crab·​grass ˈkrab-ˌgras How to pronounce crabgrass (audio)
: a grass (especially Digitaria sanguinalis) that has creeping or decumbent stems which root freely at the nodes and that is often a pest in turf or cultivated lands

Examples of crabgrass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the greater part of two decades, Sally Snowman has lived and worked contentedly on Little Brewster Island, a craggy patch of bare rock, crabgrass, concrete, and dilapidated buildings in Boston’s outer harbor. Dorothy Wickenden, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 Push brooms wiped off months of dust and dirt from headstones, while weed wackers and lawn mowers contended with dandelions, thistles and crabgrass. Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2023 If crabgrass has been a problem in years past, put down a preemergent herbicide in the spring before crabgrass germinates. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 12 Apr. 2021 Large crabgrass can spread rapidly by tillering or from sprouts at the base of the plant, which rapidly increases the width of the crabgrass clump. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 30 July 2023 Banish weeds with these tools that tackle everything from dandelions to crabgrass. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2023 There are two common species referred to as crabgrass — smooth or small crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) and hairy or large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis). Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 30 July 2023 The best way to prevent crabgrass is to maintain a healthy, thick lawn that outcompetes and excludes crabgrass. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 30 July 2023 The term was coined for land next to the road where nothing will grow, except perhaps undesirables such as crabgrass and poison ivy. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 12 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crabgrass.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1743, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crabgrass was in 1743

Dictionary Entries Near crabgrass

Cite this Entry

“Crabgrass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


crab·​grass ˈkrab-ˌgras How to pronounce crabgrass (audio)
: a weedy grass with creeping or sprawling stems that root freely at the nodes

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