Definition of crake in US English:



  • 1A bird of the rail family, especially one with a short bill like the corncrake.

    Family Rallidae: several genera, in particular Porzana, and numerous species

    • ‘The inspiration for the book had come while she was sitting on a friend's balcony in Queensland, watching the endangered red-necked crake.’
    • ‘Occasionally the spotless crake has also been seen.’
    • ‘Like other crakes the corncrake was more prone than most to colliding with overhead wires.’
    • ‘Looking over the balcony at Cassowary Lodge, Atwood watched rare red-necked crakes scratching about in the bushes.’
    • ‘Binoculars are supplied so you can view the black teal, swans, dabchicks, ducks and even the spotless crake or elusive bittern.’
    1. 1.1 The rasping cry of the corn crake.


Middle English (originally denoting a crow or raven): from Old Norse kráka, krákr, of imitative origin.