crab·​by | \ ˈkra-bē How to pronounce crabby (audio) \
crabbier; crabbiest

Definition of crabby

: easily irritated : peevish and irritable : grouchy a crabby recluse He gets crabby if he doesn't have his morning coffee. She was in a crabby mood and got a certain amount of satisfaction out of pushing her sister's buttons.— Isis Crawford

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Other Words from crabby

crabbiness noun
… the waiters have shed Stalinist crabbiness in favor of Parisian-style contempt for the customer. — Kati Marton

Examples of crabby in a Sentence

She gets crabby if she doesn't get enough sleep. a crabby old dog who snapped at passersby

Recent Examples on the Web

In return for not being charged for the crime, they are required to help redecorate the rickety shop, thus pitting them against its crabby owner, Doc (Dido De La Paz). Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Respeto': Film Review," 11 July 2018 And wouldn’t that just show her crabby old grandmother! Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 Indeed, Giants general manager Dave Gettlemen became downright crabby when discussing the value of a quarterback compared to a running back, knowing the Barkley is special. Andrew Brandt,, "Saquon Barkley's Enormous Projected Contract, Lamar Jackson's Lack of an Agent," 1 May 2018 Students are taught the difference between a Hero and a Crab, those who Help Everyone Respect Others and those who bring others down with their crabby attitudes. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Looking For - And Finding - The Good At KMS," 11 Apr. 2018 But crabby old baseball is having a nice, self-aware moment. Jason Gay, WSJ, "What Is This Bull…Pen Cart!?," 8 Mar. 2018 And the crabby snacks (finger food served by Quick’s own mother) offered on game day. Gary Thompson,, "Why it's time for Eagles fans to revisit 'Silver Linings Playbook,' the movie that gets football fans," 1 Feb. 2018 Of course, there’s a classically Jets-y angle to this surprise start: some doomsdayish fans are crabby that the Jets are sabotaging their chances for the top draft pick. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The Jets and the Beautiful Ugly," 12 Oct. 2017 In January, a species of crab was given the name Harryplax severus in honor of Harry T. Conley, the scientist who first discovered the tiny and translucent crab 20 years ago and the Harry Potter antihero (and often crabby professor) Severus Snape. Elizabeth Logan, Teen Vogue, ""Harry Potter" Character Lucius Malfoy Inspires Name of New Wasp Species," 10 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crabby.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crabby

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crabby

crab entry 4

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Statistics for crabby

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Time Traveler for crabby

The first known use of crabby was in 1599

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More Definitions for crabby



English Language Learners Definition of crabby

informal : unhappy and tending to complain a lot


crab·​by | \ ˈkra-bē How to pronounce crabby (audio) \
crabbier; crabbiest

Kids Definition of crabby

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More from Merriam-Webster on crabby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crabby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crabby

Spanish Central: Translation of crabby

Nglish: Translation of crabby for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crabby

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characterized by aphorism

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