1 [kroh]
any of several large oscine birds of the genus Corvus, of the family Corvidae, having a long, stout bill, lustrous black plumage, and a wedge-shaped tail, as the common C. brachyrhynchos, of North America.
any of several other birds of the family Corvidae.
any of various similar birds of other families.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Corvus.
crowbar ( def 1 ).
as the crow flies, in a straight line; by the most direct route: The next town is thirty miles from here, as the crow flies.
eat crow, Informal. to be forced to admit to having made a mistake, as by retracting an emphatic statement; suffer humiliation: His prediction was completely wrong, and he had to eat crow.
have a crow to pick/pluck with someone, Midland and Southern U.S. to have a reason to disagree or argue with someone.

before 900; Middle English crowe, Old English crāwe, crāwa; cognate with Old High German krāwa; akin to Dutch kraai, German Krähe Unabridged


2 [kroh]
verb (used without object), crowed or for 1, (especially British), crew; crowed; crowing.
to utter the characteristic cry of a rooster.
to gloat, boast, or exult (often followed by over ).
to utter an inarticulate cry of pleasure, as an infant does.
the characteristic cry of a rooster.
an inarticulate cry of pleasure.

before 1000; Middle English crowen, Old English crāwan; cognate with Dutch kraaien, German krähen; see crow1

crower, noun
crowingly, adverb

2. vaunt, brag.


a member of a Siouan people of eastern Montana.
a Siouan language closely related to Hidatsa.

1795–1805; translation of North American French (gens des) Corbeaux Raven (people), literal translation of Crow apsá˙loke a Crow Indian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crow1 (krəʊ)
1.  See also carrion crow any large gregarious songbird of the genus Corvus, esp C. corone (the carrion crow) of Europe and Asia: family Corvidae. Other species are the raven, rook, and jackdaw and all have a heavy bill, glossy black plumage, and rounded wingsRelated: corvine
2.  any of various other corvine birds, such as the jay, magpie, and nutcracker
3.  any of various similar birds of other families
4.  offensive an old or ugly woman
5.  short for crowbar
6.  as the crow flies as directly as possible
7.  informal (US), (Canadian) eat crow to be forced to do something humiliating
8.  slang (Brit), (Austral) (interjection) stone the crows an expression of surprise, dismay, etc
Related: corvine
[Old English crāwa; related to Old Norse krāka, Old High German krāia, Dutch kraai]

crow2 (krəʊ)
1.  (past tense crowed or crew) to utter a shrill squawking sound, as a cock
2.  (often foll by over) to boast one's superiority
3.  (esp of babies) to utter cries of pleasure
4.  the act or an instance of crowing
[Old English crāwan; related to Old High German krāen, Dutch kraaien]

Crow (krəʊ)
n , Crows, Crow
1.  a member of a Native American people living in E Montana
2.  the language of this people, belonging to the Siouan family

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. crawe, imitative of bird's cry. Phrase eat crow is probably based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable; first attested 1851, Amer.Eng., but said to date to War of 1812 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London). Crow's
foot "wrinkle around the corner of the eye" is late 14c. Phrase as the crow flies first recorded 1800.

O.E. crawian "make a loud noise like a crow;" sense of "exult in triumph" is 1522, perhaps in part because the English crow is a carrion-eater.

Indian tribe of the American Midwest, the name is a rough translation of their own name, Apsaruke.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with crow, also see as the crow flies; eat crow.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But once a crow begins to dig, other crows form a circle around the digger,
  waiting in ambush.
During the quietest part of the second movement, a crow cawed in primal
Then a clumsy-footed crow awakes in them, stirring the branches and croaking
If a rooster crows every minute of every hour of every day, eventually it will
  crow when the sun rises.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for crow
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