\ 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

beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, complain, crab, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grump, holler, inveigh, keen, kick, kvetch, maunder [chiefly British], moan, murmur, mutter, nag, repine, scream, squawk, squeal, wail, whimper, whine, whinge [British], yammer, yawp (or yaup), yowl

Antonyms: Verb

crow, delight, rejoice

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Examples of croak in a Sentence


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

Jim Tonelli said, bullfrogs croaking in a pond on his property. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Emerald ash borer continues to decimate trees 10 years after it was discovered in Wisconsin," 25 June 2018 Loud chirping crickets and croaking frogs in the evening mean warming, clear weather the next day, just like Sunday and Monday. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Nature’s fortune-tellers predicted wild weather for Memorial Day weekend," 28 May 2018 The sounds of nature hover throughout the symphony, whether in the form of croaking frogs or howling wolves. National Geographic, "How to Create a Music Score for Our Planet," 19 Apr. 2018 In the West, various species of toads will bury themselves in the ground for almost a year, waiting to come out and croak for a few weeks during the rainy season. Sami Emory, Outside Online, "Embrace the Rain," 27 Mar. 2018 Each holds up fingers to determine his or her place in line, or marks timing by croaking like a frog. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: Taking a Chance on Merce Cunningham," 21 Mar. 2018 And my girlfriend wasn’t thrilled when her character unexpectedly croaked after a single bout of exhaustion. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Oregon Trail handheld game is a really fun nostalgia gadget," 24 Mar. 2018 While the croaking vocals of singer Johannes Andersson keep the band tied to the genre, elements of goth, post-punk, prog and classic rock are just as prevalent throughout the album. Bram Teitelman, Billboard, "Not So 'Down Below': Swedish Black Metal Band Tribulation Makes Heatseekers Chart Impact," 1 Mar. 2018 At the end, men of the gamelan removed their jackets and hilariously leaped up from their instruments to hop and croak like virtuoso frogs who then evolve up the species ladder into a raucous community of brotherhood. Mark Swed,, "The musical view from Mexico and Bali (by way of Northridge and Santa Monica)," 20 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Then a persistent cough turned her delivery into a croak that was painful to the ear. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Theresa May, Coughing and Caught by a Prankster, Endures a Speech to Forget," 4 Oct. 2017 As the herring returned, so too have the croaks of spring peepers, a kind of frog. Jess Bidgood, New York Times, "The ‘Rewilding’ of a Century-Old Cranberry Bog," 4 July 2017 A frog clock croaks from the bathroom and a disgruntled Jack Russell Terrier, Gracie, follows Scott from room to room. The Durango Herald, The Denver Post, "Eccentric Durango clock repairman ready to retire," 2 Apr. 2017

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

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with croak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for croak

Spanish Central: Translation of croak

Nglish: Translation of croak for Spanish Speakers

Comments on croak

What made you want to look up croak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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