Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To stoop, especially with the knees bent: crouched over the grate, searching for his keys.
  • intransitive v. To press the entire body close to the ground with the limbs bent: a cat crouching near its prey.
  • intransitive v. To bend servilely or timidly; cringe.
  • transitive v. To bend (the head or knee, for example) low, as in fear or humility.
  • n. The act or posture of bending low or crouching.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cross.
  • v. To sign with the cross; bless.
  • v. To bend down; to stoop low; to lie close to the ground with legs bent, as an animal when waiting for prey, or in fear.
  • v. To bend servilely; to stoop meanly; to fawn; to cringe.
  • v. To bend, or cause to bend, as in humility or fear.
  • n. A bent or stooped position.
  • n. A button (of a joypad, joystick or similar device) whose only or main current function is that when it is pressed causes a video game character to crouch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To bend down; to stoop low; to lie close to the ground with the logs bent, as an animal when waiting for prey, or in fear.
  • intransitive v. To bend servilely; to stoop meanly; to fawn; to cringe.
  • transitive v. To sign with the cross; to bless.
  • transitive v. To bend, or cause to bend, as in humility or fear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bend; stoop low; lie or stoop close to the ground, as an animal in preparing to spring or from fear: as, a dog crouches to his master, a lion crouches in the thicket.
  • To bow or stoop servilely; make slavish obeisance; fawn; cringe.
  • To bend or cause to bend low, as if for concealment, or in fear or abasement.
  • To sign with the cross; bless.
  • n. A cross; a crucifix; the sign of the cross; the cross on a coin, or the coin itself. See cross, n.

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

  • n. the act of bending low with the limbs close to the body
  • v. sit on one's heels
  • v. bend one's back forward from the waist on down

Etymologies

Middle English crouchen, probably from Old North French *crouchir, to become bent, variant of Old French crochir, from croche, hook; see crochet.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English crouche, cruche, from Old English crūċ ("cross"). Compare Old Saxon krūci ("cross"), Old High German chrūzi ("cross"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English crouchen, crucchen, crouken ("to bend, crouch"), variant of croken ("to bend, crook"), from crok ("crook, hook"), from Old Norse krókr ("hook"), from Proto-Germanic *krōkaz (“hook”), from Proto-Indo-European *gerg- (“wicker, bend”), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (“to turn, wind, weave”). Compare Middle Dutch krōken ("to crook, curl"). More at crook. (Wiktionary)

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