1

crab

play
noun, often attributive \ˈkrab\

Definition of crab

  1. 1 plural crabs also crab :  any of numerous chiefly marine broadly built decapod crustaceans:a :  any of an infraorder (Brachyura) with a short broad usually flattened carapace, a small abdomen that curls forward beneath the body, short antennae, and the anterior pair of limbs modified as grasping pincersb :  any of various crustaceans of an infraorder (Anomura) resembling true crabs in the more or less reduced condition of the abdomen

  2. 2 capitalized :  cancer 1

  3. 3 crabs plural :  infestation with crab lice

  4. 4 :  the angular difference between an aircraft's course and the heading necessary to make that course in the presence of a crosswind

Origin and Etymology of crab

Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba; akin to Old High German krebiz crab and perhaps to Old English ceorfan to carve — more at carve


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms


2

crab

verb

Definition of crab

crabbed

;

crabbing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to fish for crabs

  3. 2a (1) :  to move sideways indirectly or diagonally (2) :  to crab an airplaneb :  to scuttle or scurry sideways

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to cause to move sideways or in an indirect or diagonal manner; specifically :  to head (an airplane) into a crosswind to counteract drift

  6. 2 :  to subject to crabbing

crabber

noun

1657

First Known Use of crab

1657


3

crab

noun

Definition of crab

Origin and Etymology of crab

Middle English crabbe, perhaps from crabbe 1crab


First Known Use: 14th century


4

crab

noun

Definition of crab

  1. :  an ill-tempered person :  grouch

1580

First Known Use of crab

1580


5

crab

verb

Definition of crab

crabbed

;

crabbing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make sullen :  sour old age has crabbed his nature

  3. 2 :  to complain about peevishly

  4. 3 :  spoil, ruin

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  carp, grouse always crabs about the weather

crabber

noun

Origin and Etymology of crab

Middle English crabben, probably back-formation from crabbed


First Known Use: 1662


CRAB Defined for Kids

1

crab

play
noun \ˈkrab\

Definition of crab for Students

  1. :  a sea animal that is a crustacean related to the lobsters and has a short broad flat shell and a front pair of legs with small claws


2

crab

play
noun

Definition of crab for Students

  1. :  a person who is usually grouchy


3

crab

play
verb

Definition of crab for Students

crabbed

;

crabbing


Medical Dictionary

crab

play
noun \ˈkrab\

Medical Definition of crab

  1. 1:  any of a tribe (Brachyura) of chiefly marine crustaceans with a short broad usually flattened carapace, a small abdomen that curls forward beneath the body, short antennae, and the anterior pair of limbs modified as grasping pincers

  2. 2crabs plural :  infestation with pubic lice



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up crab? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an exhausted condition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!