: a cruel or ugly old woman
… chocolate-colored rock formations that look like giant toadstools, fat old crones, and creatures from a bad dream.Elaine Jarvik

Example Sentences

The old crone lived alone. a run-down house that was inhabited by a cantankerous crone who kept to herself
Recent Examples on the Web One such shape, made with a twisted or braided dough, was meant to ward off the wrath of a Teutonic witch-demon, a crone with matted, twisted hair called Berchta or Holle. Benjamin, Longreads, 20 May 2022 When a grizzled crone calling herself Mrs. Eaves (Amira Ghazalla) appears at her apartment demanding Natasha kill the thing, The Baby becomes a moral play. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Apr. 2022 The balance of power is deeply unstable, as the narrator tilts from crowing lord to humiliated crone and back again, while L’s cruelty and uncompromising commitment to himself is undermined by the effect of time on his body. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 8 June 2021 Gabi becomes a cackling crone bent on humiliating James. Peter Debruge, Variety, 22 Jan. 2023 Amdam likens them to the classic optical illusion (shown on the right) which depicts both a young debutante and an old crone. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2012 There is also a pipe-smoking crone, Mrs. McCormick (Sheila Flitton), who prophesies doom. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 14 Oct. 2022 Films also explore witches of middle age, mining that taboo territory when women transform from mother to crone, reaching a period of their lives when society at large rejects them for no longer being fertile or desirable. Time, 13 Oct. 2022 There’s a famous statue by Rodin, which shows the soul of a young woman striving to break free of the flesh of an old crone. Richard A. Lovett, Outside Online, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, a term of abuse, from Anglo-French caroine, charoine dead flesh — more at carrion

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crone was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near crone

Cite this Entry

“Crone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition



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