verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to utter or announce by croaking.
Slang. to kill.


the act or sound of croaking.

Origin of croak

1550–60; earlier croke, probably imitative; compare Old English cræcetian (of a raven) to croak
Can be confusedcreak creek croak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for croak

quack, squawk, crow, gasp, wheeze, grunt, caw

Examples from the Web for croak

Contemporary Examples of croak

  • When Tony takes over Danny's body, his voice begins to croak and he shakes his pointer finger for emphasis.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Imaginary Friends in Movies

    Marlow Stern

    May 5, 2011

  • And then I sit on a bench facing the grave and a raven says something in a croak a few steps from me.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Robert Bolaño's European Adventures

    Roberto Bolano

    April 28, 2011

Historical Examples of croak

British Dictionary definitions for croak



(intr) (of frogs, crows, etc) to make a low, hoarse cry
to utter (something) in this mannerhe croaked out the news
(intr) to grumble or be pessimistic
  1. (intr)to die
  2. (tr)to kill


a low hoarse utterance or sound
Derived Formscroaky, adjectivecroakily, adverbcroakiness, noun

Word Origin for croak

Old English crācettan; related to Old Norse krāka a crow; see creak
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 croak

early 14c., crouken, imitative or related to Old English cracian (see crack (v.)). Slang meaning "to die" is first recorded 1812, from sound of death rattle. Related: Croaked; croaking.


1560s, from croak (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper