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 These classic little baits can work any time, but when it’s cold and smallmouths get really crabby, a hair jig can catch them when nothing else will. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "The 7 Best Baits for Spring Smallmouth Bass," 22 Apr. 2020 Another Playhouse vet, Natalie Cordone, expertly makes Lucy crabby and loud without being shrill. Matthew J. Palm,, "A great production for good ol’ Charlie Brown | Review," 6 Dec. 2019 In one cartoon, a crabby guy is shown holding beaker of liquid. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Three very different holiday gift-giving books for under $20," 7 Dec. 2019 Responses on Twitter were similarly negative, with many users slamming Shaggy's lack of claws as the fan-favorite crabby crustacean. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "How bad was ‘Little Mermaid Live!’? Pretty bad, according to some reviews," 6 Nov. 2019 Lucy remains forever crabby, her pleasure in humiliating Charlie Brown eternally fleeting. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019 In Semple’s depiction, Bernadette is more than just crabby and eloquently viper-tongued; she’s possessed by a sociopolitical bitterness, as well. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” Reviewed: Richard Linklater’s Narrow View of a Creator in Crisis," 26 Aug. 2019 That suspension of reality is what made The Bell such a genius brand activation and only a subpar hotel, at least for this crabby journalist with a tenuous relationship with the franchise (and fast food in general). Mitchell Kuga, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Stay at the Taco Bell Hotel in Palm Springs," 21 Aug. 2019 His dim best friend Patrick Star, his crabby co-worker Squidward Tentacles, and his greedy boss Mr. Krabs would color the neighborhood. Los Angeles Times, "‘SpongeBob’ actors get tearful remembering creator Stephen Hillenburg at Comic-Con," 19 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for crabby

Time Traveler

The first known use of crabby was in 1599

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Statistics for crabby

Last Updated

26 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crabby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for crabby


How to pronounce crabby (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crabby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crabby

Spanish Central: Translation of crabby

Nglish: Translation of crabby for Spanish Speakers

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