1 [krab]
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.
any of various other crustaceans, as the hermit crab, or other animals, as the horseshoe crab, resembling the true crabs.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the zodiacal constellation or sign Cancer.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Crab Nebula.
any of various mechanical contrivances for hoisting or pulling.
Aeronautics. the maneuver of crabbing.
Informal. the crab louse. See under louse ( def 1 ).
(used with a singular verb) a losing throw, as two aces, in the game of hazard.
verb (used without object), crabbed, crabbing.
to catch or attempt to catch crabs.
to move sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt bursts of speed; scuttle.
Aeronautics. (of an aircraft) to head partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
Nautical. to drift or advance with some movement sideways, especially when under tow.
verb (used with object), crabbed, crabbing.
to move (a vehicle or object) sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, especially with short, abrupt movements.
Aeronautics. to head (an aircraft) partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.

before 1000; Middle English crabbe, Old English crabba; cognate with Dutch krab, Old Norse krabbi; akin to German Krebs

crablike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crab1 (kræb)
1.  fiddler crab soft-shell crab pea crab See also oyster crab 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 pincersRelated: 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
vb , crabs, crabbing, crabbed
8.  (intr) to hunt or catch crabs
9.  (tr) to fly (an aircraft) slightly into a crosswind to compensate for drift
10.  (intr) nautical to move forwards with a slight sideways motion, as to overcome an offsetting current
11.  (intr) to move sideways
Related: cancroid
[Old English crabba; related to Old Norse krabbi, Old High German krebiz crab, Dutch krabben to scratch]

crab2 (kræb)
vb , crabs, crabbing, crabbed
1.  (intr) to find fault; grumble
2.  chiefly (US) (tr) to spoil (esp in the phrase crab someone's act)
3.  an irritable person
4.  (Austral) draw the crabs to attract unwelcome attention
[C16: probably back formation from crabbed]

crab3 (kræb)
short for crab apple
[C15: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish skrabbe crab apple]

Crab (kræb)
the Crab the constellation Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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