\ ˈkrau̇ch How to pronounce crouch (audio) \
crouched; crouching; crouches

Definition of crouch

intransitive verb

1a : to lower the body stance especially by bending the legs The sprinter crouched and was ready to go.
b : to lie close to the ground with the legs bent … a pair of cats, crouching on the brink of a fight.— Aldous Huxley
2 : to bend or bow servilely : cringe
3 : 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.

Other Words from crouch

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 Then, have the kids mix themselves up and crouch down. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 5 May 2022 This means whoever created the art had to crouch or crawl through the chamber -- and the drawings can only be viewed by lying on the cave floor. CNN, 4 May 2022 Japanese tits, which nest in tree cavities, have one call that causes their chicks to crouch down to avoid being pulled out of the nest by crows, and another call for tree snakes that sends the chicks jumping out of the nest entirely. Betsy Mason, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Feb. 2022 Land softly like a ninja, crouch down, swing your arms back and jump back toward the left. Jon-erik Kawamoto, Outside Online, 11 Mar. 2020 Stand on your left leg and crouch down while swinging your arms behind you. Jon-erik Kawamoto, Outside Online, 11 Mar. 2020 As Williams and other deputies crouch behind vehicles parked in front of the home, the helicopter crew again radios with a warning that the man is armed with a rifle. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2021 The guests and the employees crouch and circle one another like animals in a cage. The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Equipped with a disorienting wide-angle lens, the camera takes us on a tour of these hellish environs, drifting through grotty cells where naked prisoners crouch in helpless terror, caked with their own filth. Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of crouch

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

History and Etymology for crouch

Middle English

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crouch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for crouch


\ ˈkrau̇ch How to pronounce crouch (audio) \
crouched; crouching

Kids Definition of crouch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Kids Definition of crouch (Entry 2 of 2)

: the position of stooping with the arms and legs close to the body

More from Merriam-Webster on crouch

Nglish: Translation of crouch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crouch for Arabic Speakers


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