As the crow flies



any of several large oscine birds of the genus Corvus, of the family Corvidae, having a long, stout bill, lustrous black plumage, and a wedge-shaped tail, as the common C. brachyrhynchos, of North America.
any of several other birds of the family Corvidae.
any of various similar birds of other families.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Corvus.
(def 1).
as the crow flies, in a straight line; by the most direct route:
The next town is thirty miles from here, as the crow flies.
eat crow, Informal. to be forced to admit to having made a mistake, as by retracting an emphatic statement; suffer humiliation:
His prediction was completely wrong, and he had to eat crow.
have a crow to pick / pluck with someone, Midland and Southern U.S. to have a reason to disagree or argue with someone.
noun
any large gregarious songbird of the genus Corvus, esp C. corone (the carrion crow) of Europe and Asia: family Corvidae. Other species are the raven, rook, and jackdaw and all have a heavy bill, glossy black plumage, and rounded wings See also carrion crow related adjective corvine
any of various other corvine birds, such as the jay, magpie, and nutcracker
any of various similar birds of other families
(offensive) an old or ugly woman
short for crowbar
as the crow flies, as directly as possible
(US & Canadian, informal) eat crow, to be forced to do something humiliating
stone the crows stone
verb (intransitive)
(past tense crowed or crew) to utter a shrill squawking sound, as a cock
(often foll by over) to boast one’s superiority
(esp of babies) to utter cries of pleasure
noun
the act or an instance of crowing
noun
(pl) Crows, Crow. a member of a Native American people living in E Montana
the language of this people, belonging to the Siouan family

Indian tribe of the American Midwest, the name is a rough translation of their own name, Apsaruke.
n.

Old English crawe, imitative of bird’s cry. Phrase eat crow is perhaps based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable; first attested 1851, American English, but said to date to War of 1812 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London). Crow’s foot “wrinkle around the corner of the eye” is late 14c. Phrase as the crow flies first recorded 1800.
v.

Old English crawian “make a loud noise like a crow” (see crow (n.)); sense of “exult in triumph” is 1520s, perhaps in part because the English crow is a carrion-eater. Related: Crowed; crowing.

The most direct route between two places: “From here to Gold Bar, it’s only ten miles as the crow flies, but twenty miles by the winding mountain road.”

noun

The eagle on naval insignia (WWI Navy)
A naval petty officer or captain who wears the eagle insignia (WWI Navy)
Chicken (WWII armed forces)

verb

To boast in exultation; flatter oneself: That poem’s nothing to crow about (1522+)

Related Terms

jane crow, jim crow
In a straight line, by the shortest route, as in It’s only a mile as the crow flies, but about three miles by this mountain road. This idiom is based on the fact that crows, very intelligent birds, fly straight to the nearest food supply. [ Late 1700s ]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
crow
also see:

as the crow flies
eat crow

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