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

Stocks fell broadly in Asia, with the Hang Seng shedding 2.1% as pro-democracy protests crippled Hong Kong’s airport for a second day. Damian J. Troise, BostonGlobe.com, "Stocks soar after US delays plans for some China tariffs," 13 Aug. 2019 Protesters on Monday filled the airport, crippling one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs. New York Times, "Protests Put Hong Kong on Collision Course with China’s Communist Party," 12 Aug. 2019 The change has benefitted some tournaments and crippled others. Mitchell Gladstone, SI.com, "The Pros and Cons of the New PGA Tour Schedule," 7 Aug. 2019 Decades of bipartisan mismanagement and corruption, unscrupulous financial schemes hatched on Wall Street and purposeful neglect by the U.S. Congress crippled the island well before Hurricane Maria. Time, "This is Puerto Rico's Moment for Real Change," 25 July 2019 The breaking point came in April when the failure of a Muni Metro overhead line crippled the subway for 10 hours. Phil Matier, SFChronicle.com, "SF’s short-timer transit boss Ed Reiskin lands new job in Oakland," 24 July 2019 In the secondary, no cornerback outside of the starting trio of Pierre Desir, Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson played more than nine total snaps on defense in the second half of the season; an injury to any one of those three could have been crippling. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts' offseason: 7 key steps for Indianapolis as team tries to go from good to great," 20 July 2019 Hundreds, if not thousands, died in the rioting, crippling Perez’s political capital and inspiring Chavez to plot an overthrow. Peter Millard, Bloomberg.com, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 Runaway inflation and food scarcity has crippled Venezuela, with tens of thousands leaving the country in a mass exodus. Stefano Pozzebon And Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Venezuelan government blames 'electromagnetic attack' for nationwide blackout," 23 July 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

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