)). Slang meaning "to die" is first recorded 1812, from sound of death rattle. Related: Croaked; croaking.


1560s, from croak (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper