crib·​bage ˈkri-bij How to pronounce cribbage (audio)
: a card game for two players in which each player tries to form various counting combinations of cards

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Cribbage is a card game, usually for two players, in which each player tries to form various counting combinations of cards. Each player receives six cards, and the score is kept by moving pegs on a narrow rectangular board. (There is also a five-card variant, as well as four-hand and three-hand variants.) Cribbage was invented by the 17th-century English poet and courtier John Suckling. The rules of play, though somewhat involved, are simple enough to make cribbage a popular pastime, particularly in Britain and the United States. The game usually ends at 121 (twice around the board plus one).

Examples of cribbage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The modern fest is a full eight days long and includes an oyster-shucking contest, an adult basketball tournament, a cribbage competition and a beauty pageant. Corey Buhay, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Feb. 2024 The cribbage board keeps track of the score, as players move their pegs along the path. Julianne Hilmes Bartlett, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Mar. 2022 It is commonly said that John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, would order his valet to bring him salt beef between two pieces of toasted bread during long sessions of cribbage and other card games. Dahlia Gallin Ramirez, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 Other activities recommended on the website include paying for the car behind you at Mackinac Bridge, playing a game of euchre or cribbage, and kayaking, biking, fishing, etc. Marina Johnson, Detroit Free Press, 1 Sep. 2023 Laurie Mandeville-Beaudette lost her 83-year-old father, James Mandeville, a Navy veteran, prankster, and relentlessly competitive card shark who favored rummy and cribbage. Matt Stout,, 31 Dec. 2022 But cribbage? Tom Hanks, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2021 Some had a glass of wine and played cribbage. Christopher Solomon, Travel + Leisure, 20 Mar. 2022 Neither produced cribbage boards. The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cribbage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


crib entry 1

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cribbage was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near cribbage

Cite this Entry

“Cribbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


crib·​bage ˈkrib-ij How to pronounce cribbage (audio)
: a card game in which each player tries to form various counting combinations of cards

More from Merriam-Webster on cribbage

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