From Middle English *croken, crouken, (also represented by craken > crake), back-formation from Old English crācettan (“to croak”) (also in derivative crǣcettung (“croaking”)), from Proto-Germanic *krēk- (compare Swedish kråka, German krächzen), from Proto-Indo-European *greh₂-k- (compare Latin grāculus (“jackdaw”), Serbo-Croatian grákati).
- (General American) enPR: krōk, IPA(key): /kɹoʊk/
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: krōk, IPA(key): /kɹəʊk/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊk
croak (plural croaks)
- A faint, harsh sound made in the throat.
- The cry of a frog or toad. (see also ribbit)
- The harsh cry of various birds, such as the raven or corncrake, or other creatures.
- (intransitive) To make a croak.
- (transitive) To utter in a low, hoarse voice.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene v]:
- The raven himself is hoarse, / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan.
- (intransitive, of a frog, toad, raven, or various other birds or animals) To make its cry.
- (slang) To die.
- (transitive, slang) To kill someone or something.
- He'd seen my face, so I had to croak him.
- 1925, G. K. Chesterton, The Arrow of Heaven (first published in Nash's Pall Mall Magazine, Jul 1925)
- If Wilton croaked the criminal he did a jolly good day's work, and there's an end of it.
- To complain; especially, to grumble; to forebode evil; to utter complaints or forebodings habitually.