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[krohk] /kroʊk/
verb (used without object)
to utter a low-pitched, harsh cry, as the sound of a frog or a raven.
to speak with a low, rasping voice.
Slang. to die.
to talk despondingly; prophesy trouble or evil; grumble.
verb (used with object)
to utter or announce by croaking.
Slang. to kill.
the act or sound of croaking.
Origin of croak
1550-60; earlier croke, probably imitative; compare Old English cræcetian (of a raven) to croak
Can be confused
creak, creek, croak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for croak
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At once he uttered a croak of agony, and would have collapsed once more if Armathwaite were not supporting him.

  • In the hour of the earthquake, no one heeds the croak of the raven.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • Only a heron's croak sounded in the darkness; there were no lights where I knew the Mayfield settlement to be.

    The Little Red Foot Robert W. Chambers
  • The ravens did NOT croak ominously from the battlements as he entered.

  • But, Henny, I'm going to croak on your hands if you don't take me somewhere to get some food.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
  • All I know is I'll croak Quintana if he even turns up askin' for 'em.

    The Flaming Jewel Robert W. Chambers
  • For right at my back came one loud word—more like a croak than a word, in my way of thinking.

    The Red One Jack London
  • My country, 'tis of thee, Land where things used to be So cheap, we croak.

    Cowboy Songs Various
British Dictionary definitions for croak


(intransitive) (of frogs, crows, etc) to make a low, hoarse cry
to utter (something) in this manner: he croaked out the news
(intransitive) to grumble or be pessimistic
  1. (intransitive) to die
  2. (transitive) to kill
a low hoarse utterance or sound
Derived Forms
croaky, adjective
croakily, adverb
croakiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English crācettan; related to Old Norse krāka a crow; see creak
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 croak

early 14c., crouken, imitative or related to Old English cracian (see crack (v.)). Slang meaning "to die" is first recorded 1812, from sound of death rattle. Related: Croaked; croaking.


1560s, from croak (v.).

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



A mixture of crack cocaine and cocaine: A new wave of narcotics with names such as ''croak'' and ''parachute'' is hitting the nation's streets (1980s+ Narcotics)


  1. To die: I had the horse trained, then he up and croaked on me (1812+)
  2. To kill; murder: He croaked a screw at Dannemora (1848+)
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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