verb (used without object), crowed or for 1, (especially British), crew; crowed; crow·ing.

to utter the characteristic cry of a rooster.
to gloat, boast, or exult (often followed by over).
to utter an inarticulate cry of pleasure, as an infant does.


the characteristic cry of a rooster.
an inarticulate cry of pleasure.

Origin of crow

before 1000; Middle English crowen, Old English crāwan; cognate with Dutch kraaien, German krähen; see crow1
Related formscrow·er, nouncrow·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for crow

2. vaunt, brag. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crowing

Contemporary Examples of crowing

Historical Examples of crowing

  • The dawn was just showing over the mountains, and in Sils the cocks were crowing.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • "You damned Earthmen have been crowing long enough," he said.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • And your own lil world would be up there, too, laughing and crowing mortal.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • They were on their feet again in a moment, laughing and crowing out their delight.

  • She sat down on the steps and laid a crowing baby on her lap.

    The Island Mystery

    George A. Birmingham

British Dictionary definitions for crowing



plural Crows or Crow a member of a Native American people living in E Montana
the language of this people, belonging to the Siouan family




any large gregarious songbird of the genus Corvus, esp C. corone (the carrion crow) of Europe and Asia: family Corvidae . Other species are the raven, rook, and jackdaw and all have a heavy bill, glossy black plumage, and rounded wingsSee also carrion crow Related adjective: corvine
any of various other corvine birds, such as the jay, magpie, and nutcracker
any of various similar birds of other families
offensive an old or ugly woman
short for crowbar
as the crow flies as directly as possible
eat crow US and Canadian informal to be forced to do something humiliating
stone the crows stone

Word Origin for crow

Old English crāwa; related to Old Norse krāka, Old High German krāia, Dutch kraai



verb (intr)

(past tense crowed or crew) to utter a shrill squawking sound, as a cock
(often foll by over) to boast one's superiority
(esp of babies) to utter cries of pleasure


the act or an instance of crowing
Derived Formscrower, nouncrowingly, adverb

Word Origin for crow

Old English crāwan; related to Old High German krāen, Dutch kraaien
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 crowing


Indian tribe of the American Midwest, the name is a rough translation of their own name, Apsaruke.



Old English crawe, imitative of bird's cry. Phrase eat crow is perhaps based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable; first attested 1851, American English, but said to date to War of 1812 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London). Crow's foot "wrinkle around the corner of the eye" is late 14c. Phrase as the crow flies first recorded 1800.



Old English crawian "make a loud noise like a crow" (see crow (n.)); sense of "exult in triumph" is 1520s, perhaps in part because the English crow is a carrion-eater. Related: Crowed; crowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with crowing


In addition to the idiom beginning with crow

  • crown jewels
  • crow over

also see:

  • as the crow flies
  • eat crow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.