Crab grass

Crab 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:

  • crab|grass — crab grass, or crab|grass «KRAB GRAS, GRAHS», noun. a coarse grass that spreads rapidly and spoils lawns: »Letting good lawn grass grow taller is one simple way of combating crab grass (New York Times) …   Useful english dictionary

  • crab grass — crab′ grass n. pln a weed grass, Digitaria sanguinales, that roots vigorously from the lower stem joints and grows in thick patches on lawns and uncultivated areas • Etymology: 1590–1600 …   From formal English to slang

  • crab grass — ☆ crab grass n. [ CRAB1 + GRASS: so named from a fancied resemblance ] any of several weedy annual grasses (genus Digitaria) which spread rapidly because of their freely rooting stems, becoming a pest in lawns and gardens …   English World dictionary

  • crab grass — noun grasses with creeping stems that root freely; a pest in lawns • Syn: ↑crabgrass, ↑finger grass • Hypernyms: ↑grass • Hyponyms: ↑Egyptian grass, ↑crowfoot grass, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • crab grass — Yard Yard, n. [OE. yard, yerd, AS. geard; akin to OFries. garda garden, OS. gardo garden, gard yard, D. gaard garden, G. garten, OHG. garto garden, gari inclosure, Icel. gar[eth]r yard, house, Sw. g[*a]rd, Dan. gaard, Goth. gards a house, garda… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

  • crab grass — an annual grass, Digitaria sanguinalis, common in cultivated and waste grounds and often occurring as a pest weed in lawns. [1590 1600] * * * …   Universalium

  • crab·grass — /ˈkræbˌgræs, Brit ˈkræbˌgrɑːs/ noun [noncount] US : a thick type of grass that often grows and spreads quickly in places where it is not wanted …   Useful english dictionary

  • crab grass —   Kūkae pua a uka, mau u kūkae pua a …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • crab-grass — …   Useful english dictionary

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