There are 3 definitions of crab in English:

crab1

Line breaks: crab
Pronunciation: /krab
 
/

noun

  • 1A crustacean, found chiefly on seashores, with a broad carapace, stalked eyes, and five pairs of legs, the first pair of which are modified as pincers.
    • Many families in the order Decapoda, class Malacostraca
    More example sentences
    • Without warning the stalks supporting the crab's beady black eyes shoot straight up at me.
    • The torch picked out a tiny red hermit crab as it climbed laboriously across the top of a sponge.
    • Scientists found male fiddler crabs often aid their neighbors when intruders threaten to move in.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The flesh of a crab as food.
    More example sentences
    • He reported that freshwater crab was a popular food among many tribes of northeastern region.
    • Esther is with Betsy when she gets food poisoning from eating crab.
    • The seasoning was an Old Bay seasoning which, I believe, usually goes with crab and other sea food.
  • 1.2 (the Crab) The zodiacal sign or constellation Cancer.
  • 2 (also crab louse) A louse that infests human body hair, especially in the genital region, causing extreme irritation.
    • Phthirus pubis, family Pediculidae, order Anoplura
    More example sentences
    • The third species is the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, commonly known as the crab louse.
    • People can be infested with three types of lice: body lice, head lice and crab or pubic lice.
    • I believe the first use of pubic wigs was in ancient Egypt as the only cure that they had at the time for crabs.
  • 2.1 (crabs) informal An infestation of crab lice: the time his friend had crabs
    More example sentences
    • So I get pregnant and get the crabs to boot.
    • Three weeks later, he had a healthy dose of crabs.
    • I never had one girl come down with an STD, not even crabs.
  • 3A machine with pincer-like arms for lifting heavy weights.

verb (crabs, crabbing, crabbed)

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  • 1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move sideways or obliquely: he began crabbing sideways across the roof
    More example sentences
    • I tried to escape, crabbing sideways in an effort to crawl away.
    • Each time the aircraft is forced to crab into the wind the groundspeed is reduced.
    • We set out to stage 6 with a car that was crabbing badly.
  • 1.1 [with object] Steer (an aircraft or ship) slightly sideways to compensate for a crosswind or current: George crabbed the plane into the wind
    More example sentences
    • At low speed, this system will let you crab the boat completely sideways.
    • As opposed to crabbing into the wind on final, use aileron to lean the aircraft into the wind.
    • I had to crab north and east to stay near the north road and to keep from being blown into the desert to the west.
  • 2 [no object] Fish for crabs: watermen were crabbing on the bay
    More example sentences
    • They used to go duck hunting and crabbing and fishing and that's how they survived and raised all the family.
    • We went fishing, crabbing, and looked for the occasional pigeon and bat.
    • We spent many happy days fishing and crabbing there.

Phrases

catch a crab

Rowing Make a faulty stroke in which the oar is jammed under water or misses the water altogether.
More example sentences
  • Just strokes before the line, Great Britain's second crew caught a crab which slowed them down to a crawl.
  • With less than 100 metres to go Great Britain had a slight lead in the first of two repechages when bow, Alison Mowbray, caught a crab.
  • In a very unusual display at this level of rowing, Kucharski caught a crab with 200 metres to go pushing them further back.

Derivatives

crabber

noun
More example sentences
  • A crabber from the Isle of Mann has landed a lorry load of live crabs for distribution to the UK.
  • These untended traps and the ‘ghost fishing’ they produce cost commercial crabbers considerable potential income.
  • Even hard-working crabbers lose the devices regularly.

crablike

adjective & adverb
More example sentences
  • Now his frail hand moved across it with crablike speed.
  • For two decades, his career movements were crablike, sidewise.
  • The scorpion is crablike in appearance and has claw-like pinchers.

Origin

Old English crabba, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch krabbe, and more distantly to Dutch kreeft and German Krebs; also to crab3.

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 3 definitions of crab in English:

crab3

Line breaks: crab
Pronunciation: /krab
 
/

verb (crabs, crabbing, crabbed)

informal
  • 1 [no object] Grumble about something petty: on picnics, I would crab about sand in my food
    More example sentences
    • The city is crabbing today about clock management, and there was an onside kick late in the game.
    • I have chattering and squealing, screeching and cooing, crabbing and carping.
    • The President crabbed about the leak in his Monday press conference.
  • 2 [with object] dated Act so as to spoil (something): you’re trying to crab my act

Origin

late 16th century (referring to hawks, meaning 'claw or fight each other'): from Low German krabben; related to crab1.

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