verb (used with object)

to support on crutches; prop; sustain.

Origin of crutch

before 900; Middle English crucche, Old English cryce (oblique crycce); cognate with Norwegian krykkja, Danish krykke, German Krücke, Dutch kruk. See crook1
Related formscrutch·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crutch

cane, bolster, help, buttress, prop, stick, aid, post, brace, staff

Examples from the Web for crutch

Contemporary Examples of crutch

Historical Examples of crutch

  • But just as the former is not necessarily a crutch, so the latter was not necessarily a cross.

    The Non-Christian Cross

    John Denham Parsons

  • With these words he took an iron poker and fashioned it into a crutch for himself.

  • How he tried all kinds of artifices, as he leaned on his crutch, and all in vain!

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • The publican, who carried a stick, was drunk, and the "knocker-up" was staggering on a crutch.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • The "knocker-up" lifted his crutch and with the upper end of it he battered at the dog's brains.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for crutch



a long staff of wood or metal having a rest for the armpit, for supporting the weight of the body
something that supports or sustainsa crutch to the economy
British another word for crotch (def. 1)
  1. a forked support for a boom or oar, etc
  2. a brace for reinforcing the frames at the stern of a wooden vessel


(tr) to support or sustain (a person or thing) as with a crutch
Australian and NZ slang to clip (wool) from the hindquarters of a sheep

Word Origin for crutch

Old English crycc; related to Old High German krucka, Old Norse krykkja; see crosier, crook
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 crutch

Old English crycce "crutch, staff," from Proto-Germanic *krukjo (cf. Old Saxon krukka, Middle Dutch crucke, Old High German krucka, German Kröcke "crutch," related to Old Norse krokr "hook;" see crook). Figurative sense is first recorded c.1600. As a verb, from 1640s. Italian gruccia "crutch," crocco "hook" are Germanic loan-words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

crutch in Medicine




A staff or support used by a physically injured or disabled individual as an aid in walking, usually designed to fit under the armpit and often used in pairs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.