1. a card game for two or sometimes three or four players, a characteristic feature of which is the crib, and in which the object is to make counting combinations for points that are scored on a cribbage board.

Origin of cribbage

First recorded in 1620–30; crib + -age Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cribbage

Historical Examples of cribbage

  • Miss West and I abandoned our rubber of cribbage and hastened on deck.

  • Come, brother, away from the scene; let us go play a game at cribbage!


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • In the evening he came in again to have a game of cribbage with Mrs. Caldwell.

    The Beth Book

    Sarah Grand

  • Cribbage played with cards and a board is said to be essentially an English game.

  • At cribbage the old gentleman was expected to lose his temper.

    Summer Cruising in the South Seas

    Charles Warren Stoddard

British Dictionary definitions for cribbage


  1. a game of cards for two to four, in which players try to win a set number of points before their opponentsOften shortened to: crib

Word Origin for cribbage

C17: of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for cribbage

the card game, 1620s, probably from crib "set of cards thrown from each player's hand," of uncertain origin, though this word is later than the game name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper