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crab 1

a. Any of various chiefly marine decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, having a hard carapace that covers a broad flattened cephalothorax with a small abdomen tucked beneath it, and an anterior pair of legs that are large and pincerlike.
b. Any of various similar decapod crustaceans, such as a hermit crab or a king crab.
c. Crabmeat.
a. A crab louse.
b. crabs Slang Infestation by crab lice.
3. The maneuvering of an aircraft partially into a crosswind to compensate for drift.
4. A machine for handling or hoisting heavy weights.
v. crabbed, crab·bing, crabs
1. To hunt or catch crabs.
2. To scurry sideways in the manner of a crab.
3. To drift diagonally or sideways, especially when under tow.
4. To direct an aircraft into a crosswind.
1. To direct (an aircraft) partly into a crosswind to eliminate drift.
2. To cause to move or scurry sideways.
catch a crab
To make a faulty stroke in rowing that causes the blade of the oar to strike the water on the recovery stroke.

[Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.]

crab′ber n.

crab 2

1. A crabapple tree or its fruit.
2. A quarrelsome, ill-tempered person.
v. crabbed, crab·bing, crabs
v.intr. Informal
To find fault; criticize someone or something.
1. Informal To interfere with and ruin; spoil.
2. Informal To find fault with; complain about.
3. To make ill-tempered or sullen.

[Middle English crabbe, possibly from crabbe, crab (shellfish); see crab1.]

crab′ber n.


See Cancer.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
That's where he met Thorn Beers, whose Original Productions was hired by Discovery Channel for a one-hour series called "Extreme Alaska," and 12-minute segments about crabbing in the Bering Sea.
Neoprene gloves are not the best for mud crabbing as the crabs' aggressive pinching will tear the gloves.
People attending on Monday will have the chance to learn about the crabbing industry as well as how to do some crabbing of their own.
By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter Crabbing has for long been the most exciting family activity for many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar.
Because the collecting happened 7 mo into the commercial crabbing season, low counts of large males were expected.
I've called the Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce for some preliminary information on crabbing. I'm told by Ms.
"The old salts would say there's a three-year cycle," says captain Tom Johnson, who leads sportfishing and crabbing trips out of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg.
15 to May 15, which is official stone crabbing season.
For many people, crabbing is a fiercely independent way of life, passed down from generation to generation.