Main definitions of crow in English

: Crow1crow2crow3

Crow1

noun

  • 1A member of a North American people inhabiting eastern Montana.

    • ‘The Crows welcomed American traders and tolerated American trappers.’
    • ‘The Crows sold the purloined furs to Samuel Tulloch at Fort Cass.’
    • ‘Another mulatto trapper to achieve distinction among the Crows, at least in his own telling, was James P. Beckwourth.’
    • ‘For Crows the process of relating a narrative is always interactive.’
    • ‘We arrived at Fort Peck and learned that our Indian visitors were a war party of Crows going to fight the Sioux.’
    • ‘Food was plentiful, the weather was comfortable, horses were regaining their fat, and spirits were high among the Crows.’
    • ‘Men from other camps even searched out the White Temple camp just to witness his routine, which was now the talk of all the Crows.’
    • ‘These groups included the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Pawnee and the Sioux Nations.’
    • ‘In September 1833 he led his brigade of thirty men and one hundred horses southeast along the foot of the Bighorns, intending to hunt up a Crow village to obtain permission to trap beaver on the Tongue and Powder Rivers.’
    • ‘In 1833 the American Fur Company traded with the Crows at Fort Cass, located at the mouth of the Bighorn River.’
    • ‘The Crows were an offshoot of the Hidatsas, and they made summer journeys east to trade with the descendants of their forebears.’
    • ‘The word traveled fast from camp to camp, from band to band until it seemed that all that the Crows talked about was Rabbit.’
    • ‘For more than half a century, the land that the Bozemen Trail would cross was made busy by Crows and white trappers and traders, not by Lakotas.’
  • 2The Siouan language of the Crow.

adjective

  • Relating to the Crow or their language.

    • ‘As Clark and his party explored the Yellowstone, a Crow raiding party stole the horses belonging to a detail led by Sgt. Pryor.’
    • ‘A Lieutenant Luther Hare had ridden ahead of the column with some Crow scouts.’
    • ‘‘The New and Old Testaments in the Absaroki or Crow Indian Language by a Missionary of the Society of Jesus’ came into the possession of the Montana Historical Society in August 2004.’

Origin

Suggested by French gens de corbeaux, translating Siouan apsáaloke ‘crow people’.

Pronunciation

Crow

/krō/

Main definitions of crow in English

: Crow1crow2crow3

crow2

noun

  • 1A large perching bird with mostly glossy black plumage, a heavy bill, and a raucous voice.

    • ‘Blue jays and crows rob smaller birds' nests, often those of robins and catbirds, of both eggs and young, while hawks may steal the same from the crows and jays!’
    • ‘But periods of high heat and drought send such common urban-dwelling species as crows, blue jays and robins out of the city in search of fresh water.’
    • ‘At nesting time the parents become bold and pugnacious attacking crows, magpies, cuckoos and kestrels crossing their territory.’
    • ‘Indeed, just now there are too many acorns for even such greedy birds as crows and magpies.’
    • ‘The corvines - crows, rooks, jays, magpies and jackdaws - are relentless stealers of other birds' eggs and chicks.’
    • ‘It had long been used in Europe to kill predators and ‘noxious’ birds such as crows and magpies.’
    • ‘Great Horned Owls do not build their own nests, but use nests built by hawks, crows, magpies, herons, or other large birds.’
    • ‘Birds such as grouse, crows, quail, partridge, nightjars, cuckoos, shrikes, larks, pipits, merlins, harriers, kestrels and buzzards would all have been seen.’
    • ‘The virus is primarily a disease of wild birds, particularly crows, blue jays, and birds of prey, and is transmitted by mosquitoes to horses and humans.’
    • ‘We mostly saw the usual sparrows, doves, crows, chickadees, and titmice. Tons of Blue Jay are in flight right now as they are involved in a migration of their own.’
    • ‘The airport attracts corvids, rooks, crows, lapwings and wood pigeons among others.’
    • ‘Eagles, vultures, penguins, ravens, crows, doves, and ostriches are just a few of the birds that do double time as species and symbols.’
    • ‘Large black birds like crows and grackles are often referred to as trash birds.’
    • ‘The brain-to-body ratio of crows, ravens and magpies equals that of dolphins and nearly matches humans.’
    • ‘It is the habit of crows to perch like sentinels on the tops of isolated trees, where they can see what is going on in all directions.’
    • ‘Birds - blackbirds and thrushes, robins, starlings, rooks and crows, jays, ducks, seagulls and owls will eat slugs’
    • ‘The corvids of North America consist of one species of jackdaw, four crows, two ravens, one nutcracker, two magpies, and ten species of jays.’
    • ‘Losses occur, however, when the unattended eggs are taken by crows or ravens, or when nesting birds are disturbed by humans.’
    • ‘He said the proliferation of Corvids birds like grey crows, magpies and rooks could be directly linked to the decline in songbirds in the area.’
    • ‘Just now the skies are busy with birds; rooks and crows grouping and re-grouping in ragged formation, starlings showing off their flock skills, and swifts silver-arrowing round and round.’
  • 2informal, derogatory A woman, especially an old or ugly one.

