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.

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 crouching

Contemporary Examples of crouching

Historical Examples of crouching

  • Still his bullets fell in the center of the crouching party.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Crouching low in the shade of a clump of bushes, Grant stole toward the spot.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • He had been crouching for a spring at the moment when his master caught him.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • But when I came to cross the road no crouching or gliding would do.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Hilary thrust Joan suddenly behind him; crouching like a cat.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

British Dictionary definitions for crouching



(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 crouching



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