crow

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
plural crows : any of various large usually entirely glossy black passerine birds (family Corvidae and especially genus Corvus)
2
capitalized : corvus
3
: humble pie
the braggart was forced to eat crow

crow

2 of 4

verb

crowed ˈkrōd How to pronounce crow (audio) also in sense 1 chiefly British crew ˈkrü How to pronounce crow (audio) ; crowing

intransitive verb

1
: to make the loud shrill sound characteristic of a cock
2
: to utter a sound expressive of pleasure
3
a
: to exult gloatingly especially over the distress of another
b
: to brag exultantly or blatantly

transitive verb

: to say with self-satisfaction

crow

3 of 4

noun (2)

1
: the cry of the cock
2
: a triumphant cry

Crow

4 of 4

noun (3)

1
plural Crow also Crows : a member of an Indigenous people of the Great Plains between the Platte and Yellowstone rivers

Note: The names Apsáalooke or Absaroka are often used by Crow as self-designations.

2
: the Siouan language of the Crow people
Phrases
as the crow flies
: in a straight line
Choose the Right Synonym for crow

boast, brag, vaunt, crow mean to express pride in oneself or one's accomplishments.

boast often suggests ostentation and exaggeration

boasts of every trivial success

, but it may imply a claiming with proper and justifiable pride.

the town boasts one of the best museums in the area

brag suggests crudity and artlessness in glorifying oneself.

bragging of their exploits

vaunt usually connotes more pomp and bombast than boast and less crudity or naïveté than brag.

vaunted his country's military might

crow usually implies exultant boasting or bragging.

crowed after winning the championship

Example Sentences

Verb The cock crowed as the sun began to rise. The boy crowed with delight. The rest of us were sick of hearing her crow about her success.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English crowe, from Old English crāwe; akin to Old High German krāwa crow, Old English crāwan to crow

Verb

Middle English, from Old English crāwan

Noun (3)

translation of American French gens des Corbeaux "crow people," or names of similar meaning in the languages of Plains Indians adjacent to the Crows

Note: The reason for the application of words meaning "crow" or "raven" to the Crow by their neighbors is obscure. The Crow self-designation is apsâˑroˑke, traditionally rendered in English Absaroka, Apsaroka, with other variants; it is spelled Apsáalooke in the practical orthography used by Crow speakers. (The sound written l is pronounced as a rhotic tap by older speakers.) It is apparently a generalization of an earlier band name and has no etymology, though supposed translations of the word in the 19th and early 20th centuries frequently rendered it as "Crow." See Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 13, part 2 (Washington, 2001), pp. 714-15.

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of crow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near crow

Cite this Entry

“Crow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crow. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

crow 1 of 3

noun

1
: any of various large usually entirely glossy black birds related to the jays
2
capitalized : a member of an American Indian people of Montana
as the crow flies
: in a straight line

crow

2 of 3

verb

crowed ˈkrōd How to pronounce crow (audio) ; crowing
1
: to make the loud shrill sound that a rooster makes
2
: to make sounds of delight
3
: to brag loudly or joyfully

crow

3 of 3

noun

1
: the cry of the rooster
2
: a cry of triumph

More from Merriam-Webster on crow

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