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crab1

[krab] /kræb/
noun
1.
any decapod crustacean of the suborder Brachyura, having the eyes on short stalks and a short, broad, more or less flattened body, the abdomen being small and folded under the thorax.
2.
any of various other crustaceans, as the hermit crab, or other animals, as the horseshoe crab, resembling the true crabs.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the zodiacal constellation or sign Cancer.
4.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Crab Nebula.
5.
any of various mechanical contrivances for hoisting or pulling.
6.
Aeronautics. the maneuver of crabbing.
7.
Informal. the crab louse.
See under louse (def 1).
8.
crabs.
  1. (used with a singular verb) a losing throw, as two aces, in the game of hazard.
  2. pediculosis.
verb (used without object), crabbed, crabbing.
9.
to catch or attempt to catch crabs.
10.
to move sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt bursts of speed; scuttle.
11.
Aeronautics. (of an aircraft) to head partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
12.
Nautical. to drift or advance with some movement sideways, especially when under tow.
verb (used with object), crabbed, crabbing.
13.
to move (a vehicle or object) sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt movements.
14.
Aeronautics. to head (an aircraft) partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
Idioms
15.
catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English crabbe, Old English crabba; cognate with Dutch krab, Old Norse krabbi; akin to German Krebs
Related forms
crablike, adjective

crab2

[krab] /kræb/
noun
1.
a crab apple fruit or tree.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English crabbe; perhaps special use of crab1

crab3

[krab] /kræb/
noun
1.
Informal. an ill-tempered or grouchy person.
verb (used without object), crabbed, crabbing.
2.
Informal. to find fault; complain.
3.
(of hawks) to claw each other.
verb (used with object), crabbed, crabbing.
4.
Informal. to find fault with.
5.
to make ill-tempered or grouchy; embitter.
6.
(of a hawk) to claw (another hawk).
7.
Slang. to spoil.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English; back formation from crabbed
Related forms
crabber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for crab
  • Mine's good so far, though my youngest is being completely and totally impossible, and my little crab is crabby at the moment.
  • Ant birds keep guard over a bustling ant highway, and a land crab scuttles out of the way of our plodding feet.
  • No crab has ever been attacked by a truck when standing outside its burrow.
  • Chances are you owe your life to the horseshoe crab.
  • One tips the crab side to side with the center legs while the other two control the fore and aft legs.
  • Sprinkle with half the cheese, then crab meat and onion.
  • Fish farming, crab fishing, and agriculture are being developed to diversify the local economy.
  • Stone crab enthusiasts can now order crabs online or by phone, with overnight delivery.
  • The rented crab boats come with crab rings and bait.
  • The marina area also has a free crab-cleaning station for campers.
British Dictionary definitions for crab

crab1

/kræb/
noun
1.
any chiefly marine decapod crustacean of the genus Cancer and related genera (section Brachyura), having a broad flattened carapace covering the cephalothorax, beneath which is folded the abdomen. The first pair of limbs are modified as pincers See also fiddler crab, soft-shell crab, pea crab, oyster crab related adjective cancroid
2.
any of various similar or related arthropods, such as the hermit crab and horseshoe crab
3.
short for crab louse
4.
a manoeuvre in which an aircraft flies slightly into the crosswind to compensate for drift
5.
a mechanical lifting device, esp the travelling hoist of a gantry crane
6.
(wrestling) See Boston crab
7.
(rowing) catch a crab, to make a stroke in which the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply, causing the rower to fall backwards
verb crabs, crabbing, crabbed
8.
(intransitive) to hunt or catch crabs
9.
(transitive) to fly (an aircraft) slightly into a crosswind to compensate for drift
10.
(intransitive) (nautical) to move forwards with a slight sideways motion, as to overcome an offsetting current
11.
(intransitive) to move sideways
See also crabs
Word Origin
Old English crabba; related to Old Norse krabbi, Old High German krebiz crab, Dutch krabben to scratch

crab2

/kræb/
verb crabs, crabbing, crabbed
1.
(intransitive) to find fault; grumble
2.
(transitive) (mainly US) to spoil (esp in the phrase crab someone's act)
noun
3.
an irritable person
4.
(Austral) draw the crabs, to attract unwelcome attention
Word Origin
C16: probably back formation from crabbed

crab3

/kræb/
noun
1.
short for crab apple
Word Origin
C15: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish skrabbe crab apple

Crab

/kræb/
noun
1.
the Crab, the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crab
n.

crustacean, Old English crabba, from a general Germanic root (cf. Dutch krab, Old High German krebiz, German Krabbe, Old Norse krabbi "crab"), related to Low German krabben, Dutch krabelen "to scratch, claw," from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve). The constellation name is attested in English from c.1000; the Crab Nebula (1868), however, is in Taurus, and is so called for its shape. French crabe (13c.) is from Dutch.

"fruit of the wild apple tree," c.1300, crabbe, perhaps from Scandinavian scrab, of obscure origin (cf. Swedish krabbäpple). The combination of "bad-tempered, combative" and "sour" in the two nouns crab naturally yielded a verb meaning of "to vex, irritate" (c.1400), later "to complain irritably, find fault" (c.1500). The noun meaning "sour person" is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for crab

crab

noun
  1. : He's an awful crab, never gives her a moment's peace
  2. A resident of Annapolis, Maryland (1920s+)
verb
  1. To complain, esp to do so regularly; nag; bitch: Crab, crab, crab, that was all she ever did/ So us crabbing about our zero-life factors isn't up for debate, really (1812+)
  2. To spoil; ruin: He's trying to crab the deal (1890s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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