crouch

[krouch]
verb (used without object)
1.
to stoop or bend low.
2.
to bend close to the ground, as an animal preparing to spring or shrinking with fear.
3.
to bow or stoop servilely; cringe.
verb (used with object)
4.
to bend low.
noun
5.
the act of crouching.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English crouchen, perhaps blend of couchen to lie down (see couch) and croken to crook1

croucher, noun
crouchingly, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crouch (kraʊtʃ)
 
vb
1.  (intr) to bend low with the limbs pulled up close together, esp (of an animal) in readiness to pounce
2.  (intr) to cringe, as in humility or fear
3.  (tr) to bend (parts of the body), as in humility or fear
 
n
4.  the act of stooping or bending
 
[C14: perhaps from Old French crochir to become bent like a hook, from croche hook]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

crouch
c.1394, probably from O.Fr. crochir "become bent, crooked," from croche "hook."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Find a low spot or depression and crouch down as low as possible, but don't lie down on the ground.
It also stopped every now and then to crouch down on a small berm near an ancient lake.
Even though they crouch close to the ground, they still command attention.
If it is going high, the goalie stays in his crouch to prevent it from sailing over him.
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