Definitions

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

  • n. An ugly, withered old woman; a hag.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An old woman.
  • n. An archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.
  • n. An ugly, evil-looking, or frightening old woman; a hag.
  • n. An old ewe.
  • n. An old man, especially one who talks and acts like an old woman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old ewe.
  • n. An old woman; -- usually in contempt.
  • n. An old man; especially, a man who talks and acts like an old woman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A feeble and withered old woman: used depreciatively, and sometimes applied, with increased contempt, to a man.
  • n. An old ewe.

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

  • n. an ugly evil-looking old woman

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old North French carogne, carrion, cantankerous woman, from Vulgar Latin *carōnia, carrion, from Latin carō, carn-, flesh; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
OD. kronie, karonie, an old sheep, Old French carogne, French charogne, carrion. See carrion and crony. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Kathy found Web sites that claim the title crone hasn't always been derogatory; in pre-Christian times, old women were particularly important members of the community.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • Mr Green said it was a cross between Huck Finn and Twilight, at which point your humble correspondent Lost the Plot and cackled like a crone from the back row of the Storey Hall.

    Reading Matters

  • That the crone is Polish must be constructed by the reader as a kind of logical inference: the Polish keep kosher, the crone keeps kosher, therefore the crone is Polish—that is, Orthodox.

    Ideology as cultural marker

  • It's pronounced just like the word crone, being named for the French town Crosne.

    languagehat.com: PRONUNCIATION QUIZ.

  • According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary the word crone dates back to the fourteenth century and is a Middle English term of abuse.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • Having an understandably violent reaction to the word crone she looked it up in the dictionary.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • The crone is the old woman of great power whose life wisdom comes from both her great age and the many things she has lived through.

    The Crone and the Cauldron | Bindu Wiles

  • The mother, maiden, and the crone are a pagan concept.

    Meet GRRM and (maybe) cast and crew

  • Yes, we're sure they were very important members of their society but we bet they didn't like being called a crone any more than we do.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • Jill slips and calls the crone "mother" leading to a tender second between the two.

    Too Disgusting to Contemplate, Too Compelling to Ignore

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