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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.
to utter the characteristic cry of a rooster.
to gloat, boast, or exult (often followed by over).
to utter an inarticulate cry of pleasure, as an infant does.
the characteristic cry of a rooster.
an inarticulate cry of pleasure.
a member of a Siouan people of eastern Montana.
a Siouan language closely related to Hidatsa.
Contemporary Examples

If it grows in a sensitive part of the brain, it could affect your speech or your motion or, like crow, your memory.
Sheryl Crow’s Meningioma, an Exceedingly Common Brain Tumor Daniel Stone June 5, 2012

When the Berlin Wall fell, he did not crow but allowed democracy to take root on its own merits in the former Soviet republics.
George H.W. Bush, Our Preppiest Ex-President, Honored at White House John Avlon July 15, 2013

crow explained that his site put preventative measures in place to preclude trolls from reigning.
ReaganBook Is the Latest Conservative #Fail Gideon Resnick July 30, 2014

Add to that fact so many underwater homes and under-employed workers and it seems callous to crow about improvements.
Better Off Than When, Exactly? John Avlon September 3, 2012

But the White House is finally getting to crow about some good news: the program actually saved money.
Health-Care Reform Returns Surprising $1.5 Billion Medicare Savings Daniel Stone December 6, 2011

Historical Examples

However, non constat Patrici; I’ll pluck the crow wid you on my return.
The Poor Scholar William Carleton

Methinks that Gascony is too small a cock to crow so lustily.
The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle

Many of the buildings of ancient crow Wing were moved to Brainerd.
Fifty Years In The Northwest William Henry Carman Folsom

His flight to the crow’s nest had been an effort to escape its fury, but it had followed him there.
The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling

“Cock-a-doodle-doo,” he shouted, imitating the crow of a rooster.
Si Klegg, Book 3 (of 6) John McElroy

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
the act or an instance of crowing
(pl) Crows, Crow. a member of a Native American people living in E Montana
the language of this people, belonging to the Siouan family

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.

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.

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


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


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

Related Terms

jane crow, jim crow
In addition to the idiom beginning with
also see:

as the crow flies
eat crow


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