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crabbed

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adjective crab·bed \ˈkra-bəd\

Simple Definition of crabbed

  • : difficult to read or understand

  • : very negative : full of unhappy ideas

Full Definition of crabbed

  1. 1 :  marked by a forbidding moroseness <a crabbed view of human nature>

  2. 2 :  difficult to read or understand <crabbed handwriting>

crab·bed·ness noun

Origin of crabbed

Middle English, partly from crabbe crustacean, partly from crabbe crab apple


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of crabbed

sullen, glum, morose, surly, sulky, crabbed, saturnine, gloomy mean showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood. sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable <remained sullen amid the festivities>. glum suggests a silent dispiritedness <a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat>. morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy <morose job seekers who are inured to rejection>. surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner <a typical surly teenager>. sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness <grew sulky after every spat>. crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner <the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster>. saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition <a saturnine cynic always finding fault>. gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness <a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news>.

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