cripple

noun
crip·​ple | \ ˈkri-pəl How to pronounce cripple (audio) \

Definition of cripple

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a sometimes offensive : a lame or partly disabled person or animal
b : one that is disabled or deficient in a specified manner a social cripple
2 : something flawed or imperfect

cripple

adjective

Definition of cripple (Entry 2 of 3)

: being lame, flawed, or imperfect

cripple

verb
crippled; crippling\ ˈkri-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce crippling (audio) \

Definition of cripple (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of the use of a limb and especially a leg the accident left him crippled
2 : to deprive of capability for service or of strength, efficiency, or wholeness an economy crippled by inflation

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Other Words from cripple

Verb

crippler \ ˈkri-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce crippler (audio) \ noun
cripplingly \ ˈkri-​p(ə-​)liŋ-​lē How to pronounce cripplingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for cripple

Synonyms: Verb

disable, incapacitate, lame, maim, mutilate

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Choose the Right Synonym for cripple

Verb

maim, cripple, mutilate, batter, mangle mean to injure so severely as to cause lasting damage. maim implies the loss or injury of a bodily member through violence. maimed by a shark cripple implies the loss or serious impairment of an arm or leg. crippled for life in an accident mutilate implies the cutting off or removal of an essential part of a person or thing thereby impairing its completeness, beauty, or function. a tree mutilated by inept pruning batter implies a series of blows that bruise deeply, deform, or mutilate. an old ship battered by fierce storms mangle implies a tearing or crushing that leaves deep wounds. a soldier's leg mangled by shrapnel

weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, undermine, sap, cripple, disable mean to lose or cause to lose strength or vigor. weaken may imply loss of physical strength, health, soundness, or stability or of quality, intensity, or effective power. a disease that weakens the body's defenses enfeeble implies a condition of marked weakness and helplessness. enfeebled by starvation debilitate suggests a less marked or more temporary impairment of strength or vitality. the debilitating effects of surgery undermine and sap suggest a weakening by something working surreptitiously and insidiously. a poor diet undermines your health drugs had sapped his ability to think cripple implies causing a serious loss of functioning power through damaging or removing an essential part or element. crippled by arthritis disable suggests bringing about impairment or limitation in a physical or mental ability. disabled by an injury sustained at work

Examples of cripple in a Sentence

Noun

He returned from war a cripple.

Verb

Higher taxes could cripple small businesses. an economy crippled by inflation
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So a future reconciliation bill would not only cripple Obamacare and strip millions of Americans of health coverage obtained via the exchanges, but also kill the Medicaid expansion and throw millions more out of coverage. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "If Trump Wins, Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Will Destroy 'Ordinary Americans'," 7 Oct. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The sanctions on Venezuela’s financial and oil sectors are designed to cripple the Maduro regime, which the U.S. has accused of human rights abuses and curtailing freedom of speech. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Evolving Venezuela Sanctions Pose Problems for Banks," 25 Feb. 2019 He had been crippled by migraine headaches throughout his adult life and was in the middle of a new string of attacks. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015 Still, budget hawks and retiree advocates worry that a recession could cripple the system. Related stories from Sacramento Bee New CalPERS leaders don't trust each other. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "'Crunch time' at CalPERS: Pension confidence drops among city managers | The Sacramento Bee," 14 May 2018 They’ve been bedeviled by crippling new laws, and by a devastating U.S. Supreme Court decision just this week. Washington Post, "Despite setbacks and high court’s ruling, unions show spark," 28 June 2018 Some analysts say Kim is driven by a desperate need to ease sanctions that have crippled his country, and may try to get away with a temporary and deceptive freeze of his nuclear program. Choe Sang-hun, The Seattle Times, "N. Korea’s Kim pivots to economy as he backs off nuclear testing," 21 Apr. 2018 Some experts say the sanctions have crippled the nation’s ability to gain access to the vendors and financing needed to get new aircraft. New York Times, "Hand-Me-Down Plane That Crashed Reflects a Cuban Air Industry in Crisis," 19 May 2018 She is crippled by arthritis and could not climb her own front steps. Michael Wilson, New York Times, "She Found Comfort in a Brooklyn Diner, Then Lost Everything," 27 May 2018 In the wake of the bombshell arrest, Polish security officials are debating how to defuse any potential security threats related to Huawei without crippling their own telecommunications infrastructure, or angering Beijing. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "Spy Charges Put Huawei’s European Ambitions in Jeopardy," 14 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cripple.' 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 cripple

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cripple

Noun

Middle English cripel, from Old English crypel; akin to Old English crēopan to creep — more at creep

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Dictionary Entries near cripple

criophore

crip

cripes

cripple

Cripple Creek

crippledom

cripplement

Statistics for cripple

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Time Traveler for cripple

The first known use of cripple was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cripple

cripple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned + offensive : a person who cannot move or walk normally because of a permanent injury (such as a damaged leg or foot) or other physical problem
informal : a person who has emotional problems that prevent normal behavior with other people

cripple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cripple (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause (a person or animal) to be unable to move or walk normally
: to make (something) unable to work normally : to cause great damage to (something)

cripple

noun
crip·​ple | \ ˈkri-pəl How to pronounce cripple (audio) \

Kids Definition of cripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

sometimes offensive
: a disabled person who is unable to fully use one or both of his or her arms or legs
Hint: In the past, this word was not considered offensive. In recent years, however, some people have come to find the word hurtful, and you may offend someone by using it.

cripple

verb
crippled; crippling

Kids Definition of cripple (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause to lose the use of one or more arms or legs The accident crippled the boy.
2 : to make useless or powerless … fear can so cripple a person that he cannot think or act.— Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves

cripple

noun
crip·​ple | \ ˈkrip-əl How to pronounce cripple (audio) \

Medical Definition of cripple

 (Entry 1 of 3)

sometimes offensive
: an individual having a physical disability and especially a physically impaired leg or foot

cripple

adjective

Medical Definition of cripple (Entry 2 of 3)

: being a cripple : lame

cripple

transitive verb
crippled; crippling\ -​(ə)-​liŋ How to pronounce crippling (audio) \

Medical Definition of cripple (Entry 3 of 3)

: to deprive of the use of a limb and especially a leg crippled by arthritis

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More from Merriam-Webster on cripple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cripple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cripple

Spanish Central: Translation of cripple

Nglish: Translation of cripple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cripple for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cripple

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