crow

1
[ kroh ]
/ kroʊ /

noun

any of several large oscine birds of the genus Corvus, of the family Corvidae, having a long, stout bill, lustrous black plumage, and a wedge-shaped tail, as the common C. brachyrhynchos, of North America.
any of several other birds of the family Corvidae.
any of various similar birds of other families.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Corvus.

Idioms

Origin of crow

1
before 900; Middle English crowe, Old English crāwe, crāwa; cognate with Old High German krāwa; akin to Dutch kraai, German Krähe

Can be confused

craw crow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for eat crow (1 of 3)

Crow

/ (krəʊ) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for eat crow (2 of 3)

crow

1
/ (krəʊ) /

noun

Word Origin for crow

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

British Dictionary definitions for eat crow (3 of 3)

crow

2
/ (krəʊ) /

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

noun

the act or an instance of crowing

Derived Forms

crower, 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

Culture definitions for eat crow

eat crow


To suffer a humiliating experience: “The organizers had to eat crow when the fair they had sworn would attract thousands drew scarcely a hundred people.” The phrase probably refers to the fact that crow meat tastes terrible.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with eat crow (1 of 2)

eat crow


Also, eat dirt or humble pie. Be forced to admit a humiliating mistake, as in When the reporter got the facts all wrong, his editor made him eat crow. The first term's origin has been lost, although a story relates that it involved a War of 1812 encounter in which a British officer made an American soldier eat part of a crow he had shot in British territory. Whether or not it is true, the fact remains that crow meat tastes terrible. The two variants originated in Britain. Dirt obviously tastes bad. And humble pie alludes to a pie made from umbles, a deer's undesirable innards (heart, liver, entrails). [Early 1800s] Also see eat one's words.

Idioms and Phrases with eat crow (2 of 2)

crow


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.