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cripple

[ krip-uhl ]
/ 藞kr瑟p 蓹l /
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noun
verb (used with object), crip路pled, crip路pling.
to make a cripple of; lame.
to disable; impair; weaken: Indirect losses from extreme weather events have crippled the economy.The proposed hike in visa fees could further cripple the island's tourism industry.
adjective
Carpentry. jack1 (def. 29).
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Origin of cripple

First recorded before 950; Middle English cripel, Old English crypel; akin to creep

usage note for cripple

When referring to someone for whom it is difficult or impossible to walk or move without some kind of external aid like crutches or a wheelchair, sensitivity is called for. The noun cripple and the adjective crippled are no longer considered appropriate. Although these terms have been in use since before the year 950, since the mid-1900s they have become increasingly uncommon and are largely regarded as insulting. Since the late 20th century, the terms handicapped and the handicapped, once thought to be acceptable alternatives, have also become, at least in some contexts, offensive. ( Handicapped remains acceptable, however, in certain set phrases like handicapped parking. ) Attempts to replace crippled with the milder euphemistic term physically challenged were sidetracked by a virtual explosion of satirical imitations like economically challenged (poor), ethically challenged (immoral), and vertically challenged (short). Currently acceptable terms are disabled and people with disabilities. These terms are not only less likely to offend, they are more useful. While cripple and crippled traditionally denoted permanent impairments of one or more limbs, disabled is a broader, more comprehensive word that can refer to many different kinds of physical or mental impairments, whether temporary or permanent.
cripple and crippled are not usually problematic when referring to an inanimate object or an animal. And cripple is unlikely to be deemed offensive as a verb, especially metaphorically, as in Failing to upgrade the computer system will cripple our business. Like many other usually offensive terms, the word cripple can also be acceptable when used by people with disabilities in self-reference, as an act of reclamation, or for political purposes. See also retarded.

OTHER WORDS FROM cripple

crip路pler, nouncrip路pling路ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cripple in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cripple

cripple
/ (藞kr瑟pl) /

noun
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
verb
(tr) to make a cripple of; disable

Derived forms of cripple

crippler, noun

Word Origin for cripple

Old English crypel; related to cr膿opan to creep, Old Frisian kreppel a cripple, Middle Low German kr枚pel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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