• WordNet 3.6
    • n crake any of several short-billed Old World rails
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Crake A boast. See Crack n.
    • n Crake (Zoöl) Any species or rail of the genera Crex and Porzana; -- so called from its singular cry. See Corncrake.
    • Crake To boast; to speak loudly and boastfully. "Each man may crake of that which was his own."
    • Crake To cry out harshly and loudly, like the bird called crake.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • crake Same as crack.
    • n crake A boast.
    • n crake A crow; a raven. Compare night-crake.
    • n crake A general name for the small rails with short bills shaped somewhat like that of the domestic hen. They are of the family Rallidæ, subfamily Rallinæ, genera Crex, Porzana, etc., and are found in most parts of the world. Among the best-known species are the small spotted crake of Europe, Porzana porzana, and the Carolina crake, sora, or soree of North America, P. carolina. (See cut under Porzana.) Another is the land-rail or corn-crake, Crex pratensis, whose singular note, “crek, crek,” is heard from fields of rye-grass or corn in the early summer. The cry may be so exactly imitated by drawing the blade of a knife across an indented bone, or the thumb over a small-toothed comb, that by these means the bird may be decoyed within sight. It is pretty, the upper part of the body being mottled with darkish-brown, ashen, and warm chestnut tints. It weighs about 6 ounces, and is 10 inches long. These birds make their appearance in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the month of April, and take their departure for warmer climates before the approach of winter. They are occasionally seen on the eastern coast of the United States.
    • crake To cry like a crake; utter the harsh cry of the corn-crake.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Crake krāk to utter a cry like a crow, &c
    • n Crake krāk a crow, raven, corncrake:
    • n Crake krāk (obs.) a boast.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Icel. krāka, crow, krākr, raven, Sw. kråka, Dan. krage,; perh. of imitative origin. Cf. Crow
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Corncrake.


In literature:

She hid on the edge of the marshes and craked out her message to the seven wild geese.
"The King of Ireland's Son" by Padraic Colum
With bills under his arm and crake in hand, he went from house-row to house-row calling the miners out.
"Recent Developments in European Thought" by Various
But his nerve was obviously shaken by his competitor's undoubtedly fine performance, and he craked indecisively.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 21, 1920" by Various
What great pomp and crake then is this they make of antiquity?
"The Apology of the Church of England" by John Jewel
She's quiet for five minutes then bursts out into song again like a chirruping cricket or a croaking corn-crake.
"A Popular Schoolgirl" by Angela Brazil
Accepting the proffered service, the body was put on the mysterious animal's back, which carried it to Crake Minster.
"The Mysteries of All Nations" by James Grant
Crex Baillonii, Baillon's Crake.
"Love's Meinie" by John Ruskin
They're just like the corn-crakes.
"Burr Junior" by G. Manville Fenn
"With a Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia" by Anonymous
The carter, Giles Crake, who had found the body, was a stupid yokel whose knowledge was entirely limited to his immediate surroundings.
"The Bishop's Secret" by Fergus Hume
One corn-crake, however, did not cause a winter: and he wished to-night to speak only about Art.
"Helena Brett's Career" by Desmond Coke
And when they are casten into the fyre they crake wonderfully.
"The Old English Herbals" by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Thus the Little Crake is an expert swimmer and diver.
"An Australian Bird Book" by John Albert Leach
Afar in the mowing-grass the crake lifted his voice, for he talks more as the sun sinks.
"Bevis" by Richard Jefferies
We could hear blue-jays calling, deeper in the woods, and the occasional "crake, crake, crake," of a blue nuthatch.
"A Northern Countryside" by Rosalind Richards
Though you may follow the sound `Crake, crake!
"Wild Life in a Southern County" by Richard Jefferies
The Leven drains Windermere and the Crake Coniston Lake.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 3" by Various
The Spotted Crake is smaller in size than the Corn Crake, and far less common.
"British Birds in their Haunts" by Rev. C. A. Johns
The type specimen of this little Crake was obtained during the voyage of the 'Beagle,' on board the ship, when in the Rio Plata.
"Argentine Ornithology, Volume II (of 2)" by P. L. Sclater
This and the corn crake are the only two marsh birds that should properly be reckoned among house-birds.
"The Natural History of Cage Birds" by J. M. Bechstein

In news:

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
A Red-legged Crake wanders near a man-made waterhole in Thailand.
In Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake, the answer is both.
Margaret Atwood's dark, sharp, dystopic novel picks up where 'Oryx and Crake' left off.