cram·​bo | \ ˈkram-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce crambo (audio) \
plural cramboes

Definition of crambo

: a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players

Did You Know?

We've called the game "crambo" since at least 1660, but it was originally dubbed "crambe." The now-obsolete word crambe literally meant "cabbage," but it was rarely used for the leafy plant. Instead, it was used figuratively (in reference to a Latin phrase meaning "cabbage repeated or served up again") for things that were overused or repeated. The game, which was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, began with one player picking a word. A second player then tried to guess it by asking questions. For example: "I know a word that rhymes with 'bird.'" "Is it ridiculous?" "No, it is not absurd." "Is it a part of speech?" "No, it is not a word." And so on, until the word was guessed.

First Known Use of crambo

1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crambo

alteration of earlier crambe, from Latin, cabbage, from Greek krambē

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The first known use of crambo was in 1660

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Cite this Entry

“Crambo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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