crab

1
[krab]

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]

noun

a crab apple fruit or tree.

Origin of crab

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

crab

3
[krab]

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.

Informal. to find fault with.
to make ill-tempered or grouchy; embitter.
(of a hawk) to claw (another hawk).
Slang. to spoil.

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 crabs


British Dictionary definitions for crabs

crabs

noun

(sometimes functioning as singular) the lowest throw in a game of chance, esp two aces in dice

Word Origin for crabs

plural of crab 1

Crab

noun

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

crab

1

noun

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

verb crabs, crabbing or crabbed

(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
See also crabs

Word Origin for crab

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

crab

2

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

crab

3

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

Word Origin and History for crabs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper