Synonym Chooser

How does the verb cripple contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of cripple are batter, maim, mangle, and mutilate. While all these words mean "to injure so severely as to cause lasting damage," cripple implies the loss or serious impairment of an arm or leg.

crippled for life in an accident

Where would batter be a reasonable alternative to cripple?

While in some cases nearly identical to cripple, batter implies a series of blows that bruise deeply, deform, or mutilate.

an old ship battered by fierce storms

In what contexts can maim take the place of cripple?

The words maim and cripple can be used in similar contexts, but maim implies the loss or injury of a bodily member through violence.

maimed by a shark

When is mangle a more appropriate choice than cripple?

Although the words mangle and cripple have much in common, mangle implies a tearing or crushing that leaves deep wounds.

a soldier's leg mangled by shrapnel

When can mutilate be used instead of cripple?

While the synonyms mutilate and cripple are close in meaning, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near cripple

Cite this Entry

“Cripple.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on cripple

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!