- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /kɹæb/, enPR: krăb
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -æb
From Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba (“crab; crayfish; cancer”), from Proto-West Germanic *krabbō, from Proto-Germanic *krabbô, from *krabbōną (“to creep, crawl”), from root *kraƀ (“scrape”), from Proto-Indo-European *grobʰ- (“scratch, claw at”), a variant of *gerbʰ-. More at carve.
- A crustacean of the infraorder Brachyura, having five pairs of legs, the foremost of which are in the form of claws, and a carapace.
- (uncountable) The meat of this crustacean, served as food; crabmeat.
- A bad-tempered person; a person with crab mentality
- (in plural crabs, informal) An infestation of pubic lice (Pthirus pubis).
- Although crabs themselves are an easily treated inconvenience, the patient and his partner(s) clearly run major STD risks.
- (uncountable, aviation) The angle by which an aircraft's nose is pointed upwind of its groundtrack to compensate for crosswinds during an approach to landing; its crab angle.
- The pilot had to hold fifteen degrees of crab during the approach to keep her plane from getting blown off the localizer course.
- (slang) A playing card with the rank of three.
- (rowing) A position in rowing where the oar is pushed under the rigger by the force of the water.
- A defect in an outwardly normal object that may render it inconvenient and troublesome to use.
- 1915, W.S. Maugham, “chapter 116”, in Of Human Bondage:
- -- "I suppose you wouldn't like to do a locum for a month on the South coast? Three guineas a week with board and lodging." -- "I wouldn't mind," said Philip. -- "It's at Farnley, in Dorsetshire. Doctor South. You'd have to go down at once; his assistant has developed mumps. I believe it's a very pleasant place." There was something in the secretary's manner that puzzled Philip. It was a little doubtful. -- "What's the crab in it?" he asked.
- (dated) An unsold book that is returned to the publisher.
- 1844, Albert Henry Payne, Payne's universum, or pictorial world, page 99:
- […] the unsold copies may be returned to the original publisher , at a period fixed upon between Christmas and Easter; these returned copies are technically called krebse or crabs, probably, from their walking backwards. […] A says to B, "I have had eight thousand dollars' worth of your publications, three thousand were crabs, that makes five thousand."
- 1892, The Publishers Weekly, volume 41, page 709:
- […] unsold copies and settling the yearly accounts; while for the publisher begins the much dreaded season of "crabs," as […]
- Alaska crab, Alaska king crab, Alaskan king crab (Paralithodes spp, Lithodes aequispinus)
- arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis)
- black crab (Scylla serrata)
- black finger crab
- blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)
- blue swimmer crab (Portunus armatus)
- Boston crab
- box crab (Calappa spp.)
- brown box crab
- brown crab
- butterfly crab
- calling crab
- catch a crab
- chili crab
- chilli crab
- Chinese crab (Malus spp.)
- Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
- circular crab (Atelecyclus rotundatus)
- coconut crab (Birgus latro)
- come off crabs
- crab angle
- crab boil
- crab burger
- crab cactus (Schlumbergera)
- crab cake
- crab canon, crab-canon
- crab claw
- crab dolly
- crab-eater seal
- crab-eating fox
- crab-eating frog
- crab-eating macaque
- crab-eating raccoon
- crab face, crab-face
- crab-favored, crab-favoured
- crab-fish (Cancer major)
- crab fork
- crab-grass, crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)
- crab-like, crablike
- crab Louie
- crab Louis
- crab louse, crab-louse (Pthirus pubis)
- crab market
- crab mentality
- Crab Nebula
- crab plover
- crab-pot valve
- crab puff
- crab rangoon
- crab rock
- crab's claw
- crab sex
- crab's eye, crab's-eye (Abrus precatorius)
- crab spider, crab-spider (Thomisidae spp.)
- crab stick
- crab yaws
- crack crab
- cut a crab
- Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister)
- edible crab
- fiddler crab (Uca spp.)
- flower crab (Portunus pelagicus)
- ghost crab (Ocypode)
- golden crab
- green crab (Carcinus maenas)
- Halloween crab (Gecarcinus quadratus)
- hard-shell crab
- hermit crab (Paguroidea spp.)
- Hoff crab
- horseshoe crab (Limulus spp.)
- Jonah crab (Cancer borealis)
- king crab, king-crab (Lithodidae spp.)
- lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus)
- land crab, land-crab (Gecarcinidae spp.)
- mangrove crab (Scylla serrata)
- mantis crab (Squilla spp.)
- masked crab (Corystes cassivelaunus)
- mole crab (Hippoidea spp.)
- mud crab
- nobody crab (Pycnogonidae spp.)
- oyster crab (Zaops ostreus)
- palm crab (Birgus latro)
- pea crab, pea-crab (Pinnotheres)
- porcelain crab (Porcellanidae spp.)
- purse crab (Persephona spp.)
- purser's crabs
- pusser's crabs
- racing crab (Ocypodidae spp.)
- red crab
- reef crab
- river crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
- robber crab (Birgus latro)
- rock crab
- round crab (Atelecyclus rotundatus)
- sand crab (Hippoidea spp.)
- sea crab
- sentinel crab (Macrophthalmus)
- shamefaced crab
- shame-faced crab (Calappa spp.)
- Shanghai hairy crab
- shore crab, shore-crab (Carcinus maenas)
- snow crab
- soft-shell crab
- soldier crab, soldier-crab
- spider crab, spider-crab (Majoidea spp.)