    • ‘I still remember about him actually agreeing to go on a date with that bald, old crow, and I definitely still remembered that I was angry.’
    • ‘Hah, that old crow could forbid me all she wants, but I won't give up my archery.’
    • ‘The doors opened and two aged citizens emerged, a withered old crow and a thin old duffer.’
    • ‘At other booths, the photographers allowed participants to reject their first photo in favor of a more flattering one, but the old crow and her minion hurried me off the set.’
    • ‘‘I'll phone our favourite old crow Edith then,’ Grandma relented.’
  • 3The constellation Corvus.

    • ‘The constellation of Crater, the Cup or Bowl, lies on the back of Hydra next to Corvus the crow.’

Phrases

  • as the crow flies

    • In a straight line.

      ‘Easingwold was 22 miles away as the crow flies’
      • ‘But we're only about 45 miles, as the crow flies, away from New Orleans.’
      • ‘Although this is only some 20 km. from Nîmes as the crow flies, the aqueduct itself followed a course of around 50 km., in order to ensure a steady gradient for the water on its way to the city.’
      • ‘To him the barren mountains and sagebrush flats of Nevada's interior must seem like another planet compared to the green splendor of Lake Tahoe, though they are only about 30 or 40 miles apart as the crow flies.’
      • ‘The headquarters of Hatteras Yachts is located in New Bern, NC, 90 miles inland, as the crow flies, from the cape of the same name that is notorious for its treacherous seas and numerous shipwrecks.’
      • ‘By the time we reached Roman Road, only half a mile as the crow flies from our starting point, the bus was jam-packed full and sailing past the waiting queues.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, we intend moving only 20 miles away, as the crow flies.’
      • ‘The distance is less than seven miles as the crow flies, but is 13 miles by water, because of the twists and turns of the river.’
      • ‘Somehow this is all tied in to the treacherous mountain trails, where a mile as the crow flies can take twenty miles of switchbacks.’
      • ‘It was shortly after 8pm on December 7, a cold, dry, almost still night, when two emergency calls came through to Lothian and Borders fire brigade headquarters at Lauriston Place, about a mile as the crow flies from the fire.’
      • ‘The proposed site is eight-and-a-half kilometres from the airport as the crow flies, and it is first-class flat agricultural land with three rivers running through the site.’
  • eat crow

    • informal Be humiliated by having to admit one's defeats or mistakes.

      • ‘It will be nice to see you eating crow in your midseason report.’
      • ‘You will be eating crow for following a leader who has no intention of following through with his promises.’
      • ‘There, he needs to eat crow, apologise for his mistakes and make clear that he is turning a new page.’
      • ‘I guarantee that I'll be back winning shows again, and then all the doubters are going to have to eat crow for dinner.’
      • ‘If by the 31 of December of this year, it hasn't happened, we will gladly eat crow.’
      • ‘And if I go overboard, I eat crow and apologize and beg for mercy.’
      • ‘But now the nutrition nay-sayers may have to eat crow.’
      • ‘We're having to eat crow, is what we're doing, and we might as well admit it.’
      • ‘Every time I say I never want to hear another concept record about somebody's failed marriage, one comes along that's lovely enough to make me to eat crow.’
      • ‘I smiled on the inside, glad that Sam had to eat crow.’

Origin

Old English crāwe, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch kraai and German Krähe, also to crow.

Pronunciation

crow

/kroʊ//krō/

Main definitions of crow in English

: Crow1crow2crow3

crow3

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a cock) utter its characteristic loud cry.

