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 (krăbd, krăb′ĭd)
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.]

crab′bed·ly adv.
crab′bed·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.crabbedness - a disposition to be ill-tempered
ill nature - a disagreeable, irritable, or malevolent disposition
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
crabbedness verging to obscurity, and carelessness of expression, ...
In any case, Milton's language as he describes the dance in lines 620-24 becomes noticeably more intricate and intervolved than usual; the syntax seems to imitate the angelic indirections in its twisted irregularity, and this grammatical crabbedness is then under-scored by the contrasting sweet regularity of the last two and a half lines (625-27), which turn from the convolutions of the dance to the charming tones of harmony divine.
(41) In short, Hawthorne seems notably uncritical of his Puritan sources in this case, drawing on such representations of Hibbins as that offered by Thomas Hutchinson, who takes pains in his 1765 History of Massachusetts Bay to describe the "natural crabbedness" of Hibbins' character, along with the "turbulent and quarrelsome" nature that "brought her under church censures, and at length rendered her so odious to her neighbours as to cause some of them to accuse her of witchcraft," and who questions the validity of neither her condemnation nor her execution.