Definition of crouch in English:



  • Adopt a position where the knees are bent and the upper body is brought forward and down, sometimes to avoid detection or to defend oneself.

    ‘we crouched down in the trench’
    ‘she was crouching over some flower bed’
    ‘Leo was crouched before the fire’
    • ‘One armed officer wearing a helmet and body armour crouched behind the corner of a house and was aiming his weapon.’
    • ‘Kit was still crouching in his position from the last strike and slowly stood to look at her.’
    • ‘I saw a man crouching by the front door, approximately two feet from the window.’
    • ‘Then I wanted to get the whole pond in the shot from a lower angle so I crouched down but was a little bit close.’
    • ‘His face wore a lopsided grin, and he crouched down near the fire and set to work upon the other shoe.’
    • ‘I was crouching down on the balcony, with my lens stuck through the gap between the metalwork and the concrete floor.’
    • ‘He could see two people huddled under shawls, crouching but unable to get to shelter.’
    • ‘Three children crouched in the shade of the branches, above them a small bag of precious grain hung carefully.’
    • ‘He rose up on one knee, then crouched there, body tight, as if tensing for the pounce.’
    • ‘She gave me a grubby blanket and crouched down in front of the fire while I huddled and shivered.’
    • ‘When I came out she was crouching on the sidewalk playing with a street vendor's puppy.’
    • ‘They left from the big smelly station with the road that ran through it, a giant grey monster crouching under North Bridge.’
    • ‘Hoeing weeds will be a welcome break from pruning duties and is much kinder on the back than crouching down to pull them out.’
    • ‘The wayward child is at the back of the dim cement room, crouched in a corner near the hand basins.’
    • ‘Their bodies ached from lying, sitting and crouching all the time.’
    • ‘I had just crouched down to pick it up when everyone naturally decided to surge forward.’
    • ‘Monkeys are the most active in the lake area and can be seen crouching in the trees eating fruit.’
    • ‘I crouched down to avoid being knocked over myself and hid my head under my arms.’
    • ‘They agonise over every shot, crouching on the green as they plan the putt that could win them that precious round of golf.’
    • ‘She crouched down, and wrapped her arms around her frail body, covering her face with her hands.’
    hunker down, bob down, hunch over
    cower, cringe, shrink, huddle
    View synonyms


  • [in singular] A crouching stance or posture.

    • ‘She heard the singing of a blade being drawn from its scabbard, and dropped into a crouch as said blade sliced the air above her head.’
    • ‘Rising to a crouch, he scanned the forest frantically, his heart beating faster than he could remember it.’
    • ‘Then he stood from the crouch, and he and I were nearly the same height.’
    • ‘I landed in a crouch and stood up, straightening my robe.’
    • ‘He ran in a crouch towards the ship's rear and the aft cargo bay.’
    • ‘He flipped backwards and falling to his hands, continued to spring another dozen feet, landing in a half crouch.’
    • ‘Dropping to a crouch, the princess crept to the edge of the quicksand.’
    • ‘She swore, covering her eyes, and stepped back, instinctively moving into a defensive crouch.’
    • ‘The black beast ripped its left arm free and fell into a crouch within the cover of shadow; its eyes shone fearfully red.’
    • ‘I pulled myself over the fence and landed on the other side in a crouch.’
    • ‘Those who remain in a defensive crouch are in danger of being left behind.’
    • ‘So, too, older folks assume a crouch as they age - much of this is nature's way of creating stability.’
    • ‘Nor did we immediately want to send the public officials whom we wanted to influence into a defensive crouch.’


Late Middle English: perhaps from Old French crochir be bent from croche (see crotch).