Also called crow. a steel bar, usually flattened and slightly bent at one or both ends, used as a lever.

verb (used with object), crow·barred, crow·bar·ring.

to pry open, loosen, etc., with a crowbar: We had to crowbar a window to get in.

Origin of crowbar

1740–50, Americanism; crow1 + bar1; so called because one end was beak-shaped Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crowbar

lever, chisel, extract, jimmy, pry, remove

Examples from the Web for crowbar

Contemporary Examples of crowbar

Historical Examples of crowbar

  • Finally we had to dig out the crowbar and I went to work on the top.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • Csar was gitting as straight as a crowbar and as grim as a gannet.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Why had Worth gone to the shed hunting a crowbar to open the door?

  • You use a crowbar when you want to raise a heavy object such as a rock.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • Heyst yelled to the Chinaman, who was running with the crowbar in his hand.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for crowbar



a heavy iron lever with one pointed end, and one forged into a wedge shape
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 crowbar

1748, with bar (n.1), earlier simply crow (c.1400); so called from its "beak" or from resemblance to a crow's foot; or possibly it is from crows, from Old French cros, plural of croc "hook."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper