Words related to raven

rapid (adj.)

1630s, "moving or doing quickly, capable of great speed," from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus "hasty, swift; snatching; fierce, impetuous," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE root *rep- "to snatch" (source also of Greek ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away," Lithuanian raplės "tongs").

Meaning "happening in a short time, coming quickly into existence" is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-fire (adj.) 1890 in reference to guns, figurative or transferred use by 1900; the noun phrase is by 1836. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement, associated with a certain phase of sleep, is from 1906.

ravening (adj.)

"voracious, savage," late 14c., present-participle adjective from an extinct verb ravine, raven "to prey, to plunder, devour greedily" (mid-14c.), from Old French raviner, ravinier "to seize, pillage" (see raven (v.)). It is etymologically related to ravenous, but not to raven (n.). Related: Raveningly.

ravine (n.)

1760, "long deep gorge worn by a stream or torrent of water," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage; to sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent" (from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine"). The French noun and verb both are ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine) with sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid."

Ravine appears in an English dictionary 1610s as "a raging flood." Middle English ravin, ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c. 1350-1500, an earlier borrowing of the French word. Compare raven (v.), ravening.

corvine (adj.)

"pertaining to or having the character of crows and ravens," 1650s, from Latin corvinus "of or pertaining to the raven," from corvus "a raven," related to corax (Greek korax), all imitative of its harsh sound (see raven (n.)). According to fable, originally white but changed to black as a punishment for treachery, but the bird also was consecrated to Apollo for its supposed power of prophecy.

craven (adj.)

c. 1200, cravant "defeated, vanquished, overcome, conquered," apparently adapted from Old French cravent "defeated, beaten," past participle of cravanter "to strike down, to fall down," from Latin crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven). The sense, apparently affected by crave, shifted from "defeated" to "cowardly" (c. 1400) perhaps via intermediary sense of "confess oneself defeated." As a noun, "an acknowledged coward," 1580s. Related: Cravenly; cravenness.

crepitation (n.)

1650s, "a crackling noise," noun of action from Latin crepitare "to crackle," frequentative of crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven). In medical use from 1834 in reference to the crackling sound in the lungs characteristic of pneumonia. Related: Crepitate (1620s); crepitant.

crevice (n.)

"a crack, a cleft, a fissure," mid-14c., crevace, from Old French crevace (12c., Modern French crevasse) "gap, rift, crack" (also, vulgarly, "the female pudenda"), from Vulgar Latin *crepacia, from Latin crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven). Between Latin and French the meaning shifted from the sound of breaking to the resulting fissure.

crown (n.)

early 12c., coroune, croune, "royal crown, ornament for the head as a symbol of sovereignty," from Anglo-French coroune, Old French corone (13c., Modern French couronne) and directly from Latin corona "crown," originally "wreath, garland," related to Greek korōnē "anything curved, a kind of crown."

According to Watkins this is from a suffixed form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." But Beekes considers the "crown" sense as derived from the formally identical Greek word korōnē "crow" (see raven), which, he says, was used metaphorically "of all kinds of curved or hook-formed objects." "Moreover," he writes, "the metaphorical use of [korōnē] 'crow' is nothing remarkable given the use of its cognates ...; the metaphors may have originated from the shape of the beak or the claws of the bird." Compare Latin corax "crow," also "a hooked engine of war," French corbeau "raven," also "cantilever;" English crowbar, etc.


Old English used corona, directly from Latin. Figuratively, "regal power," from c. 1200. From late 14c. as "a crowning honor or distinction." From c. 1300 as "top part of the skull or head;" from 1670s as "top of a hat." From 1804 as "part of a tooth which appears above the gum."

Extended late 14c. to "coin bearing the imprint of a crown or a crowned head," especially the British silver 5-shilling piece. Also the name of monetary units in Iceland, Sweden (krona), Norway, Denmark (krone), and formerly in German Empire and Austria-Hungary (krone). Crown of thorns was late Old English þornene crune.

decrepit (adj.)

"broken down in health, weakened, especially by age," mid-15c., from Old French decrepit (15c., Modern French décrépit), from Latin decrepitus "very old, infirm" (of old men and old animals), from de "down" (see de-) + *crepitus, past participle of crepare "to crack, break" (see raven). The literal sense of the Latin word is uncertain. Related: Decrepitly.

decrepitation (n.)

"act of snapping or bursting with a crackling noise when heated," 1660s, from Latin decrepitationem (nominative decrepitatio), from de- + crepitatus, past participle of crepitare "to crack, break" (see raven).