Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Sideways.
  • adv. In a furtive or circumspect manner; indirectly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In the manner of a crab; sideways.
  • adj. Incidental.
  • adv. In the manner of a crab; sideways.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of movement) at an angle

Etymologies

From crab +‎ -wise. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Layered with countless motifs from Albanian folklore involving betrayal, incest, shame and horror, as well as tragic themes from Plato, Virgil and Cervantes, this section of the narrative is a "crabwise" unfolding of their last 40 days, compiled by a researcher whose own obsession with the case is never explained, but who is ultimately confounded by the unanswerable question: "What right have we got in this pitch-black night to ask about things that are beyond our powers to see?"

    The Accident by Ismail Kadare

  • I wouldn't say that that evening was born a lifelong passion for theatre – it's been a slow, crabwise journey to get there – but it did do something.

    Do you remember the first time?

  •   With a sharp pull and a crabwise motion, it was possible to open the door and pass through it.

    Lips that Touch Liquor: The Gin Buck

  • But the crabwise trajectory of their investigation suggests that the quest is just a framework on which to hang Schacht's energetic soliloquies.

    Sam Munson's ‘November Criminals,' about a disaffected teen in Washington, D.C.

  • Metre-high players scuttle crabwise across the pitch.

    RoboCup: the future of football?

  • The horse had run backwards, cantered crabwise, turned in circles, ignored every instruction and used his vast muscle power to make a fool of the slight man on his back.

    They didn’t read Pitchfork or Stereogum or Gorilla vs. Bear or Hipster Runoff

  • He ducked his head beneath his tunic, turning his face against the wall, and crept, crabwise and even more slowly, up the stairs.

    Tran Siberian

  • The little homestead was on the move, inching crabwise across the Pilliga.

    Wildwood

  • That was a while ago, and he can't walk these days unless he clings to furniture and creeps along crabwise, so I'm hoping he'll have better luck getting the equipment in Reno.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • Yet the political parody seldom catches fire, and the story stops dead in its crabwise tracks for some frantic nonsense in which a greedy landlord turns predatory developer, and Mariah Carey plays herself with agonizing difficulty.

    Arabs, Jews Duel,

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