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

This wasn’t barbaric One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stuff but a genuinely effective therapy for people who were crippled by certain seizure syndromes. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: The oddly divisible nature of consciousness," 4 Oct. 2018 Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict that has killed over 10,000, crippled the country's health system and pushed it to the brink of famine. Fox News, "Group: Saudi-led coalition probes in Yemen lack credibility," 24 Aug. 2018 And there were whispers that Depp’s recreational drug and alcohol use were crippling him. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Johnny Depp: We Are Concerned," 23 June 2018 But in the real world, something has changed since 2008, when the United States and Israel mounted the most sophisticated cyberattack in history on Iran’s nuclear program, temporarily crippling it in hopes of forcing Iran to the bargaining table. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Why Hackers Aren’t Afraid of Us," 16 June 2018 The hospital, which mostly does bariatric procedures, has said that could cripple it financially. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Hospital facing loss of federal money asked nurses to falsify records, inspectors say," 14 June 2018 Hard to imagine meaningful constitutional constraints that wouldn't cripple it. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump is pardon-giddy. Is that a constitutional problem?," 6 June 2018 The primary focus of the gathering was WTO’s court system, with the 13 participants pushing for a resolution to U.S. moves that threaten to cripple the organization’s dispute-settlement mechanism and effectively kill the global trade watchdog. Jacob Schlesinger, WSJ, "Ottawa Meeting Focuses on WTO Reform, Doesn’t Address U.S. Complaints," 25 Oct. 2018 And the worst-case scenario wasn’t just Microsoft crushing Netscape Navigator or other programs, like word processing software WordPerfect, which Microsoft allegedly crippled by refusing its developers access to technical information. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "How the antitrust battles of the ‘90s set the stage for today’s tech giants," 6 Sep. 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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Learn More about cripple

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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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

Comments on cripple

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