a crab, especially an edible crab, that has not recently molted and has a hard shell.
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Origin of hard-shell crab
First recorded in 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for hard-shell crab
a crab, esp of the edible species Cancer pagurus, that has not recently moulted and therefore has a hard shellCompare soft-shell crab
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