He was a little quicktempered and irascible, and people were apt to think him cross and crabbed, but he had a kind heart.
His own crabbed sentences go far to exasperate even a reader who must needs respect his scholarship.
The play piers have taken a hold of the people which no crabbed old bachelor can loosen with trumped-up charges.
Nothing could be more detrimental to an ambitious work of history than to frame it in the crabbed terms of a contemporary spat.
Under crabbed conditions, this risk increases proportionally to the increasing effective beam of the vessel.
In so doing, the court took an unduly crabbed view of what a deposit can be.
British Dictionary definitions for crabbed
surly; irritable; perverse
(esp of handwriting) cramped and hard to decipher
crabbedly, adverb crabbedness, noun
C13: probably from crab1 (from its wayward gait), influenced by crab(apple) (from its tartness)
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 crabrelated adjective cancroid
any of various similar or related arthropods, such as the hermit crab and horseshoe crab
O.E. crabba, from a general Gmc. root (cf. Low Ger. krabben "to scratch, claw"). The constellation name is attested in Eng. from c.1000; the Crab Nebula (1868), however, is in Taurus, and is so called for its shape. Crab "fruit of the wild apple tree" (early 15c.) may be from unrelated Scandinavian scrab, of obscure origin. The combination of "bad-tempered, combative" and "sour" in the two words naturally yielded a meaning of "complain irritably," which is pre-1400. Crabgrass is c.1600, originally a marine grass of salt marshes; modern meaning is from 1743.