verb (used without object)

to stoop or bend low.
to bend close to the ground, as an animal preparing to spring or shrinking with fear.
to bow or stoop servilely; cringe.

verb (used with object)

to bend low.


the act of crouching.

Nearby words

  1. crotonic acid,
  2. crotonism,
  3. crotoxin,
  4. crottin,
  5. crottle,
  6. croup,
  7. croup-associated virus,
  8. croupade,
  9. croupier,
  10. croupous membrane

Origin of crouch

1175–1225; Middle English crouchen, perhaps blend of couchen to lie down (see couch) and croken to crook1

Related formscrouch·er, nouncrouch·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crouched

British Dictionary definitions for crouched



(intr) to bend low with the limbs pulled up close together, esp (of an animal) in readiness to pounce
(intr) to cringe, as in humility or fear
(tr) to bend (parts of the body), as in humility or fear


the act of stooping or bending

Word Origin for crouch

C14: perhaps from Old French crochir to become bent like a hook, from croche hook

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 crouched



late 14c., probably from Old French crochir "become bent, crooked," from croche "hook" (see crochet). Related: Crouched; crouching. As a noun, from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper