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- 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”).
- (transitive) To desire strongly, so as to satisfy an appetite; to long or yearn for.
- I know I should diet more, but every afternoon I crave a soda so I have one.
- Edmund Gurney
- His path is one that eminently craves weary walking.
- (transitive) To ask for earnestly.
- I humbly crave your indulgence to read this letter until the end.
- c. 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene i:
- My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
- The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
- c. 1603-04, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene ii:
- I crave your honour's pardon.
- Bible, Mark xv. 43:
- Joseph […] went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
crave (plural craves)
- Kroonen, Guus (2013) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, s. v. “*krabēn-” and “*krēbi-”.