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 Oh no! Don't get crabby, but your summertime feasts may look a little different this year. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Crab Leg Shortage Hits Myrtle Beach Restaurants," 16 Apr. 2021 Sure, there’s a plot: a mayoral race to rig, a friendship to repair, a crabby romance to kickstart. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, "Melissa McCarthy Doesn’t Have All the Fun in ‘Thunder Force’ — Which Is a Good Thing," 9 Apr. 2021 But Clooney—who also stars, as a crabby, obsessive scientist bearing the comically hifalutin name Augustine Lofthouse—is at the very least a thoughtful filmmaker, and The Midnight Sky is made with obvious care. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Midnight Sky Is Occasionally Poetic and Often Boring—But It Features One Truly Terrific Performance," 23 Dec. 2020 The Cleveland Browns’ postseason drought grew from a crabby and cranky toddler into an exasperating adolescent. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Behind Baker Mayfield, the Browns and Their Playoff Hopes Mature," 6 Dec. 2020 Gizelle Bryant campaigned for The Real Housewives of Potomac to ditch their champagne title sequences and get crabby. Marcus Jones,, "Gizelle Bryant rallied for The Real Housewives of Potomac to hold crabs in the title sequence," 2 Aug. 2020 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

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

Last Updated

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crabby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on crabby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crabby

Nglish: Translation of crabby for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crabby

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