- stilt crab (Palicidae spp.)
- stone crab (Menippe mercenaria et al.)
- strawberry crab (Neoliomera pubescens)
- swimming crab (Portunidae spp.)
- Tasmanian giant crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas)
- thumbnail crab (Thia scutellata)
- tree crab (Coenobita clypeatus)
- turn out crabs
- vampire crab (Geosesarma spp.)
- velvet crab (Necora puber)
- white crab
- (intransitive) To fish for crabs.
- (transitive, US, slang) To ruin.
- 1940, Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Penguin, published 2010, page 224:
- ‘Just so we understand each other,’ he said after a pause. ‘If you crab this case, you'll be in a jam.’
- (intransitive) To complain.
- (transitive) To complain about.
- 2007, Douglas Newton, Dr. Odin, page 24:
- Well, because of this state of things they crabbed his scheme from the first, ridiculed it, wrote against it, spread broadcast a feeling of distrust.
- (intransitive) To drift or move sideways or to leeward (by analogy with the movement of a crab).
- 2000, Dana Stabenow, Midnight Come Again, →ISBN, page 251:
- Mutt stalked forward, matching him, step for step, crabbing sideways the way wolves do when they're going for the kill.
- 2007, Pat DePaolo, The Beijing Games, →ISBN, page 454:
- The aircraft crabbed sideways in the cross-winds and leveled to horizontal.
- 2015, Andrew Swanston, Waterloo: The Bravest Man, →ISBN:
- Another shouted order and again the squares crabbed sideways.
- To move in a manner that involves keeping low and clinging to surfaces.
- 2011, Robert Vivian, The Least Cricket of Evening, page 108:
- Time slowed down then, became liquid in the aftermath of his grotesque, unfolding limbs; he crabbed his way down the faded line, rocking back and forth in braces he would use all his life.
- 2019, Ronan Frost, White Peak:
- Foot by foot, he crabbed his way down another ninety feet of rock chimney until he stood on solid ground again, still very much alive.
- (transitive, aviation) To navigate (an aircraft, e.g. a glider) sideways against an air current in order to maintain a straight-line course.
- (transitive, film, television) To move (a camera) sideways.
- 1997, Paul Kriwaczek, Documentary for the Small Screen, page 109:
- If panning is not easy to make seem natural, crabbing the camera is even less like any action we perform with our eyes in the real world. There are a few circumstances in which we walk sideways: […]
- (obsolete, World War I), to fly slightly off the straight-line course towards an enemy aircraft, as the machine guns on early aircraft did not allow firing through the propeller disk.
- (rare) To back out of something.
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XV, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
- “Nothing can possibly go wrong.” “Just as you say, sir. But I still have that feeling.” The blood of the Woosters is hot, and I was about to tell him in set terms what I thought of his bally feeling, when I suddenly spotted what it was that was making him crab the act.
crab (plural crabs)
- The crab apple or wild apple.
- 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
- I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow;
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts;
- 1895, Robert Blatchford, “The New Party in the North”, in Andrew Reid, editor, The New Party Described by Some of its Members, London: Hodder Brothers, page 24:
- Just as by cultivation the acrid wild crab has been developed into the beautiful and luscious apple, may the unripe, ill-fed, neglected wild fruits of the fields and slums be developed into pure and noble and beautiful men and women.
- The tree bearing crab apples, which has a dogbane-like bitter bark with medical use.
- A cudgel made of the wood of the crab tree; a crabstick.
- 1741, David Garrick, The Lying Valet:
- She swore to such things , that I could do nothing but swear and call names : upon which out bolts her husband upon me , with a fine taper crab in his hand and fell upon me with such violence , that , being half delirious , I made a full confession
- A movable winch or windlass with powerful gearing, used with derricks, etc.
- A form of windlass, or geared capstan, for hauling ships into dock, etc.
- A machine used in ropewalks to stretch the yarn.
- A claw for anchoring a portable machine.
- (obsolete) To irritate, make surly or sour
- To be ill-tempered; to complain or find fault.
- (British dialect) To cudgel or beat, as with a crabstick
- 1639, John Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas:
- Get you to bed, drab, courage Or l'll so crab your shoulders!
- 1935, Jack Molyneux, John Fairfax-Blakeborough, Thirty Years a Hunt Servant: Being the Memories of Jack Molyneux, page 161:
- I was on a horse named The Skipper, a perfect terror to ride when he was in a bad humour, which he invariably was; nevertheless he was a splendid hunter and I never crabbed him.
- 2021, H. De Vere Stacpoole, Vanderdecken:
- The Shiremans had a down on him over stores he'd condemned as not fit for dogs, let alone able seamen, and they'd got wind he was a socialist, and they crabbed him all over the shipping companies' offices.
Possibly a corruption of the genus name Carapa
crab (plural crabs)
- The tree species Carapa guianensis, native to South America.
crab (plural crabs)
- (informal) Short for .
- “crab”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
- crab on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Weisenberg, Michael (2000) The Official Dictionary of Poker. MGI/Mike Caro University. →ISBN
- Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of the English Language. International Edition. combined with Britannica World Language Dictionary. Chicago-London etc., Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc., 1965.
- Alternative form of
- Alternative form of
crab m (plural crabi)
crab m (Tifinagh spelling ⵛⵔⴰⴱ)