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  1. a spiked iron plate worn on boots or shoes for aid in climbing or to prevent slipping on ice, snow, etc.
  2. a device for grasping and lifting heavy loads, usually consisting of a pair of hooks suspended from a chain or cable, the upward pull on which provides tension for the hooks to grip the load on opposite sides.
Also cram·poon [kram-poon] /kræmˈpun/.

Origin of crampon

1275–1325; Middle English cra(u)mpon < Old French crampon < Old Low Franconian *krampo, cognate with Old High German krampfo, Middle Dutch crampe; see cramp2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for crampon

Historical Examples

  • Outside the bandages I wore six pairs of thick woollen socks, fur boots and a crampon over-shoe of soft leather.

    The Home of the Blizzard

    Douglas Mawson

British Dictionary definitions for crampon


  1. one of a pair of pivoted steel levers used to lift heavy objects; grappling iron
  2. (often plural) one of a pair of frames each with 10 or 12 metal spikes, strapped to boots for climbing or walking on ice or snow
  1. to climb using crampons

Word Origin

C15: from French, from Middle Dutch crampe hook; see cramp ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012