from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various predominantly marine crustaceans of the division Brachyura within the order Decapoda, characterized by a broad flattened cephalothorax covered by a hard carapace with a small abdomen concealed beneath it, short antennae, and five pairs of legs, of which the anterior pair are large and pincerlike.
- n. Any of various similar related crustaceans, such as the hermit crab or king crab.
- n. A horseshoe crab.
- n. A crab louse.
- n. Slang Infestation by crab lice.
- n. The maneuvering of an aircraft partially into a crosswind to compensate for drift.
- n. A machine for handling or hoisting heavy weights.
- intransitive v. To hunt or catch crabs.
- intransitive v. To scurry sideways in the manner of a crab.
- intransitive v. To drift diagonally or sideways, especially when under tow.
- intransitive v. To direct an aircraft into a crosswind.
- transitive v. To direct (an aircraft) partly into a crosswind to eliminate drift.
- transitive v. To cause to move or scurry sideways.
- idiom catch a crab To make a faulty stroke in rowing that causes the blade of the oar to strike the water on the recovery stroke.
- n. A crab apple tree or its fruit.
- n. A quarrelsome, ill-tempered person.
- intransitive v. Informal To find fault; criticize someone or something.
- transitive v. Informal To interfere with and ruin; spoil.
- transitive v. Informal To find fault with; complain about.
- transitive v. To make ill-tempered or sullen.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A crustacean of the infraorder Brachyura, having five pairs of legs, the foremost of which are in the form of claws, and a carapace.
- n. A bad-tempered person.
- n. An infestation of pubic lice.
- n. A playing card with the rank of three.
- n. Short for carabiner.
- n. A position in rowing where the oar is pushed under the rigger by the force of the water.
- n. A defect in an outwardly normal object that may render it inconvenient and troublesome to use.
- v. To fish for crabs.
- v. To ruin.
- v. To complain.
- v. (by analogy with the movement of a crab) To move sideways of an aircraft, such as a glider.
- v. (by analogy with the movement of a crab) To navigate (an aircraft, e.g. a glider) sideways against an air current in order to maintain a straight-line course.
- v. , to fly slightly off the straight-line course towards an enemy aircraft, as the machine guns on early aircraft did not allow firing through the propeller disk.
- v. To back out of something.
- n. The crab apple or wild apple.
- n. The tree bearing crab apples, which has a dogbane-like bitter bark with medical use.
- v. To irritate, make surly or sour
- v. To be ill-tempered; to complain or find fault.
- v. To cudgel or beat, as with a crabstick
- n. The tree species Carapa guianensis, native of South America.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the brachyuran Crustacea. They are mostly marine, and usually have a broad, short body, covered with a strong shell or carapace. The abdomen is small and curled up beneath the body.
- n. The zodiacal constellation Cancer.
- n. A crab apple; -- so named from its harsh taste.
- n. A cudgel made of the wood of the crab tree; a crabstick.
- n. A movable winch or windlass with powerful gearing, used with derricks, etc.
- n. A form of windlass, or geared capstan, for hauling ships into dock, etc.
- n. A machine used in ropewalks to stretch the yarn.
- n. A claw for anchoring a portable machine.
- transitive v. To make sour or morose; to embitter.
- transitive v. To beat with a crabstick.
- intransitive v. To drift sidewise or to leeward, as a vessel.
- adj. Sour; rough; austere.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A popular name for all the stalk-eyed, ten-footed, and short-tailed or soft-tailed crustaceans constituting the subclass Podophthalmia, order Decapoda, and suborders Brachyura and Anomura: distinguished from lobsters, shrimps, prawns, crawfish, and other long-tailed or macrurous crustaceans, by shortness of body, the abdomen or so-called tail being reduced and folded under the thorax and constituting the apron, or otherwise modified. See cut under Brachyura.
- n. Some crustacean likened to or mistaken for a crab: as, the glass-crabs; the king-crabs. See the compounds.
- n. A crab-louse.
- n. Cancer, a constellation and sign of the zodiac. See Cancer
- n. An arch.
- n. plural The lowest cast at hazard.
- n. A name of various machines and mechanical contrivances.
- n. Among professional oarsmen, to sink the oar-blade so deeply in the water that it cannot he lifted easily, and hence tends to throw the rower out of the boat.
- To fish for or catch crabs: as, to go crabbing.
- Figuratively, to act like a crab in crawling backward; back out; “crawfish”: as, he tried to crab out of it.
- n. A small, tart, and somewhat astringent apple, of which there are several varieties, cultivated chiefly for ornament and to be made into preserves, jelly, etc.; the crab-apple.
- n. The tree producing the fruit.
- n. A walking-stick or club made of the wood of the crab-apple; a crabstick.
- To irritate; fret; vex; provoke; make peevish, cross, sour, or bitter, as a person or his disposition; make crabbed.
- To break or bruise.
- To be peevish or cross.
- In falconry, to seize each other when fighting: said of hawks.
- n. A crabbed, sour-tempered, peevish, morose person.
- Sour; rough; harsh to the taste.
- n. Iu Australia, the marine crustacean, Scylla serrata; also, Telphusa transversa, a crustacean found in fresh water.
- n. plural Same as crabyaws.
- n. A cliff-crab, especially Grapsus pictus.
- To ‘pull to pieces’; criticize or find fault with; hence, to hinder, spoil or defeat by adverse criticism of trivial details.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. scurry sideways like a crab
- n. the fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22
- v. complain
- n. decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers
- n. (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Cancer
- n. a louse that infests the pubic region of the human body
- v. fish for crab
- n. a quarrelsome grouch
- n. the edible flesh of any of various crabs
- n. a stroke of the oar that either misses the water or digs too deeply
- v. direct (an aircraft) into a crosswind
Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba.
Middle English crabbe, possibly from crabbe, crab (shellfish); see crab1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba, from Proto-Germanic *krabbô (cf. Dutch krab, Low German Krabb, Swedish krabba), from *krabbōnan 'to creep, crawl' (cf. East Frisian kraabje, Low German/Dutch krabben, German (Bavarian) krepsen), from Proto-Indo-European *grobʰ- 'to scratch, claw at', variant of *gerebʰ-. More at carve. (Wiktionary)
Germanic: plausibly from Scandinavian, cognate with Swedish dialect scrabba (Wiktionary)