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."
Popularity Over Time
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.