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

  • n. Chiefly Southern & Midland U.S. Variant of crayfish.
  • intransitive v. Informal To withdraw from an undertaking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of crayfish.
  • v. To backpedal, desert or withdraw, used with out

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any decapod crustacean of the family Astacidæ (genera Cambarus and Cambarus), resembling the lobster, but smaller, and found in fresh waters. Crawfishes are esteemed very delicate food both in Europe and America. The North American species are numerous and mostly belong to the genus Cambarus. The blind crawfish of the Mammoth Cave is Cambarus pellucidus. The common European species is Astacus fluviatilis.
  • n. tiny lobsterlike crustaceans usually boiled briefly.
  • n. a large edible marine crustacean having a spiny carapace but lacking the large pincers of true lobsters.
  • intransitive v. to back out in a humilating manner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move backward or sidewise like a crawfish; hence, to recede from an opinion or a position; back out or back down.
  • n. The common name of the small fluviatile long-tailed decapod crustaceans of the genera Astacus and Cambarus; especially, in Great Britain, the Astacus fluviatilis; and by extension, some or any similar fresh-water crustacean. See cuts under Astacidæ and Astacus.
  • n. The name in the west of England and among the London fishmongers of the small spiny lobster, Palinurus vulgaris. Also called sea-crawfish.
  • n. One who backs out from a position or undertaking, especially in politics.

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

  • n. tiny lobster-like crustaceans usually boiled briefly
  • v. make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity
  • n. large edible marine crustacean having a spiny carapace but lacking the large pincers of true lobsters
  • n. small freshwater decapod crustacean that resembles a lobster


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Louisianans love inviting locals to pinch tail and suck head.

    (The heads make neat finger-puppets, too!)

    April 20, 2008