• "I allus hated crabs!"
    "I allus hated crabs!"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v crab complain "What was he hollering about?"
    • v crab fish for crab
    • v crab scurry sideways like a crab
    • v crab direct (an aircraft) into a crosswind
    • n crab a stroke of the oar that either misses the water or digs too deeply "he caught a crab and lost the race"
    • n crab decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers
    • n crab a louse that infests the pubic region of the human body
    • n crab the edible flesh of any of various crabs
    • n Crab the fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22
    • n Crab (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Cancer
    • n crab a quarrelsome grouch
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A GARDEN UNDER WATER Starfishes, Crabs and Sea-anemones A GARDEN UNDER WATER Starfishes, Crabs and Sea-anemones
Group showing a starfish attacking an oyster; soft shelled clams; hermit crabs; fiddler crabs, etc Group showing a starfish attacking an oyster; soft shelled clams; hermit crabs; fiddler crabs, etc
Sweet Crab. American Crab Sweet Crab. American Crab
Crabs and barnacles Crabs and barnacles
The queen and the crab The queen and the crab
Crab Crab

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Crabs have very small hairs on their claws and other parts of their body to help detect water currents and vibrations
    • Crab (Mech) A claw for anchoring a portable machine.
    • Crab (Bot) A crab apple; -- so named from its harsh taste. "When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
      Then nightly sings the staring owl."
    • Crab A cudgel made of the wood of the crab tree; a crabstick.
    • Crab (Mech) A form of windlass, or geared capstan, for hauling ships into dock, etc.
    • Crab (Mech) A machine used in ropewalks to stretch the yarn.
    • Crab (Mech) A movable winch or windlass with powerful gearing, used with derricks, etc.
    • Crab (Zoöl) One of the brachyuran Crustacea. They are mostly marine, and usually have a broad, short body, covered with a strong shell or carapace. The abdomen is small and curled up beneath the body.
    • a Crab Sour; rough; austere. "The crab vintage of the neighb'ring coast."
    • Crab The zodiacal constellation Cancer.
    • Crab To beat with a crabstick.
    • v. i Crab (Naut) To drift sidewise or to leeward, as a vessel.
    • Crab To make sour or morose; to embitter. "Sickness sours or crabs our nature."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Certain female species of spiders such as the Australian crab spider, sacrifice their bodies as a food source for their offspring
    • n crab A popular name for all the stalk-eyed, ten-footed, and short-tailed or soft-tailed crustaceans constituting the subclass Podophthalmia, order Decapoda, and suborders Brachyura and Anomura: distinguished from lobsters, shrimps, prawns, crawfish, and other long-tailed or macrurous crustaceans, by shortness of body, the abdomen or so-called tail being reduced and folded under the thorax and constituting the apron, or otherwise modified. See cut under Brachyura. The anterior limbs are not used for progression, being chelate or furnished with pincer-like claws, and constituting chelipeds. The hinge-like joints of the ambulatory limbs are so disposed that the animal can move on land in any direction without turning; but its commonest mode of progression is sidewise, either to the right or the left. The eyes are compound and set on movable eye-stalks or ophthalmites. (See cut under stalk-eyed.) The common edible crab of Europe is Cancer pagurus. A smaller species also eaten is the shore-crab, or green crab, Carcinus mœnas. The common blue or edible crab of the United States is Lupa diacantha, now called Callinectes hastatus or Neptunus hastatus; when molting, it is called soft-shelled crab. The small crabs found in oysters are species of Pinnotheridæ, called pea-crabs. Those which have soft tails and live in univalve shells are hermit-crabs, Paguridæ. Tree-crabs are of the genus Birgus. Land-crabs constitute the family Gecarcinidæ. Spider-crabs are of the genus Maia, as M. squinado, the corwich of Europe; and the name is extended to many other maioid forms, among them the largest of crabs, sometimes from 12 to 18 feet across the outstretched legs. Fiddler-crabs belong to the genus Gelasimus, of the family Ocypodidæ, which also contains the racer-crabs or horsemen, species of Ocypoda, so called from their swiftness. Rock-crab is a name of various species of Cancridæ proper. Box-crabs belong to the family Calappidæ. Porcelain-crabs are small bright-colored species of Porcellanidæ. Some handsome species of Portunidœ are called lady-crabs; and members of this family are also known as swimming crabs, paddle-crabs, shuttle-crabs, etc., the hinder legs being broadened and flattened to serve for swimming, as in our common edible crab. The red crab is Cancer productus. Many other crabs are distinguished by qualifying terms. See the compounds and the technical names.
    • n crab Some crustacean likened to or mistaken for a crab: as, the glass-crabs; the king-crabs. See the compounds.
    • n crab A crab-louse.
    • n crab Cancer, a constellation and sign of the zodiac. See Cancer
    • n crab An arch.
    • n crab plural The lowest cast at hazard.
    • n crab A name of various machines and mechanical contrivances. An engine with three claws for launching ships and heaving them in the dock.
    • n crab Among professional oarsmen, to sink the oar-blade so deeply in the water that it cannot he lifted easily, and hence tends to throw the rower out of the boat.
    • crab To fish for or catch crabs: as, to go crabbing.
    • crab Figuratively, to act like a crab in crawling backward; back out; “crawfish”: as, he tried to crab out of it.
    • n crab A small, tart, and somewhat astringent apple, of which there are several varieties, cultivated chiefly for ornament and to be made into preserves, jelly, etc.; the crab-apple.
    • n crab The tree producing the fruit. The wild species of northern Europe is the original of the common apple, Pyrus Malus. Of the cultivated crabs, the Siberian crab (P. prunifolia), the Chinese crab (P. spectabilis), and the cherry-crab (P. baccata) are all natives of northern Asia. Several species of Pyrus in the United States are also known as crab-apples, but are of no value. See apple, 1.
    • n crab A walking-stick or club made of the wood of the crab-apple; a crabstick.
    • crab To irritate; fret; vex; provoke; make peevish, cross, sour, or bitter, as a person or his disposition; make crabbed.
    • crab To break or bruise.
    • crab To be peevish or cross.
    • crab In falconry, to seize each other when fighting: said of hawks.
    • n crab A crabbed, sour-tempered, peevish, morose person.
    • crab Sour; rough; harsh to the taste.
    • n crab Iu Australia, the marine crustacean, Scylla serrata; also, Telphusa transversa, a crustacean found in fresh water.
    • n crab plural Same as crabyaws.
    • n crab A cliff-crab, especially Grapsus pictus.
    • crab To ‘pull to pieces’; criticize or find fault with; hence, to hinder, spoil or defeat by adverse criticism of trivial details.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The only dog to ever appear in a Shakespearean play was Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona
    • n Crab krab a popular name applied to any of the short-tailed division of decapod crustaceans: a sign in the zodiac: a portable winch: a sour-tempered person: the lowest throw at hazard—two aces
    • n Crab krab a wild bitter apple
    • adj Crab like a crab-tree, crooked
    • ***


