crabbed 1 of 2

as in sullen

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms


2 of 2


past tense of crab

Synonym Chooser

How is the word crabbed different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of crabbed are gloomy, glum, morose, saturnine, sulky, sullen, and surly. While all these words mean "showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood," crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner.

the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster

In what contexts can gloomy take the place of crabbed?

The synonyms gloomy and crabbed are sometimes interchangeable, but gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness.

a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news

When might glum be a better fit than crabbed?

While in some cases nearly identical to crabbed, glum suggests a silent dispiritedness.

a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat

How do morose and glum relate to one another, in the sense of crabbed?

Morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy.

morose job seekers who are inured to rejection

When is saturnine a more appropriate choice than crabbed?

The meanings of saturnine and crabbed largely overlap; however, saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition.

a saturnine cynic always finding fault

When can sulky be used instead of crabbed?

In some situations, the words sulky and crabbed are roughly equivalent. However, sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness.

grew sulky after every spat

When is it sensible to use sullen instead of crabbed?

The words sullen and crabbed are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable.

remained sullen amid the festivities

When would surly be a good substitute for crabbed?

While the synonyms surly and crabbed are close in meaning, surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner.

a typical surly teenager

Thesaurus Entries Near crabbed

Cite this Entry

“Crabbed.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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