crabbed

[ krab-id ]
/ ˈkræb ɪd /

adjective

grouchy; ill-natured; irritable; churlish.
perverse; contrary; obstinate.
hard to understand; intricate and obscure.
difficult to read or decipher, as handwriting.

Origin of crabbed

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at crab1, -ed3

Related forms

crab·bed·ly, adverbcrab·bed·ness, noun

Definition for crabbed (2 of 3)

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.

Origin of crab

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

Related forms

crab·like, adjective

Definition for crabbed (3 of 3)

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 forms

crab·ber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crabbed

British Dictionary definitions for crabbed (1 of 5)

crabbed

/ (ˈkræbɪd) /

adjective

surly; irritable; perverse
(esp of handwriting) cramped and hard to decipher

Derived Forms

crabbedly, adverbcrabbedness, noun

Word Origin for crabbed

C13: probably from crab 1 (from its wayward gait), influenced by crab (apple) (from its tartness)

British Dictionary definitions for crabbed (2 of 5)

Crab

/ (kræb) /

noun

the Crab the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac

British Dictionary definitions for crabbed (3 of 5)

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

British Dictionary definitions for crabbed (4 of 5)

crab

2
/ (kræb) informal /

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

British Dictionary definitions for crabbed (5 of 5)

crab

3
/ (kræb) /

noun

short for crab apple

Word Origin for crab

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