[ krip ]

    • Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a person who is partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs.

    • Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. a term of identity or self-reference used affirmatively by some people with disabilities, especially in academia and activism.

  1. disabled (used in self-reference by people with disabilities, especially in academia and activism): I swipe right only on profiles of people who say outright that they are crip.

  2. noting or relating to people with disabilities and their experiences, in an affirmative way that challenges ableist norms, assumptions, and exclusions: Crip design creates environments that afford use and enjoyment by people with atypical bodies.

verb (used with object)Slang.
  1. to introduce the lived experience and perspectives of people with disabilities into (something) in order to expose and challenge ableist norms and exclusions:The university has a disabled writers workshop that encourages authors with disabilities to crip their stories, because representation matters! The #CripTheVote movement engages with many issues affecting the disability community.

Idioms about crip

  1. crip up, Sometimes Offensive. to cast a nondisabled actor in the role of a character with a disability, or to play the role of a disabled person when one is not disabled, generally used to convey disapproval of this practice:She directed the first major production of Richard III that stars an actor who doesn’t need to crip up for the role.

Origin of crip

An Americanism dating back to 1915–20; shortening of cripple

usage note For crip

Cripple and its shortened form crip have long been considered offensive words in referring to someone with a mobility impairment. “Disabled person” or “person with a disability” are the currently preferred terms for people who experience difficulty walking or moving, and disability is sometimes extended to include people with some mental conditions, neurodivergence, chronic pain, illness, etc.
There are some parallels between the recent revival of the word crip by the disability community and the adoption of queer by the LGBTQ+ community beginning in the late twentieth century. As with queer , when crip is used by people who might formerly have been its target, it can be an empowering, defiant term of self-reference and self-definition. This reclaimed, positive use of crip is most likely to be encountered in academic and activist contexts: crip theory; cripping fashion shows. However, the term is by no means universally accepted within disabled communities, and is regarded as degrading or elitist by some. Furthermore, even those who embrace the use of crip for themselves may be offended when nondisabled people use this in-group vocabulary. Appropriateness all depends on the speaker’s identity, relationship to the subject, and the context of use.

Words Nearby crip Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use crip in a sentence