\ 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 Coffee grabbed a crutch nearby, held it in the air while approaching the police line and then used it to push into the officers, according to the FBI. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, "Kerrville life coach one of 32 Texans facing charges in connection with Capitol riot," 1 Apr. 2021 The device has gone from a rare and thrilling surprise to a familiar and frustrating crutch — one that shows like The Serpent keep tripping over. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "Let’s Not Do the Time Warp Again," 26 Mar. 2021 The freshman arrived on the Bridgestone Arena court in Nashville about an hour before Alabama’s SEC men’s basketball tournament semifinal game using a crutch and wearing a stiff brace over his left leg. Mike Rodak |, al, "Alabama guard Josh Primo out Saturday but could return later," 13 Mar. 2021 With that said, Mendes is adamant that makeup is a tool, and should never be used as a crutch for confidence. Thatiana Diaz,, "Camila Mendes Is Leaving Mediocrity At The Door," 10 Mar. 2021 Others in the crowd try to grab officers’ batons and beat them with a hockey stick, a crutch and a Trump flag. Anchorage Daily News, "Previously unpublished video shows Pence, Romney, Schumer and others rushing to evacuate the Capitol," 11 Feb. 2021 He's been cleared to use just one crutch and could be walking without one soon. Tom Withers, Star Tribune, "Rosario finds fit, family while joining Indians," 26 Feb. 2021 In response, Prescott lifted his crutch and took several steps to flaunt his progressing mobility halfway through a four-month recovery timeline. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott gives update on ankle recovery: ‘Small victories’," 5 Dec. 2020 But some law professors who analyze medical privacy say that HIPAA has been utilized during the coronavirus pandemic as a crutch to not disclose or gather data for public use. al, "How many Alabama teachers are getting COVID vaccinations?," 9 Mar. 2021 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, "This Is the Moment Rachel Maddow Has Been Waiting For," 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,, "First words: Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson talks ACL prognosis, marriage and why he ‘can’t skip steps’," 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, "Rep. Steve Scalise to return to field one year after Congressional Baseball shooting," 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, "Doyel: Purdue freshman can't make tourney, but cancer is just an inconvenience," 15 Mar. 2018 He was recorded crutching down a hallway at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday. Jacob Klinger,, "Steelers short 3 offensive, 2 defensive starters," 18 Oct. 2017

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for crutch

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crutch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for crutch



English Language Learners Definition of crutch

: a long stick with a padded piece at the top that fits under a person's arm
usually disapproving : something that a person uses too much for help or support


\ 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

Medical Definition of crutch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to support on crutches

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