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, "NATO chief warns: ‘China is investing massively in new weapons’," 1 Dec. 2020 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 Ultimately, corporations will pass that cost to the consumer, and then the consumer will spend less and can potentially cripple the economy. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'Downright radical': GOP says Biden tax hikes driving wedge between Democrats and suburban voters," 12 Apr. 2021 Some security experts warn that successful cyberattacks on such technologies could cripple the U.S. power grid. David Uberti, WSJ, "Biden Pushes to Protect Power Companies’ Supply Chains," 20 Apr. 2021 How the talks shake out remains to be seen, though fans can only hope both management and players understand that another work stoppage in baseball could cripple the game. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, "Column: Drop in payroll adds fuel to baseball labor talks," 20 Apr. 2021 Critics, from Republican lawmakers to business associations, say the restrictions are overburdensome, cripple local shops and show the state does not trust its residents. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan extends COVID-19 health order for 1 month, adds new rules for kids," 16 Apr. 2021 The next day, Pritzker announced the same restrictions on Chicago despite alarm from Mayor Lori Lightfoot that a ban on indoor dining would cripple the restaurant and bar industry. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County launches jobs training, placement program for suburbs as stricter COVID-19 measures go into effect," 28 Oct. 2020 Industry officials contend the result ultimately will cripple cruise tourism in Key West and endanger hundreds of local jobs that depend on the big ships. Washington Post, "Rough waters in Key West as city, cruise industry and state lawmakers tangle over its future," 27 Mar. 2021 And they are intended to cripple but not sink the ships, the American and Israeli officials said. New York Times, "Israel’s Shadow War With Iran Moves Out to Sea," 26 Mar. 2021 Regardless, it’s on Dak to change that, to show that his holding out for maximum dollars won’t cripple the product. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Dak Prescott’s new contract means the pressure has elevated for three members of the Cowboys organization," 11 Mar. 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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Statistics for cripple

Cite this Entry

“Cripple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cripple. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 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

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