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crawl 1 (krôl)
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intr.v. crawled, crawl·ing, crawls
1. To move slowly on the hands and knees or by dragging the body along the ground; creep: The baby crawled across the floor.
2. To advance slowly, feebly, laboriously, or with frequent stops: We crawled along in traffic until we reached the highway.
3. To proceed or act servilely: "She was going to come crawling back to me, eloquently detailing exactly how sorry she was" (Emily Griffin).
4. To be or feel as if swarming or covered with moving things: The accident scene was crawling with police officers. My flesh crawled in horror.
5. To swim the crawl.
n.
1. The action of moving slowly on the hands or knees or dragging the body along the ground.
2. An extremely slow pace: Traffic was moving at a crawl.
3. Sports A rapid swimming stroke consisting of alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick.
4. A set of letters or figures that move across, up, or down a movie or television screen, usually giving information, such as film credits or weather alerts. Also called crawler.
5. A social activity that consists of going to a series of related establishments one after the other: a bar crawl; a museum crawl.

[Middle English craulen, from Old Norse krafla; see gerbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

crawling·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
crawl 2 (krôl)
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n.
Archaic
A pen in shallow water, as for confining fish or turtles.

[Afrikaans kraal, enclosure for animals; see KRAAL.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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