- any decapod crustacean of the suborder Brachyura, having the eyes on short stalks and a short, broad, more or less flattened body, the abdomen being small and folded under the thorax.
- any of various other crustaceans, as the hermit crab, or other animals, as the horseshoe crab, resembling the true crabs.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the zodiacal constellation or sign Cancer.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Crab Nebula.
- any of various mechanical contrivances for hoisting or pulling.
- Aeronautics. the maneuver of crabbing.
- Informal. the crab louse.See under louse(def 1).
- (used with a singular verb)a losing throw, as two aces, in the game of hazard.
- to catch or attempt to catch crabs.
- to move sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt bursts of speed; scuttle.
- Aeronautics. (of an aircraft) to head partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
- Nautical. to drift or advance with some movement sideways, especially when under tow.
- 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.
- catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.
Origin of crab1
- a crab apple fruit or tree.
Origin of crab2
- Informal. an ill-tempered or grouchy person.
- Informal. to find fault; complain.
- (of hawks) to claw each other.
- Informal. to find fault with.
- to make ill-tempered or grouchy; embitter.
- (of a hawk) to claw (another hawk).
- Slang. to spoil.
Origin of crab3
Related Words for crabsgrump, complainer, sourpuss, growler, whiner, curmudgeon, faultfinder, moan, criticize, bellyache, nag, whine, carp, grumble, gripe, fuss
Examples from the Web for crabs
Contemporary Examples of crabs
The term exoskeleton refers to the hard outer shell found on insects and certain animals like grasshoppers and crabs.The Bionic Exoskeleton Helping Paraplegics Walk
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD
June 29, 2014
It's amazing what a few old guys can do with a little bit of charm and a whole lot of crabs.TV Does Sex Ed
October 19, 2012
She was stranded and died on Nikumaroro Island, and her remains were carried off by crabs.8 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About Aviator Amelia Earhart’s Demise
March 21, 2012
We had seen armfuls of crabs emerging from beneath the sand on the beach.Our Visit From Irene
August 27, 2011
The best way to enjoy the crabs is to play up their crackly edible shell with a batter coating.What to Eat
June 30, 2009
Historical Examples of crabs
Put some lard into a pan, and when it is boiling hot, fry the crabs in it.
Put the mixture into the back shells of the crabs, and serve it up.
These crabs must be cooked directly, as they will not keep till next day.
Admission to the great peace-loving Combine, may the crabs devour them.Join Our Gang?
Sterling E. Lanier
And, of course, we are familiar 110with the crustaceans, the lobsters and the crabs.
- (sometimes functioning as singular) the lowest throw in a game of chance, esp two aces in dice
Word Origin for crabs
- the Crab the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac
- any chiefly marine decapod crustacean of the genus Cancer and related genera (section Brachyura), having a broad flattened carapace covering the cephalothorax, beneath which is folded the abdomen. The first pair of limbs are modified as pincersSee also fiddler crab, soft-shell crab, pea crab, oyster crab Related adjective: cancroid
- any of various similar or related arthropods, such as the hermit crab and horseshoe crab
- short for crab louse
- a manoeuvre in which an aircraft flies slightly into the crosswind to compensate for drift
- a mechanical lifting device, esp the travelling hoist of a gantry crane
- wrestling See Boston crab
- catch a crab rowing to make a stroke in which the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply, causing the rower to fall backwards
- (intr) to hunt or catch crabs
- (tr) to fly (an aircraft) slightly into a crosswind to compensate for drift
- (intr) nautical to move forwards with a slight sideways motion, as to overcome an offsetting current
- (intr) to move sideways
Word Origin for crab
- (intr) to find fault; grumble
- (tr) mainly US to spoil (esp in the phrase crab someone's act)
- an irritable person
- draw the crabs Australian to attract unwelcome attention
Word Origin for crab
- short for crab apple
Word Origin for crab
crustacean, Old English crabba, from a general Germanic root (cf. Dutch krab, Old High German krebiz, German Krabbe, Old Norse krabbi "crab"), related to Low German krabben, Dutch krabelen "to scratch, claw," from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve). The constellation name is attested in English from c.1000; the Crab Nebula (1868), however, is in Taurus, and is so called for its shape. French crabe (13c.) is from Dutch.
"fruit of the wild apple tree," c.1300, crabbe, perhaps from Scandinavian scrab, of obscure origin (cf. Swedish krabbäpple). The combination of "bad-tempered, combative" and "sour" in the two nouns crab naturally yielded a verb meaning of "to vex, irritate" (c.1400), later "to complain irritably, find fault" (c.1500). The noun meaning "sour person" is from 1570s.