Definitions

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

  • n. A low hoarse sound, as that characteristic of frogs and crows.
  • transitive v. To utter in a low hoarse sound.
  • transitive v. Slang To kill.
  • intransitive v. To utter a low hoarse sound.
  • intransitive v. To speak with a low hoarse voice.
  • intransitive v. To mutter discontentedly; grumble.
  • intransitive v. Slang To die.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A faint, harsh sound made in the throat.
  • n. The cry of a frog or toad. (see also ribbit)
  • v. To make a croak.
  • v. Of a frog, to make its cry.
  • v. To die.
  • v. Of a raven, to make its cry.
  • v. To kill someone or something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The coarse, harsh sound uttered by a frog or a raven, or a like sound.
  • intransitive v. To make a low, hoarse noise in the throat, as a frog, a raven, or a crow; hence, to make any hoarse, dismal sound.
  • intransitive v. To complain; especially, to grumble; to forebode evil; to utter complaints or forebodings habitually.
  • transitive v. To utter in a low, hoarse voice; to announce by croaking; to forebode.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter a low, hoarse, dismal cry or sound, as a frog, a raven, or a crow: also used humorously of the hoarse utterance of a person having a heavy cold.
  • To speak with a low, hollow voice, or in dismal accents; forebode evil; complain; grumble.
  • To die: from the gurgling or rattling sound in the throat of a dying person.
  • To utter in a low, hollow voice; murmur dismally.
  • To announce or herald by croaking.
  • n. A low, hoarse guttural sound, as that uttered by a frog or a raven.

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

  • v. utter a hoarse sound, like a raven
  • v. pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
  • n. a harsh hoarse utterance (as of a frog)
  • v. make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath

Etymologies

From Middle English croken, to croak, probably of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English croken, back-formation from Old English cracettan, cræccettan, from Proto-Germanic *krāk- (compare Swedish kråka, German krächzen), from Proto-Indo-European *greh₂-k- (compare Latin grāculus ‘jackdaw’, Serbo-Croatian grákati). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Off out for coffee tonight!! hopefully my voice isnt TOO humourous for convo making. * croak croak*

    phelicity Diary Entry

  • I guess having a frog for a state amphibian would make sense because with the above noted legislation the economic climate in this state will croak from the increased tax revenues required to pay for Olympia's continued foolishness.

    Sound Politics: Your state legislature: overworked and underpaid?

  • a large company of rooks — & their croak is always in unison with mine.

    Letter 141

  • But he didn't "croak" -- instead, he waxed stronger, and toward evening the pangs of hunger and thirst drove him to consider means for escaping from his hiding place, and searching for food and water.

    The Mucker

  • It was plain that this person, in the course of her reflections on life, was regarding her own case, and had arrived at the conviction that in order to preserve herself from the mockeries of life, she was not in a position to do anything else but simply "croak" -- to use her own expression.

    Best Russian Short Stories

  • He speaks loudly in a kind of un-modulated American southern croak, which is hard to take after a while. . .

    Inmate David Duke

  • These pouches are called "vocal sacs," and no doubt aid in intensifying these animals 'croak, which is so powerful that (on account of it and because of the country where they are common) they have been nicknamed "Cambridgeshire Nightingales."

    The Common Frog

  • In his Saturday night set, Dylan's voice was as good as could be expected - that is, a croak with zero range, but with most of the words delivered, and his phrasing as random and idiosyncratic as can be imagined.

    Expecting Rain

  • I developed a horrid sore throat and ear-aches yesterday and, despite my best care last night and going to bed at 9 p.m. for a long and fairly good night's rest was for the naught this morning when I woke up with nothing but a "croak" for a voice!

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • The raven gave a short, comfortable, confidential kind of croak; — a most expressive croak, which seemed to say,

    Barnaby Rudge

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