[ kraw-fish ]
/ 藞kr蓴藢f瑟蕛 /
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See synonyms for: crawfish / crawfished / crawfishing on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural (especially collectively) craw路fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) craw路fish路es.
verb (used without object), craw路fished, craw路fish路ing.
Informal. to back out or retreat from a position or undertaking.


Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
Should you take this quiz on 鈥渟hall鈥 versus 鈥渟hould鈥? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of crawfish

1615鈥25; earlier crafish, cravish, cravis, variant outcomes of Middle French crevicecrayfish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽crawfish mean?

Crawfish is another name for a crayfish, a freshwater crustacean related to the lobster but smaller.

Crawfish is also sometimes used as the name of several similar saltwater crustaceans, especially the spiny lobster (also called the rock lobster).

The plural of crawfish can be crawfish or crawfishes. When used as a plural, crawfish typically refers to them collectively, while crawfishes usually refers to two or more kinds or species (but this isn鈥檛 always the case).

Crawfish aren鈥檛 fish鈥攖hey鈥檙e shellfish. Other types of crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. There are several different species of both freshwater and saltwater crawfish. Freshwater ones are also referred to by the names crawdad and crawdaddy. Use of these terms varies by region.

Crawfish can also be used as an informal verb meaning to back out of something or retreat鈥攍ike a crawfish retreating under a rock.

Example: When I was a kid, we used to catch crawfish in the creek.

Where does聽crawfish come from?

The first records of the word crawfish come from the 1600s. It comes from an alteration of the Middle English crevice, from the Middle French crevice, from the Old High German crebiz, meaning 鈥渃rab.鈥

Crawfish are mostly small, lobster-like creatures. They鈥檙e decapods, meaning they have 10 walking legs.

The terms crawdad and crawdaddy are Americanisms, meaning they鈥檙e primarily used in the United States. But use of the terms varies by region. Crawdad and crawdaddy are most often used in Midwestern states and along the West Coast. Crawfish is the prevalent term in much of the South, whereas crayfish is the preferred term in the Northeast.

When crawfish is used as a slang verb, it鈥檚 typically used in a mildly negative way to indicate that someone is backing out of something they should do or take responsibility for, as in I was supposed to have more help with moving but a lot of my buddies crawfished out of it.

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What are some synonyms for crawfish?

What are some words that may share a root or word element with crawfish?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing crawfish?

How is聽crawfish used in real life?

People in different regions like to debate whether to use the term crayfish, crawfish, or crawdad.



Try using聽crawfish!

Is crawfish used correctly in the following sentence?

I think I just saw two crawfish scurry under that rock.

How to use crawfish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for crawfish

/ (藞kr蓴藧藢f瑟蕛) /

noun plural -fish or -fishes
a variant (esp US) of crayfish (def. 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012