  • Charles M. Schulz
    “Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    “Have you ever watched a crab on the shore crawling backward in search of the Atlantic Ocean, and missing? That's the way the mind of man operates.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting golden Delicious .”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. crabba,; akin to D. krab, G. krabbe, krebs, Icel. krabbi, Sw. krabba, Dan. krabbe, and perh. to E. cramp,. Cf. Crawfish


In literature:

In general usage, the word "crab" designates an apple that is small, sour and crabbed.
"The Apple-Tree" by L. H. Bailey
She turned when he came up, and put out her hand without embarrassment, but she blushed as pink as the crab-apple bloom in his grasp.
"The Wizard's Daughter and Other Stories" by Margaret Collier Graham
We have been defining the word 'crab,' and explained it thus: 'Crab, a small red fish, which walks backward.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8" by Various
The crab "able to suffice four men" could scarcely have been other than the horseshoe.
"The Bounty of the Chesapeake" by James Wharton
The crab probably had no unfriendly intention.
"Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales" by Ruth McEnery Stuart
It was the sort of sea that might make one long to be a crab to live in it.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
Dey have de mullets, an' de oysters, an' de crabs, an' dese little clams.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
As the horn sounded, crabs of every size and colour came darting out from the stones, and scuttled across the sand towards the Crab-boy.
"Soap-Bubble Stories" by Fanny Barry
One day, among the other fishes, he caught a golden crab.
"The Yellow Fairy Book" by Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
The Crab was held in far more esteem in the sixteenth century than it is with us.
"The plant-lore and garden-craft of Shakespeare" by Henry Nicholson Ellacombe

In poetry:

First Voice.
What this crabbed text here meaneth
By the Word, is plain and simple,
It is Jove to whose great voice
Gods and men obedient listen.
"The Two Lovers Of Heaven: Chrysanthus And Daria - Act I" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
That night there was the splash of a fall
Over the slimy harbour-wall:
They searched, and at the deepest place
Found him with crabs upon his face.
"The Newcomer's Wife" by Thomas Hardy
As for himself, he seems alert and thriving,—
Grubs up a living somehow— what, who knows?
Crabs? mussels? weeds? Look quick! there's one just diving!
Flop! Splash! his white breast glistens— down he goes!
"My Aviary" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
That dark brown rabbit, lightness in his ears
& underneath, gladdened our afternoon
munching a crab-'.
That rabbit was a fraud, like a black bull
prudent I admired in Zaragoza, who
certainly was brave as a demon
"Dream Song 62: That dark brown rabbit, lightness in his ears" by John Berryman
Then there's Ganevan with its sparkling bay,
And its crescent of silver sand glittering in the sun's bright array,
And Dunolly's quiet shores where sea crabs abide,
And its beautiful little pools left behind by the tide.
"Oban" by William Topaz McGonagall
Your eyes are with the eels, and your lips with the crabs; and your
two white hands under the sharp rule of the salmon. Five pounds I would
give to him that would find my true love. Ochone! it is you are a sharp
grief to young Mary ni-Curtain!
"An Aran Maid's Wedding" by Lady Augusta Gregory

In news:

Dungeness Crab , Watermelon & California Avocado Salad.
A pile of Dungeness crab s are shown on display at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, April 26, 2006.
Ghio, Azevedo and their two crabbing companions caught their limit of 10 crabs a piece.
Oregon's Dungeness crab season disappointing so far, but it's not over yet.
View full size Motoya Nakamura/The Oregonian The price of Dungeness crab , such as this one seen at Uwajimaya grocery store in Beaverton earlier this year, is likely to climb soon because the harvest is going slower than expected.
Start of Oregon's Dungeness crab season marred by death of well-known fisherman.
View full size Lori Tobias/The Oregonian Crab pots lined the Newport bayfront earlier this week as fisherman prepared for the opening of the dungeness crab season.
Fresh crab right off the street corner, live or cooked to order, delivered fresh from the Bay Area.
For 20 years Terri Lynn Bradley has eaten turkey on Thanksgiving and had fresh Dungeness crab the next night.
Before moving to Redding from San Francisco in 2004, the yearly tradition was to go to the pier and buy fresh crab directly from fishermen.
What's In Season: Chef Jonathan Everin of Mount Kisco Seafood Provides a Dungeness Crab Cloppino Recipe.
Dungeness crab s—and their meat—couldn't be sweeter.
C onvention holds that sunny Californians and laid-back Oregonians are exemplars of "nice," and, apparently, so are their crabs.
Be a Crab & Seafood Festival Volunteer The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival draws about 15,000 guests, so organizers need volunteers to be involved in the 10th annual celebration, Friday-Sunday, October 7-9, in Port Angeles.
CRAB SEASON Initial reports indicate increase in population.

In science:

G349.7+0.2 is one of the most luminous SNR’s in the galaxy (after Cas A and the Crab; Shaver et al. 1985a), if it is located at a distance of ∼ 22 kpc (Frail et al. 1996).
OH Zeeman Magnetic Field Detections Toward Five Supernova Remnants Using the VLA
The e±–pair creation occurs there either via one photon magnetic absorption (Crab-type outer gaps) or via photon-photon collisions (Vela type outer gaps).
Neutron Stars as Sources of High Energy Particles - the case of RPP
Crab and Vela are the only pulsars seen by all three instruments of CGRO.
Neutron Stars as Sources of High Energy Particles - the case of RPP
Its gamma-ray flux consists of pulsed and unpulsed components, the latter one coming from Crab Nebula.
Neutron Stars as Sources of High Energy Particles - the case of RPP
Only for the Crab pulsar the peaks in gamma-rays as well as in radio wavelengths occur at the same rotational phases.
Neutron Stars as Sources of High Energy Particles - the case of RPP