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From Middle English craven, from Old English crafian (to crave, ask, implore, demand, summon), from Proto-Germanic *krabōną (to shrink, contract, be stiff, be firm), from Proto-Indo-European *grep- (hook, strength, force). Cognate with Danish kræve (to crave, ask, demand, require), Norwegian kreve (to demand), Swedish kräva (to demand, require), Icelandic krefja (to demand), Icelandic krafa (a demand, requirement). Related to craft, grape.

Guus Kroonen in his Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic gives *krabēn- (to urge, demand) as the origin of the verb, which he tentatively connects to Elfdalian [Term?] kravel (trouble, hassle, seediness, morbidity) from a Proto-Germanic *krab(a)la-, pointing to a possible original meaning “to be in need”'. He further suggests a connection to Proto-Germanic *krēbi- (to be claimed), a gerundive of Old Norse krefja (to claim).


  • enPR: krāv, IPA(key): /kɹeɪv/
  • Rhymes: -eɪv
  • (file)


crave (third-person singular simple present craves, present participle craving, simple past and past participle craved)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To desire strongly, so as to satisfy an appetite; to long or yearn for.
    to crave for peace
    to crave after wealth
    to crave drugs
    • Edmund Gurney
      His path is one that eminently craves weary walking.
  2. (transitive) To ask for earnestly; to beg; to claim.
    I humbly crave your indulgence to read this letter until the end.

Derived terms[edit]


crave (plural craves)

  1. (law, Scotland) A formal application to a court to make a particular order.



  • Kroonen, Guus (2013) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, s. v. “*krabēn-” and “*krēbi-”.





  1. First-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of cravar
  2. Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present subjunctive of cravar
  3. Third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of cravar
  4. Third-person singular (você) negative imperative of cravar