All Words > Crabwise

illustration Crabwise



Part of speech: adverb

Origin: English, 20th century


To, toward, or from the side, typically in an awkward way.

Examples of Crabwise in a sentence

"Roberto moved crabwise without taking his eyes off the ball when he played dodgeball."

"My cat only moves crabwise if she knows I’m going to try to give her a pill."

About Crabwise

The word is a compound of “crab,” from the Old English “crabba,” and the suffix “-wise,” meaning “in the manner of.” “Wise” also dates back to Old English.

Did you Know?

Crabs are capable of moving forward, but their leg joints make it far easier for them to move quickly by darting left or right. Because they’re the only animal famous for moving in this manner, “crabwise” is an evocative description of sideways motion.

illustration Crabwise

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