—n. 1. any decapod crustacean of the suborder Brachyura, having the eyes on short stalks and a short, broad, more or less flattened body, the abdomen being small and folded under the thorax.
2. any of various other crustaceans, as the hermit crab, or other animals, as the horseshoe crab, resembling the true crabs.
3. (cap.) Astron.,Astrol.the zodiacal constellation or sign Cancer.
4. (cap.) Astron.the Crab Nebula.
5. any of various mechanical contrivances for hoisting or pulling.
6. Aeron.the maneuver of crabbing.
7. Informal.the crab louse. See under louse (def. 1).
8. crabs, a. (used with a sing. v.) a losing throw, as two aces, in the game of hazard.
9. catch a crab, to make a faulty stroke in rowing, so that the oar strikes the water forcibly on the backstroke.
—v.i. 1. to catch or attempt to catch crabs.
2. to move sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, esp. with short, abrupt bursts of speed; scuttle.
3. Aeron.(of an aircraft) to head partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
4. Naut.to drift or advance with some movement sideways, esp. when under tow.
—v.t. 1. to move (a vehicle or object) sideways, diagonally, or obliquely, esp. with short, abrupt movements.
2. Aeron.to head (an aircraft) partly into the wind to compensate for drift.
Pronunciation: (krab),[key] —n. a crab apple fruit or tree.