cram·​pon | \ ˈkram-ˌpän How to pronounce crampon (audio) \

Definition of crampon

1 : a hooked clutch or dog for raising heavy objects usually used in plural
2 : a climbing iron used especially on ice and snow in mountaineering usually used in plural

Illustration of crampon

Illustration of crampon

crampon 2

Examples of crampon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There are clients on Everest today who don’t even know how to put on their crampons, let alone walk in them. Mark Jenkins, Outside Online, "How to Fix Everest," 20 June 2019 Most northbound hikers will at least carry an ice axe—and possibly crampons—from the Kennedy Meadows region all the way to Sonora Pass in Northern California. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "9 Things to Know Before You Hike the Pacific Crest Trail," 5 Nov. 2018 Miller: Having a crampon pouch on the back of the pack was an absolutely key factor. Matt Goulet, Popular Mechanics, "The Eddie Bauer Sisu Is a Hiking Pack Perfected," 26 Dec. 2016 Well, if your crampons are on the bottom of your backpack, that makes for an insanely scary situation. Matt Goulet, Popular Mechanics, "The Eddie Bauer Sisu Is a Hiking Pack Perfected," 26 Dec. 2016 The climb from the south is not considered technical, but the Forest Service recommends use of crampons and an ice ax. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Oregon man dies on Mount Adams," 29 May 2018 Conditions have recently been icy, so hikers are encouraged to wear proper footwear, including some type of crampon. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't have a parking voucher for Lapham Peak candlelight hike? Don't show up.," 22 Jan. 2018 Strap on harness and crampons to head out with your expert mountain guide for a walk on the glacier. Jack Dancy, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Europe," 5 Oct. 2016 The clients all learned the basic crampon and ice-ax techniques and eventually scratched their way up the face. Nathaniel Wilder, Smithsonian, "A Daring Journey Into the Big Unknown of America’s Largest National Park," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crampon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crampon

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crampon

Middle English, from Middle French crampon, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch crampe

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Dictionary Entries near crampon


cramp iron




cramp ring


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Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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The first known use of crampon was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of crampon

: a piece of metal with sharp points on the bottom that is worn by mountain climbers on the bottom of boots to make it easier to walk on ice and snow

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to complain fretfully

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