from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various freshwater crustaceans of the families Astacidae and Cambaridae of the Northern Hemisphere and the family Parastacidae of the Southern Hemisphere, resembling a lobster but considerably smaller.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See crawfish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) See crawfish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A freshwater crustacean (Cambaridae) resembling a small lobster, sometimes used as an inexpensive seafood or as fish bait.
  • noun Australia, New Zealand, South Africa A rock lobster.

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

  • noun small freshwater decapod crustacean that resembles a lobster
  • noun tiny lobster-like crustaceans usually boiled briefly
  • noun warm-water lobsters without claws; those from Australia and South Africa usually marketed as frozen tails; caught also in Florida and California
  • noun large edible marine crustacean having a spiny carapace but lacking the large pincers of true lobsters


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

[By folk etymology from Middle English crevise, from Old French crevice, perhaps from Old High German krebiz, edible crustacean; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration (by folk-etymology, influenced by fish) of Middle English crevis, from Old French crevice ("crayfish"; > Modern French: écrevisse), from Old Frankish *krebitja (“crayfish”), diminutive of Old Frankish *krebit (“crab”), from Proto-Germanic *krabitaz (“crab, cancer”), from Proto-Indo-European *grebʰ-, *gerebʰ- (“to scratch, crawl”). Akin to Old High German krebiz ("edible crustacean, crab"; > Modern German Krebs ("crab")), Middle Low German krēvet ("crab"), Dutch kreeft ("crayfish, lobster"), Old English crabba ("crab"). More at crab.


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