crutch

noun
\ˈkrəch \

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

crutch

verb
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

Clichés are crutches; National Geographic doesn’t need them. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "National Geographic’s November cover falls back on a racist cliché," 1 Nov. 2018 Nostalgia is an intellectual and aesthetic crutch that prevents cultural artifacts from reflecting their own epochs. Dan Duray, ELLE Decor, "Is Nostalgia in the Art World Ever a Good Thing?," 29 Aug. 2018 For children, lessons in regulating emotion can be found in big challenges, like going away to camp, or in smaller ones, like sitting through a dinner out without the crutch of an electronic device. Jennifer Breheny Wallace, WSJ, "When Children Lose Control," 6 July 2018 However, as a recent The New York Times report has brought to light, the convenient squeeze pouches found in everyone's diaper bags might also teach children unhealthy food habits when they're used as a crutch instead of a treat. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "You're Probably Feeding Your Kids Too Many Food Pouches, Say Pediatricians," 3 July 2018 What’s different now is that Dota is starting to make increasing appearances in the mainstream even without the crutch of having the richest tournament in all of gaming. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Going to an e-sport event is like traveling back to the time when people followed sports for the sport," 30 May 2018 The images captured women with arm crutches, type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, and more, wearing everything from the brand's signature bralettes to matching workout apparel. Amira Rasool, Allure, "Aerie's Latest Lingerie Campaign Features Models With Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses," 12 July 2018 While the Socratic view paints these treatments as crutches that leave the basic problem unaddressed, the divided mind view shows this to be wrongheaded. Brendan De Kenessey, Vox, "People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think," 16 Mar. 2018 The Justice League actress, 31, posted a photo of herself on crutches Thursday from what appears to be a doctor’s office. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Amber Heard Wears Hospital Gown While Posing with New Crutches After Breaking Bone," 15 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, chicagotribune.com, "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, cleveland.com, "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

Noun

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

Verb

1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crutch

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near crutch

crust roan

crusty

crut

crutch

crutcher

crutch strike

cruth

Statistics for crutch

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crutch

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

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More Definitions for crutch

crutch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crutch

: a long stick with a padded piece at the top that fits under a person's arm

: something that a person uses too much for help or support

crutch

noun
\ˈkrəch \

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.

crutch

noun
\ˈkrəch \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on crutch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crutch

Spanish Central: Translation of crutch

Nglish: Translation of crutch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crutch for Arabic Speakers

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