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[limp] /lɪmp/
verb (used without object)
to walk with a labored, jerky movement, as when lame.
to proceed in a lame, faltering, or labored manner:
His writing limps from one cliché to another. The old car limped along.
to progress slowly and with great difficulty; make little or no advance:
an economy that limps along at a level just above total bankruptcy.
a lame movement or gait:
The accident left him with a slight limp.
Origin of limp1
1560-70; back formation from obsolete limphault lame; Old English lemphealt limping (see halt2); akin to Middle High German limpfen to limp
Related forms
limper, noun
limpingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for limped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She limped over to the divan upon which Cornelius Allendyce sat.

    Red-Robin Jane Abbott
  • Barney limped into the kitchen and went to work on the window glass.

    Make Mine Homogenized Rick Raphael
  • He knew that in damp weather Batty limped and confessed that his leg pained him a bit, from an old hurt he 'd had in the East.

    Never-Fail Blake Arthur Stringer
  • At first the pain was not great, and he only limped as he walked.

  • Without another word, the unfortunate heir of so much wealth turned and limped into the hall with surprising rapidity.

    Ralph Wilton's weird Mrs. Alexander
British Dictionary definitions for limped


verb (intransitive)
to walk with an uneven step, esp with a weak or injured leg
to advance in a labouring or faltering manner
an uneven walk or progress
Derived Forms
limper, noun
limping, adjective, noun
limpingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: probably a back formation from obsolete limphalt lame, from Old English lemphealt; related to Middle High German limpfen to limp


not firm or stiff
not energetic or vital
(of the binding of a book) not stiffened with boards
Derived Forms
limply, adverb
limpness, noun
Word Origin
C18: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Icelandic limpa looseness
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
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Word Origin and History for limped



1560s, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English lympen "to fall short" (c.1400), which is probably from Old English lemphealt "halting, lame, limping," which has a lone cognate in the rare Middle High German limphin, and perhaps is from a PIE root meaning "slack, loose, to hang down" (cf. Sanskrit lambate "hangs down," Middle High German lampen "to hang down"). Related: Limped; limping. As a noun, 1818, from the verb.


1706, "flaccid, drooping," of obscure origin, perhaps related to limp (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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limped in Medicine

limp (lĭmp)
An irregular, jerky, or awkward gait; a claudication. v. limped, limp·ing, limps
To walk lamely, especially with irregularity, as if favoring one leg.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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