crouched; crouching; crouches

intransitive verb

: to lower the body stance especially by bending the legs
The sprinter crouched and was ready to go.
: to lie close to the ground with the legs bent
… a pair of cats, crouching on the brink of a fight.Aldous Huxley
: to bend or bow servilely : cringe
: to stand at a low height
Cottages crouched along the river.

transitive verb

: to bow especially in humility or fear : bend
The dog crouched its head.
crouch noun

Examples of crouch in a Sentence

She crouched down, trying to get a closer look at the spider. The lion crouched in the tall grass, waiting to attack the gazelle.
Recent Examples on the Web Michalek crouched down, pulled out his phone and began quietly asking questions. Blake Nelson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2023 This toe style is roomy while allowing for flexibility when crouching or walking. Tony Carrick, Field & Stream, 25 Oct. 2023 Ringwald crouched down and grabbed Posen’s leg and stuck her tongue out, while Mathilda posed with her hands on her hips to the side. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2023 From standing birth to crouching on your hands and knees, experts and parents explain why the best positions to give birth don't involve lying on your back. Tonya Russell, Parents, 15 Oct. 2023 Exploring which birthing position feels the best, from standing birth to crouching, side-lying, and squatting, can make your birth experience feel more empowering. Tonya Russell, Parents, 15 Oct. 2023 In this video, an unidentified woman crouches in shrubs as festival security guards are seen with handguns drawn. NBC news, 14 Oct. 2023 Shifflett then appeared to fire twice, even though authorities said Johnson had stopped and was crouching at the time. Olivia Diaz, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 Iranian State Television / via AP Then four seconds later, at 7:08 a.m., another passenger steps back out of the carriage onto the platform edge, crouching down to seemingly attend to someone who is still inside the train and hidden from view. Sara Mhaidli, NBC News, 7 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near crouch

Cite this Entry

“Crouch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to stoop or bend low with the arms and legs close to the body
crouch noun

More from Merriam-Webster on crouch

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