wire grass

wire grass
Crab Crab (kr[a^]b), n. [AS. crabba; akin to D. krab, G. krabbe, krebs, Icel. krabbi, Sw. krabba, Dan. krabbe, and perh. to E. cramp. Cf. {Crawfish}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: The name is applied to all the Brachyura, and to certain Anomura, as the hermit crabs. Formerly, it was sometimes applied to Crustacea in general. Many species are edible, the blue crab of the Atlantic coast being one of the most esteemed. The large European edible crab is {Cancer padurus}. {Soft-shelled crabs} are blue crabs that have recently cast their shells. See {Cancer}; also, {Box crab}, {Fiddler crab}, {Hermit crab}, {Spider crab}, etc., under {Box}, {Fiddler}. etc. [1913 Webster]

2. The zodiacal constellation Cancer. [1913 Webster]

3. [See {Crab}, a.] (Bot.) A crab apple; -- so named from its harsh taste. [1913 Webster]

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A cudgel made of the wood of the crab tree; a crabstick. [Obs.] --Garrick. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mech.) (a) A movable winch or windlass with powerful gearing, used with derricks, etc. (b) A form of windlass, or geared capstan, for hauling ships into dock, etc. (c) A machine used in ropewalks to stretch the yarn. (d) A claw for anchoring a portable machine. [1913 Webster]

{Calling crab}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Fiddler}., n., 2.

{Crab apple}, a small, sour apple, of several kinds; also, the tree which bears it; as, the European crab apple ({Pyrus Malus} var. sylvestris); the Siberian crab apple ({Pyrus baccata}); and the American ({Pyrus coronaria}).

{Crab grass}. (Bot.) (a) A grass ({Digitaria sanguinalis} syn. {Panicum sanguinalis}); -- called also {finger grass}. (b) A grass of the genus {Eleusine} ({Eleusine Indica}); -- called also {dog's-tail grass}, {wire grass}, etc.

{Crab louse} (Zo["o]l.), a species of louse ({Phthirius pubis}), sometimes infesting the human body.

{Crab plover} (Zo["o]l.), an Asiatic plover ({Dromas ardeola}).

{Crab's eyes}, or {Crab's stones}, masses of calcareous matter found, at certain seasons of the year, on either side of the stomach of the European crawfishes, and formerly used in medicine for absorbent and antacid purposes; the gastroliths.

{Crab spider} (Zo["o]l.), one of a group of spiders ({Laterigrad[ae]}); -- called because they can run backwards or sideways like a crab.

{Crab tree}, the tree that bears crab applies.

{Crab wood}, a light cabinet wood obtained in Guiana, which takes a high polish. --McElrath.

{To catch a crab} (Naut.), a phrase used of a rower: (a) when he fails to raise his oar clear of the water; (b) when he misses the water altogether in making a stroke. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wire grass — Wire Wire (w[imac]r), n. [OE. wir, AS. wir; akin to Icel. v[=i]rr, Dan. vire, LG. wir, wire; cf. OHG. wiara fine gold; perhaps akin to E. withy. [root]141.] [1913 Webster] 1. A thread or slender rod of metal; a metallic substance formed to an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wire grass — ☆ wire grass n. any of several grasses with wiry stems; esp. a European meadow grass (Poa compressa), naturalized in Canada and the U.S. * * * …   Universalium

  • wire grass — wire′ grass n. pln a Eurasian meadow grass, Poa compressa, naturalized in North America, having creeping rootstocks and thin stems …   From formal English to slang

  • wire grass — ☆ wire grass n. any of several grasses with wiry stems; esp. a European meadow grass (Poa compressa), naturalized in Canada and the U.S …   English World dictionary

  • wire grass — noun 1. handsome hardy North American grass with foliage turning pale bronze in autumn • Syn: ↑broom beard grass, ↑prairie grass, ↑Andropogon scoparius, ↑Schizachyrium scoparium • Hypernyms: ↑broom grass 2. coarse annual grass having fingerlike… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wire-grass — n. Crab grass, dog s tail grass (Eleusine Indica) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • wire grass — noun Date: 1751 any of various grasses or rushes having wiry culms or leaves: as a. a Eurasian slender stemmed meadow grass (Poa compressa) widely naturalized in the United States and Canada b. any of several coarse grasses (genus Aristida) with… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wire grass — noun chiefly N. Amer. & Austral. grass with tough wiry stems …   English new terms dictionary

  • wire grass. — See Canada bluegrass. [1745 55, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • wire grass — /ˈwaɪə gras/ (say wuyuh grahs) noun any of various Australian native grasses of the genus Aristida, especially A. ramose, growing in dense spreading tufts with long thin needle like outgrowth at the leaf base and small pointed seeds; unpalatable… …   Australian English dictionary

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