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cramp

1
[ kramp ]
/ kræmp /
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See synonyms for: cramp / cramped / cramper / crampest on Thesaurus.com

noun
Often cramps .
  1. a sudden, involuntary, spasmodic contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, especially of the extremities, sometimes with severe pain.
  2. a piercing pain in the abdomen.
  3. an intermittent, painful contraction of structures of a wall containing involuntary muscle, as in biliary colic or in the uterine contractions of menstruation or of labor.
verb (used with object)
to affect with or as if with a cramp.
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Origin of cramp

1
First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English crampe, from Old French, from Germanic; cognate with Middle Dutch crampe, Old Saxon krampo, Old High German krampfo; derivative of an adjective meaning “narrow, constrained, bent”; compare Old High German krampf, Old Norse krappr; akin to crimp1

Other definitions for cramp (2 of 2)

cramp2
[ kramp ]
/ kræmp /

noun
verb (used with object)
adjective

Origin of cramp

2
First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English crampe, crompe, from Middle Dutch; see cramp1

OTHER WORDS FROM cramp

cramp·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cramp in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cramp (1 of 2)

cramp1
/ (kræmp) /

noun
a painful involuntary contraction of a muscle, typically caused by overexertion, heat, or chill
temporary partial paralysis of a muscle groupwriter's cramp
(usually plural in the US and Canada) severe abdominal pain
verb
(tr) to affect with or as if with a cramp

Word Origin for cramp

C14: from Old French crampe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German krampho

British Dictionary definitions for cramp (2 of 2)

cramp2
/ (kræmp) /

noun
Also called: cramp iron a strip of metal with its ends bent at right angles, used to bind masonry
a device for holding pieces of wood while they are glued; clamp
something that confines or restricts
a confined state or position
verb (tr)

Word Origin for cramp

C15: from Middle Dutch crampe cramp, hook, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German khramph bent; see cramp 1
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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