cripple

noun
crip·ple | \ˈkri-pəl \

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 \

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 \ noun
cripplingly \ˈkri-p(ə-)liŋ-lē \ adverb

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 Friant-Kern has been crippled by a phenomenon known as subsidence. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 Jan Jordan's response was crippled by the county's radio system. NBC News, "Parkland shooting investigation finds radio issues delayed police response," 12 July 2018 Douma has been crippled by close to five years of siege by government forces. Time, "Monitors Say 14 People Were Killed in a Missile Strike on a Syrian Air Base," 9 Apr. 2018 The Earth of 2045 is crippled by climate change; energy crises and unemployment have wrecked the economy. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Push the Red Button, Parzival," 30 Mar. 2018 The aging city pipes suffered a series of failures in the past four years that crippled the ability to transport sewage from toilets to the wastewater plant. Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale plans to use water-sewer money to balance budget — again," 9 July 2018 Kahn noted, however, that the Culinary Union has a long history in Las Vegas and has worked with casinos during downturns in the economy — notably in 2008 during the financial meltdown that crippled Las Vegas. David Montero, latimes.com, "Union workers picket in Las Vegas, worried about pay, security and robots taking their jobs," 6 July 2018 New leadership was one of several conditions in an agreement struck between ZTE and the United States to end a ban on technology purchases that crippled its business. BostonGlobe.com, "Wynn Resorts losing high-profile general counsel," 5 July 2018 His fortune declined as Brazil’s economy entered into a recession in 2014 and federal investigators began exposing a vast web of kickback schemes that crippled several of the country’s top companies. Ernesto Londoño, New York Times, "Mining Tycoon, Once Brazil’s Richest Man, Is Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison," 3 July 2018

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

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cripple

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

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More Definitions for cripple

cripple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cripple

: 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 \

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 \

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 \

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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Comments on cripple

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