1

cripple

noun crip·ple \ ˈkri-pəl \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of cripple

1 a 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

Examples of cripple in a Sentence

  1. He returned from war a cripple.

Origin and Etymology of cripple

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


2

cripple

adjective

Definition of cripple

: being lame, flawed, or imperfect

Recent Examples of cripple from the Web

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.


3

cripple

verb

Definition of cripple

crippled; crippling play \ˈkri-p(ə-)liŋ\
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

crippler

play \ˈkri-p(ə-)lər\ noun

cripplingly

play \ˈkri-p(ə-)liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of cripple in a Sentence

  1. Higher taxes could cripple small businesses.

  2. an economy crippled by inflation

Recent Examples of cripple from the Web

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.

Synonym Discussion of cripple

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

CRIPPLE Defined for English Language Learners

cripple

verb

Definition of cripple for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

cripple

noun crip·ple \ ˈkri-pəl \

Definition of cripple for Students

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.

2

cripple

verb

Definition of cripple for Students

crippled; crippling
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

Medical Dictionary

1

cripple

noun crip·ple \ ˈkrip-əl \

medical Definition of cripple

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

2

cripple

adjective

medical Definition of cripple

: being a cripple : lame

3

cripple

transitive verb

medical Definition of cripple

crippled; crippling play \-(ə)-liŋ\
: to deprive of the use of a limb and especially a leg
  • crippled by arthritis


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