See also: Crew



Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English crue, from Old French creue (an increase, recruit, military reinforcement), the feminine past participle of creistre (grow), from Latin crescere (to arise, grow).


crew (plural crews)

  1. A group of people together
    1. (obsolete) Any company of people; an assemblage; a throng.
    2. A group of people (often staff) manning and operating a large facility or piece of equipment such as a factory, ship, boat, airplane, or spacecraft.
      If you need help, please contact a member of the crew.
      • 1905, H. G. Wells, The Empire of the Ants:
        He saw now clearly that the sole crew of the vessel was these two dead men, and though he could not see their faces, he saw by their outstretched hands, which were all of ragged flesh, that they had been subjected to some strange exceptional process of decay.
    3. A group of people working together on a task.
      The crews competed to cut the most timber.
    4. (art) The group of workers on a dramatic production who are not part of the cast.
      There are a lot of carpenters in the crew!
      The crews for different movies would all come down to the bar at night.
    5. (informal, often derogatory) A close group of friends.
      I’d look out for that whole crew down at Jack’s.
    6. (often derogatory) A set of individuals lumped together by the speaker.
      • 1861 William Weston Patton, (version of) John Brown's Body
        He captured Harper’s Ferry, with his nineteen men so few,
        And frightened "Old Virginny" till she trembled thru and thru;
        They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew,
        But his soul is marching on.
      • 1950, Bernard Nicholas Schilling, Conservative England and the Case Against Voltaire[1], page 266:
        Malignant principles bear fruit in kind and the Revolution did no more than practice what men had been taught by the abandoned crew of philosophers.
    7. (Scouting) A group of Rovers.
    8. (slang, hip-hop) A hip-hop or b-boying group.
      • 1985, “King of Rock”, performed by Run-DMC:
        And Jay cuts the records every day of the week / And we are the crew that can never be meek
      • 1988 February 7, Carly Darling, “L.A.—The Second Deffest City of Hip-Hop”, in Los Angeles Times[2]:
        The most popular and critically acclaimed rap and deejay “crews”—Run-D.M.C., Whodini, L.L. Cool J, the Beastie Boys, the Fat Boys, Public Enemy, Full Force, Salt & Pepa, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Mantronix, U.T.F.O., et al.—were spawned on that city's streets.
      • 2003, Jennifer Guglielmo & Salvatore Salerno, Are Italians White?[3], →ISBN, page 150:
        We decided we needed another rapper in the crew and spent months looking.
      • 2016, Sophy Smith, Hip-Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration, Routledge, →ISBN, page 10:
        In b-boying culture, a group of b-boys or b-girls who dance and battle together are referred to as a crew.
      • 2021, Jehnie I. Burns, Mixtape Nostalgia: Culture, Memory, and Representation, page 138:
        [] mutating into all-star line-ups of emcees spitting hot bars over familiar beats, then to a single crew spitting bars over familiar beats, then eventually to a single crew (or artist) spitting bars over unfamiliar beats.
    9. (rowing) A rowing team manning a single shell.
      • 1888, W.B. Woodgate, Boating[4], page 71:
        If a crew feather much under water, it is a good plan to seat them in a row on a bench, and give each man a stick to handle as an oar.
  2. A person in a crew
    1. (plural: crew) A member of the crew of a vessel or plant.
      One crew died in the accident.
    2. (art, plural: crew) A worker on a dramatic production who is not part of the cast.
      There were three actors and six crew on the set.
    3. (nautical, plural: crew) A member of a ship's company who is not an officer.
      The officers and crew assembled on the deck.
      There are quarters for three officers and five crew.
  3. (sports, rowing, US, uncountable) The sport of competitive rowing.
    • 1973, University of Virginia Undergraduate Record:
      The University of Virginia belongs to the Atlantic Coast Conference and competes interscholastically in basketball, baseball, crew, cross country, fencing, football, golf, indoor track, lacrosse, polo, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling.
    • 1989, Benjamin Spock & Mary Morgan, Spock on Spock[5], →ISBN, page 71:
      Two Andover classmates, Al Wilson and Al Lindley, both went out for crew in our freshman year at Yale.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


Derived termsEdit


crew (third-person singular simple present crews, present participle crewing, simple past and past participle crewed)

  1. (transitive and intransitive) To be a member of a vessel's crew
    We crewed together on a fishing boat last year.
    The ship was crewed by fifty sailors.
  2. To be a member of a work or production crew
    The film was crewed and directed by students.
  3. To supply workers or sailors for a crew
    • 2003, Kirk C. Jenkins, The Battle Rages Higher[6], →ISBN, page 42:
      Steele crewed the boat with men from his own regiment and volunteers from John Wood's detachment.
  4. (nautical) To do the proper work of a sailor
    The crewing of the vessel before the crash was deficient.
  5. (nautical) To take on, recruit (new) crew
    • 1967 January, “Tampa”, in The Pilot[7], page 30:
      The two ships will be crewing in the latter half of September.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit



  1. (Britain, archaic) simple past tense of crow (make the characteristic sound of a rooster).
    It was still dark when the cock crew.

Etymology 3Edit

Probably of Brythonic origin.


crew (plural crews)

  1. (Britain, dialectal) A pen for livestock such as chickens or pigs
    • 2004, Gillian Cross, On the Edge[8], →ISBN, page 7:
      Between the shippon and the pig-crew, with the wind blowing over from the vegetable ground.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit


crew (plural crews)

  1. The Manx shearwater.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “crew”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)


See alsoEdit



crew m (plural crews)

  1. crew