CREW (sometimes explained as a sea term of Scandinavian origin, cf. O. Icel. krú, a swarm or crowd, but now regarded as a shortened form of accrue, accrewe, used in the 16th century in the sense of a reinforcement, O. Fr. acreue, from accroître, to grow, increase), a band or body of men associated for a definite purpose, a gang who jointly carry out a particular piece of work, and especially those who man a ship, exclusive of the captain, and sometimes also of the officers.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)