\ ˈkrəch How to pronounce crutch (audio) \

Definition of crutch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a support typically fitting under the armpit for use by the disabled in walking
b : a source or means of support or assistance that is relied on heavily or excessively They refuse to take any pills. They don't want to use drugs as a crutch.— Maya Pines Even many atheists would agree that believing that God cares about you or that your life is part of a cosmic plan can be a powerful source of hope (or, to put it pejoratively, a crutch).— Virginia Postrel
2 : a forked leg rest constituting the pommel of a sidesaddle
3 : the crotch of a human being or an animal
4 : a forked support


crutched; crutching; crutches

Definition of crutch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to support on crutches : prop up

Examples of crutch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The narration — so often a crutch that book-to-film adaptations rely on too heavily — is sparing. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 18 May 2022 Leaning on that as an offense crutch, however, fails to serve the clubhouse well. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 Absent this complete approach, even proactive organizations cannot rely on their maturity model designation as a crutch against threats. Emil Sayegh, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Sweetness becomes saccharine and nostalgia a crutch. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 As the two actors slowly build a profound bond between their characters, the screenplay provides a backstory for Sweeney as well as for Leslie, but more as shading than narrative crutch. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Mar. 2022 When Efraín took his first steps without leaning on his crutch, a crowd of about 20 people who’d gathered in the corridor broke into applause. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2022 Writers risk relying on plot intricacies as a crutch. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2022 Heavy makeup has been something of a crutch, but this discovery has weaned me off the thick stuff. Jacqueline Kilikita,, 31 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At 2:45, Maddow crutched in silently, stood with her back to her staff and observed the list, drawing a thick black line next to topics that interested her. Amanda Hess, New York Times, 1 Oct. 2019 Thorson, now a grad student holding an undergraduate degree in communication studies, remains the relentlessly positive team-first guy who insisted on crutching to the NU sideline to watch the second half of the Music City Bowl. Teddy Greenstein,, 2 July 2018 Scalise still needs either crutches or a cane to get around after having nine surgeries to repair his pelvis, hip and left femur left shattered by bullets, CNN reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, 14 June 2018 When Purdue played Nebraska about a month later, Tyler Trent crutched out to midfield for the coin toss. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, 15 Mar. 2018 He was recorded crutching down a hallway at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday. Jacob Klinger,, 18 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crutch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of crutch


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crutch


Middle English crucche, from Old English crycc; akin to Old High German krucka crutch

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Time Traveler for crutch

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The first known use of crutch was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crutch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for crutch


\ ˈkrəch How to pronounce crutch (audio) \

Kids Definition of crutch

1 : a long stick usually made with a piece at the top to fit under the armpit that is used as an aid in walking
2 : something that a person depends on to help deal with problems The child uses his blanket as a crutch to feel more secure.


\ ˈkrəch How to pronounce crutch (audio) \

Medical Definition of crutch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a support typically fitting under the armpit for use as an aid in walking
2 : the crotch especially of an animal


transitive verb

Medical Definition of crutch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to support on crutches


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