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

Synonyms for cripple

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s team put an emphasis on China’s anti-satellite weaponry, which could be used to sever military communications in a conflict and cripple Western economies. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 1 Dec. 2020 Will that cripple teams to the point where games must be rescheduled? Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 1 July 2020 Some experts argued that Western countries could never enforce such draconian measures—which curtail human rights and cripple economies—but Italy, shocked by the strain on the health care system in the north of the country, followed suit on 9 March. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, 18 Mar. 2020 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, 7 Oct. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Last year, while in the grip of a pandemic that seemed, at least initially, specifically designed to cripple a big, crowded, nonstop, tourism-dependent city like New York, locals got a chance to experience a whole different version of our hometown. New York Times, 2 July 2021 Pushed by Washington’s campaign to cripple Huawei over cybersecurity concerns, countries representing more than 60% of the world’s cellular-equipment market are considering or have already enacted restrictions against Huawei, says Dell’Oro Group. Stu Woo, WSJ, 26 May 2021 The attempt to cripple India's democratic institutions is evident everywhere. Meenakshi Narula Ahamed, CNN, 1 May 2021 The government has used racketeering laws to cripple street gangs in cities nationwide. oregonlive, 9 Aug. 2021 Over recent years, anti-government protesters have used social media as a communication tool to mobilize and spread their message, prompting authorities to cripple internet services. The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Aug. 2021 This is when mistakes threaten to cripple progress, cost jobs and have a lasting impact. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 14 July 2021 Perhaps most critically, Chinese hackers cripple infrastructure in the United States, delaying by several critical days the mobilization of significant American reinforcements. David Axe, Forbes, 6 July 2021 Record heatwaves have scorched the Western United States this summer, and Newsom warned that wildfires or an extreme heatwave could severely cripple energy-transmission systems. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for cripple

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cripple

cripes

cripple

Cripple Creek

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Statistics for cripple

Cite this Entry

“Cripple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cripple. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for cripple

cripple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

cripple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cripple (Entry 3 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 cripple (audio) \

Medical Definition of cripple (Entry 3 of 3)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cripple

Nglish: Translation of cripple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cripple for Arabic Speakers

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