    • ‘The rooster crowed, as if it wanted more scraps of food to eat.’
    • ‘Finally a rooster flew to the top and decided to crow around midnight.’
    • ‘Instead of alarm clocks, there is a rooster crowing on a rooftop nearby.’
    • ‘‘This is a village that never sleeps,’ she said, as a rooster crowed in the background.’
    • ‘She could hear about two, no, three different roosters crowing, sunlight just barely peeking through her window.’
    • ‘There are dozens of young hares running about aimlessly in the fields while young cock pheasants are crowing their heads off in every garden and potato patch.’
    • ‘Funny, I thought normal roosters crowed in the morning.’
    • ‘Flies buzzed, cockerels crowed, goats bleated and a chorus of dogs was howling furiously.’
    • ‘When the rooster crowed to greet the morning, Ben thought he sounded awfully close by but to find the fowl on the foot of his bed was closer than he thought!’
    • ‘The cold wind swept the dawn, and the roosters crowed at a distance.’
    • ‘The loony rooster next door insists on crowing at all hours.’
    • ‘The morning greeted us with an early sun rise, the village rooster crowing and the swish of a broom sweeping the sand court yard outside.’
    • ‘Every once in a while a dog barked or a rooster crowed.’
    • ‘When we first got them, Bill and I spent many a morning lying in bed, laughing after having been awakened by our young rooster's attempts at crowing.’
    • ‘We always awoke to the sound of a cock crowing or a bird chirping and when we looked outside, we saw nature in all of her morning glory!’
    • ‘By dawn, mysterious roosters would crow but never show themselves.’
    • ‘Here you can see women washing clothes in the river, children chasing each other in narrow lanes, chickens crowing and dogs barking at strangers.’
    • ‘As dawn approaches and the light level rises, you will hear roosters crowing and the night ambient sounds will die away.’
    • ‘At the ranch the roosters started crowing at 4am just a few feet from my head, shocking me to consciousness.’
    • ‘In both traditions the white rooster, which crows at dawn to dispel the darkness of night, is highly esteemed.’
    squawk, screech, hoot, cry, caw, croak
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person) make a sound expressing a feeling of happiness or triumph.
      ‘Ruby crowed with delight’
      • ‘My normal, nice, reserved Captain and partner was crowing.’
      • ‘William crowed as he jumped and caught the flying Frisbee before Becky's teammate.’
      • ‘She literally crowed with pleasure, declaring that now she understood my political blindness.’
      • ‘She will crow in delight when she spots either one of them.’
      • ‘In fact, he's crowing and preening in the spotlight that he's brought to bear on his actions.’
      • ‘You had to dig nuggets out from him about his career because he hated it to seem as if he was crowing but this was one incident he would talk about.’
      • ‘He was crowing with joy because he had run 8 miles yesterday as opposed to my paltry one quarter.’
      • ‘Perhaps you'll even crow when his shoelaces get caught in the escalator.’
      boast, brag, trumpet, show off, bluster, swagger, swank, gloat, be smug, congratulate oneself, preen oneself, pride oneself, pat oneself on the back, sing one's own praises
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Say something in a tone of gloating satisfaction.
      ‘avoid crowing about your success’
      ‘“I knew you'd be back,” she crowed’
      • ‘For years you've crowed about the company you built.’
      • ‘But then I shouldn't crow too much about my relative success.’
      • ‘He is also a doctor, though he doesn't crow about the title.’
      • ‘Why, wondered my friend, were women suddenly crowing about their ability to buy their own shoes when women have been entering the workplace in droves for over thirty years?’
      • ‘The lie came early last year when he was strutting around like a banty rooster crowing about his massive tax cut bill.’
      • ‘‘That's the spirit,’ Morgan crowed, while Jo raised her eyebrows.’
      • ‘They weren't crowing about his second, though.’
      • ‘I wouldn't crow too loudly over those stats if I were you.’
      • ‘I would crow or gloat about it, but I know that it can start within the blink of an eye, so nothing but sympathy from me.’
      • ‘But still they keep crowing on about the possibilities that the summit holds.’

noun

  • 1usually in singular The cry of a cock.

    • ‘Beware of the bark of a dog or crow of a cock at night, for they signify death.’
    • ‘I am up like the cock's crow on Wednesdays to get ready for the bus, which picks me up at my door.’
    • ‘Following sunrise comes the clanging sound of scores of church bells, coupled with the crow of roosters from the adjacent Moslem Quarter.’
    1. 1.1 A sound made by a person expressing triumph or happiness.
      ‘she gave a little crow of triumph’
      • ‘I let out a mental crow of delight as I discover that I can control where I'm going.’
      • ‘He crows in triumph, and both of us pull as hard as we can and the pipe gives way as half the toilet breaks off and lands on the floor.’
      • ‘They cut past their rival by mere feet and she took one hand off the wheel long enough to doff her hat and wave it with a crow of triumph.’
      • ‘She is frisky and good humoured like a bouncy Labrador, gushing with anecdotes punctuated by a laugh, which is a cross between a joyous cackle and a happy crow.’

Origin

Old English crāwan, of West Germanic origin; related to German krähen, also to crow; ultimately imitative.

Pronunciation

crow

/krō//kroʊ/