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)

Back to top  
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.

Origin

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

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.

Definition of crab in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day salmanazar
Pronunciation: ˌsalməˈnazər
noun
a wine bottle twelve times the standard size...

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.

Definition of crab in: