adjective Etymology: Middle English, partly from crabbe crustacean, partly from crabbe crab apple Date: 14th century 1. marked by a forbidding moroseness <
a crabbed view of human nature
2. difficult to read or understand <
crabbed handwriting
Synonyms: see sullencrabbedness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Crabbed — Crab bed (kr?b b?d), a. [See {Crab},n.] 1. Characterized by or manifesting, sourness, peevishness, or moroseness; harsh; cross; cynical; applied to feelings, disposition, or manners. [1913 Webster] Crabbed age and youth can not live together.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • crabbed — [krab′id] adj. [< CRAB1, infl. by CRAB2] 1. peevish; morose; cross 2. hard to understand because intricate or complicated 3. hard to read or make out because cramped or irregular [crabbed handwriting] crabbedly …   English World dictionary

  • crabbed — index perverse, petulant, recondite Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • crabbed — (adj.) late 14c., lit. resembling a crab, in reference to crookedness, from CRAB (Cf. crab) (1). Of taste bitter, harsh, late 14c., from CRAB (Cf. crab) (2). Meaning peevish is attested from 1560s, in reference to a crab s combative disposition …   Etymology dictionary

  • crabbed — *sullen, surly, glum, morose, gloomy, sulky, saturnine, dour Analogous words: crusty, gruff, brusque, blunt (see BLUFF): testy, choleric, cranky, cross, splenetic, *irascible: snappish, huffy, *irritable Contrasted words: *amiable, good natured,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • crabbed — meaning ‘irritable’ or ‘hard to decipher’, is pronounced as two syllables …   Modern English usage

  • crabbed — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of writing) hard to read or understand. 2) bad tempered; crabby. ORIGIN from CRAB(Cf. ↑crablike), because of the crab s sideways gait and habit of snapping …   English terms dictionary

  • crabbed — crab|bed [ kræbəd ] adjective 1. ) crabbed writing is written in small letters that are very close together and difficult to read: CRAMPED: crabbed handwriting 2. ) OLD FASHIONED CRABBY …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • crabbed — adjective 1 writing which is crabbed is difficult to read because the letters are small and untidy 2 old fashioned someone who is crabbed always behaves as if they are annoyed; bad tempered …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • crabbed — adjective 1) her crabbed handwriting Syn: cramped, ill formed, bad, illegible, unreadable, indecipherable, hieroglyphic; shaky, spidery 2) a crabbed old man See crabby …   Thesaurus of popular words

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”