1 of 2


: a support typically fitting under the armpit for use by the disabled in walking
: 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
: a forked leg rest constituting the pommel of a sidesaddle
: the crotch of a human being or an animal
: a forked support


2 of 2


crutched; crutching; crutches

transitive verb

: to support on crutches : prop up

Examples of crutch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
More than a year since the shooting, the teen is still using crutches to walk and awaiting surgery to help repair damage to her leg. Pierre Thomas, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2023 Rapinoe, meanwhile, finished her career on the Reign bench, using crutches to make her way to the field for the start of the second half wearing a boot on her right foot. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 After recently tearing his Achilles tendon, the Barbie actor dressed up as Aaron Rodgers — who also tore his Achilles last month — by wearing a New York Jets T-shirt, carrying a football and leaning on crutches with a cast on his right foot. Alexis Jones, Peoplemag, 1 Nov. 2023 In another photo, the actor is on the crutches in a group photo with his friends, all of whom are wearing jerseys. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2023 Instead of stopping the song and calling out the fan, Maluma laughed it off and used the crutch as a prop for his performance. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 13 Sep. 2023 Villains are permanently killed off and their roles in the story of these Spider-Men are completed and no longer necessary as narrative crutches. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Oct. 2023 Most recently, Maluma caught a crutch which was hurled at him from the audience in the midst of his 2023 Don Juan World Tour. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 13 Sep. 2023 Seconds before Wayte’s fall, another officer had been pulled into the mob by his helmet and beaten with a flagpole and a crutch. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crutch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


1609, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near crutch

Cite this Entry

“Crutch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a support usually made with a piece at the top to fit under the armpit for use by a disabled or injured person as an aid in walking
: something (as a support or prop) like a crutch in shape or use

Medical Definition


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


2 of 2 transitive verb
: to support on crutches
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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