Synonyms & Antonyms of crabbed

(Entry 1 of 2)


past tense of crab

Synonyms & Antonyms of crabbed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to express dissatisfaction, pain, or resentment usually tiresomely
  • their two-year-old whined and crabbed for the whole car trip

Synonyms for crabbed

Words Related to crabbed

Phrases Synonymous with crabbed

Near Antonyms for crabbed

Antonyms for crabbed

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About crabbed

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

Learn More About crabbed

Time Traveler for crabbed

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near crabbed




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Crabbed.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on crabbed

Britannica English: Translation of crabbed for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!