Eat crow


      • admit a mistake or defeat
        To begrudgingly acknowledge, apologize, or make amends for a wrong decision or action, especially in front of others who were previously criticized or disagreed with

      • experience humiliation or embarrassment
        To undergo a humiliating or embarrassing situation, usually as a result of one's own actions or words

    Examples of Eat crow

    • After insisting that my friend's new restaurant was a disaster, I was forced to eat crow when I tried the food and realized how delicious it was.

      To eat crow is to admit that you were wrong about something, often after being very confident that you were right. The phrase comes from the idea of eating the meat of a crow, which is considered a lowly and unappetizing bird. By eating crow, you are admitting that you were wrong and lowering yourself in some way. In this example, the speaker was forced to admit that they were wrong about the restaurant being bad, which made them feel like they were eating the unappetizing meat of a crow.


    The idiom "eat crow" is used to describe two related meanings. The first is to admit a mistake or defeat, often in a begrudging manner. This could involve apologizing or making amends for a previous decision or action that was proven wrong. The second meaning refers to experiencing humiliation or embarrassment, usually as a result of one's own actions.

    This idiom can be used in various situations, such as in sports when a team or player must acknowledge their loss to an opponent, or in a workplace when someone must admit their error in a project. It can also be used in personal relationships when someone must apologize for a mistake made in an argument.

    Origin of "Eat crow"

    The origin of this idiom is not entirely clear. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the 19th century. One theory suggests that it may come from a Native American custom where warriors were required to eat a crow as a form of punishment for cowardice or failure. Another theory suggests that it may come from the practice of forcing someone to eat a crow as a form of public humiliation and apology.

    Regardless of its origin, the idiom has become a commonly used phrase in English, often used in a playful or teasing manner. It is also sometimes used in a self-deprecating way, where someone may say they need to "eat crow" after realizing they were wrong about something. Overall, the idiom serves as a reminder to take responsibility for one's actions and decisions, and to show humility and graciousness in defeat.