- Offensive.a term used to refer to a person who is partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs.
- an animal that is similarly disabled; a lame animal.
- Offensive.a person who is disabled or impaired in any way: a mental cripple.
- anything that is impaired or flawed.
- a wounded animal, especially one shot by a hunter.
- Carpentry. any structural member shorter than usual, as a stud beneath a windowsill.
- Delaware Valley. a swampy, densely overgrown tract of land.
- to make a cripple of; lame.
- to disable; impair; weaken.
- Carpentry. jack1(def 29).
Origin of cripple
cripple and crippled are not deemed offensive when referring to an inanimate object or an animal. And cripple can be used freely as a verb, especially metaphorically, as in Failing to upgrade the computer system will cripple our business. See also retarded.
Examples from the Web for cripple
After she battled polio and learned to walk again, the doctors told her she would be a cripple her entire life.Uzo Aduba: My Road to ‘Orange Is the New Black’
August 4, 2014
Sectoral sanctions that could cripple the Russian economy are also long overdue.It’s Finally Time for the West to Stand Up to Putin
July 18, 2014
On September 16 he was called into court in Manhattan, charged with the alarming crime of punching a cripple.Babe Ruth’s Summer of Records
September 29, 2013
Bring down the Assads, and you cripple the mullahs in both Iran and Lebanon.Up to Speed: Five Things You Need to Know on Syria
September 3, 2013
In some cases, the aftermath of disasters can cripple the very infrastructure that would enable recovery.Three Years After Gulf Oil Spill, Money Continues to Flow to Region
July 29, 2013
His intention was neither to kill nor to cripple his antagonist.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
“The man is virtually a cripple,” he added with unmistakable feeling.The Secret Agent
Then the cripple said to him: “If you are afraid, then you cannot become an Immortal!”The Chinese Fairy Book
He was evidently a cripple, propped up in a strange wheelchair.The Heads of Apex
The first of these he might, perhaps, solve after a fashion, but the second—and he a cripple!Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- offensive a person who is lame
- offensive a person who is or seems disabled or deficient in some waya mental cripple
- US dialect a dense thicket, usually in marshy land
- (tr) to make a cripple of; disable
Word Origin and History for cripple
Old English crypel, related to cryppan "to crook, bend," from Proto-Germanic *krupilaz (cf. Old Frisian kreppel, Middle Dutch cropel, German krüppel, Old Norse kryppill). Possibly also related to Old English creopan "to creep" (creopere, literally "creeper," was another Old English word for "crippled person").
mid-13c., "to move slowly," from cripple (n.). Meaning "make a cripple of, lame" is from early 14c. Related: Crippled; crippling.
- One that is partially disabled or unable to use a limb or limbs.
- To cause to lose the use of a limb or limbs.