crab

1
[ krab ]
/ kræb /

noun

verb (used without object), crabbed, crab·bing.

verb (used with object), crabbed, crab·bing.

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.

Nearby words

  1. cqb,
  2. cqsw,
  3. cr,
  4. cr.,
  5. craal,
  6. crab apple,
  7. crab cactus,
  8. crab canon,
  9. crab grass,
  10. crab louse

Idioms

    catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.

Origin of crab

1
before 1000; Middle English crabbe, Old English crabba; cognate with Dutch krab, Old Norse krabbi; akin to German Krebs

Related formscrab·like, adjective

crab

2
[ krab ]
/ kræb /

noun

a crab apple fruit or tree.

Origin of crab

2
1300–50; Middle English crabbe; perhaps special use of crab1

crab

3
[ krab ]
/ kræb /

noun

Informal. an ill-tempered or grouchy person.

verb (used without object), crabbed, crab·bing.

Informal. to find fault; complain.
(of hawks) to claw each other.

verb (used with object), crabbed, crab·bing.

Origin of crab

3
1350–1400; Middle English; back formation from crabbed

Related formscrab·ber, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crab


British Dictionary definitions for crab

crab

1
/ (kræb) /

noun

verb crabs, crabbing or crabbed

See also crabs

Word Origin for crab

Old English crabba; related to Old Norse krabbi, Old High German krebiz crab, Dutch krabben to scratch

verb crabs, crabbing or crabbed

(intr) to find fault; grumble
(tr) mainly US to spoil (esp in the phrase crab someone's act)

noun

an irritable person
draw the crabs Australian to attract unwelcome attention

Word Origin for crab

C16: probably back formation from crabbed

noun

short for crab apple

Word Origin for crab

C15: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish skrabbe crab apple

Crab

/ (kræb) /

noun

the Crab the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac
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 crab
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper