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1. Irritable and perverse in disposition; ill-tempered.
2. Difficult to understand; complicated.
3. Difficult to read; cramped: crabbed handwriting.
[Middle English, from crabbe, crab (influenced by crab); see crab1.]
1. surly; irritable; perverse
2. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) (esp of handwriting) cramped and hard to decipher
[C13: probably from crab1 (from its wayward gait), influenced by crab(apple) (from its tartness)]ˈcrabbedly adv ˈcrabbedness n
1. difficult to read, as handwriting.
2. hard to understand; intricate and obscure.
3. ill-tempered; surly.
crabbed- Crabby and crabbed derive from a crab's sideways movement and habit of snapping (thought to suggest a perverse or irritable nature).
See also related terms for perverse.