\ ˈkrōk How to pronounce croak (audio) \
croaked; croaking; croaks

Definition of croak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to make a deep harsh sound
b : to speak in a hoarse throaty voice
3 slang : die

transitive verb

1 : to utter in a hoarse raucous voice
2 slang : kill



Definition of croak (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hoarse harsh cry or sound

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Other Words from croak


croaky \ ˈkrō-​kē How to pronounce croaky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for croak

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of croak in a Sentence

Verb We could hear the frogs croaking by the pond. The man could only croak his name. He tried to speak but could barely croak. He had a heart attack and croaked.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Frogs croaked from a nearby ditch; birds trilled from the field’s edge. Kirk Johnson, New York Times, "How 5 Friends and a Field of Tulips Fought the Covid-19 Meltdown," 9 May 2020 Curtains of Spanish moss hang limply from cypress trees; frogs croak from their lily pad perches, and lazy alligators float through backwater channels. Dallas News, "Beyond Yosemite: Four state parks to seek out off the beaten vacation path," 4 May 2020 Mono Lake in California has a huge population of frogs that normally croak in unison to keep predators from locating and targeting individual frogs. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "The upside of coronavirus? The world has gotten quieter, something Alaskans know all about," 18 Apr. 2020 There are nearly 5,000 different species of frogs hopping, croaking, and swimming across the Earth of all different shapes and sizes. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, "These spiky frog skulls look more like dinosaur fossils," 4 Apr. 2020 Cisco croaks as Wells wraps his hands around his neck. Chancellor Agard,, "The Flash reveals first look at 'angry,' 'unpredictable' new Wells in season 6 trailer," 26 Sep. 2019 Watching from bare branches, ravens warbled and croaked. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "After the Last Cop Killed Himself, All the Criminals Have to Do Is Hide," 24 Oct. 2019 Imagine the coniferous forests of the American West and you probably picture tall trees, forest floors littered with pine needles and pinecones, black bears, mountain lions, croaking frogs, and mountain blue birds. National Geographic, "Forest fires are getting too hot—even for fire-adapted animals," 12 Aug. 2019 Kidman's divine performance notwithstanding, this reviewer was ready for Satine to croak by the 15-minute mark of Luhrmann's exhausting film, which throws you into a melee of cacophonous medleys and flashy quick cuts that never let up. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Review: Lady Gaga, Adele bring Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!' musical to soaring new heights," 10 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But his voice is nimble, a deep outer-borough croak that is a register or two away from demonic, before bursting into a girlish giggle. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Pete Davidson’s New Special Seems Like It Could Use a Hug," 26 Feb. 2020 In its native Puerto Rico, the coquí frog’s eponymous croak is the stuff of lullabies. Eleanor Cummins, Popular Science, "This frog’s signature chirp can be heavenly or hellish," 15 Jan. 2020 This frog’s croak sounded a lot like someone breaking wind, causing her to crack up. Alice Rudge, Quartz, "Why we laugh when we know we shouldn’t," 28 Aug. 2019 The medicine was audible in the slow, soft croak of her voice. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 When swung aboard, the 17-inch speck verified its gender by uttering a series of croaks, a vocalization female specks are physiologically unequipped to create. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Reading and heeding the signs of spring," 22 Mar. 2018 The guys call out to the gals in croaks that kind of sound like duck quacks. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Photos: For a second straight February, flowers and frogs have that spring feeling," 22 Feb. 2018 This lower tone with a little smoky croak around the edges can sound casual and natural --- to some -- or neurotic and unsure to others. Amy Dickinson,, "'Vocal fry' irks grandparent," 6 Mar. 2018 This lower tone with a little smoky croak around the edges can sound casual and natural — to some — or neurotic and unsure to others. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "‘Vocal fry’ drives grandma to distraction," 6 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'croak.' 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 croak


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for croak


Middle English croken, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for croak

Time Traveler

The first known use of croak was in the 15th century

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Statistics for croak

Cite this Entry

“Croak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for croak


How to pronounce croak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of croak

: to make the deep, harsh sound that a frog makes
: to say (something) in a rough, low voice that is hard to understand
slang : to die


\ ˈkrōk How to pronounce croak (audio) \
croaked; croaking

Kids Definition of croak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to utter with a rough low voice “I need water,” he croaked.
2 : to make a deep harsh sound frogs croaked



Kids Definition of croak (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hoarse harsh sound or cry

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More from Merriam-Webster on croak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for croak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with croak

Spanish Central: Translation of croak

Nglish: Translation of croak for Spanish Speakers

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