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

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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 Will that cripple teams to the point where games must be rescheduled? Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "As NFL training camps draw closer, big questions about coronavirus protocols still linger," 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, "Mass testing, school closings, lockdowns: Countries pick tactics in ‘war’ against coronavirus," 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, "If Trump Wins, Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Will Destroy 'Ordinary Americans'," 7 Oct. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Escalating restrictions on Chinese tech firm Huawei, which was added to the list last year, threaten to cripple its global business, for example. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "US sanction threat wipes 23% off the value of China's biggest chipmaker," 7 Sep. 2020 The breakdown in talks led President Trump to take action unilaterally, with a series of orders designed to provide economic relief to Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the economy. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Meadows "not optimistic" about deal on coronavirus bill before end of September," 26 Aug. 2020 The sports bar celebrated its grand opening Jan. 24 only to close down March 14 when COVID-19 concerns began to cripple the bar and restaurant industry. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "How Alabama students, bar owners react to shutdown order from city," 25 Aug. 2020 China’s high-tech companies have been hit especially hard, with sanctions on hardware giant Huawei and social media behemoth Tencent threatening to cripple key businesses. Washington Post, "Does China want Trump or Biden in the White House? It’s complicated.," 20 Aug. 2020 During World War II, the Allied bombing campaign to cripple Germany’s war machine exerted terrible losses on both sides. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Did 'Memphis Belle' Really Show the B-17 Bomber's Final Mission?," 14 Aug. 2020 As the long strike began to cripple production, tens of thousands of Fiat middle-managers and other white-collar workers marched through Turin demanding the right to work. Washington Post, "Cesare Romiti, who steered Fiat through strikes and domestic terrorism, dies at 97," 19 Aug. 2020 Malliotakis says Rose aligns himself with lawmakers and activists who seek to cripple the New York Police Department in the midst of the city’s present crime wave. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "NYC Republican seeks to topple Democratic congressman through 'law and order' campaign," 14 Aug. 2020 That might be preferable over control measures that cripple economies and could harm public health more in the long run. Linda Nordling, Science | AAAS, "The pandemic appears to have spared Africa so far. Scientists are struggling to explain why," 11 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for cripple

Cite this Entry

“Cripple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cripple. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for cripple

cripple

noun
How to pronounce cripple (audio)

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
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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Comments on cripple

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