from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bed with high sides for a young child or baby.
  • n. A small building, usually with slatted sides, for storing corn.
  • n. A rack or trough for fodder; a manger.
  • n. A stall for cattle.
  • n. A small crude cottage or room.
  • n. Slang One's home.
  • n. A framework to support or strengthen a mine or shaft.
  • n. A wicker basket.
  • n. A petty theft.
  • n. Plagiarism.
  • n. See pony.
  • n. Games A set of cards made up from discards by each player in cribbage, used by the dealer.
  • transitive v. To confine in or as if in a crib.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a crib.
  • transitive v. To plagiarize (an idea or answer, for example).
  • transitive v. To steal.
  • intransitive v. To plagiarize; cheat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A baby’s bed (British and Australasian cot) with high, often slatted, often moveable sides, suitable for a child who has outgrown a cradle or bassinet.
  • n. A bed for a child older than a baby.
  • n. A small sleeping berth in a packet ship or other small vessel
  • n. A wicker basket; compare Moses basket.
  • n. A manger, a feeding trough for animals elevated off the earth or floor, especially one for fodder such as hay.
  • n. The baby Jesus and the manger in a creche or Nativity scene, consisting of statues of Mary, Joseph and various other characters such as the magi.
  • n. A bin for drying or storing grain, as with a corn crib.
  • n. A small room or covered structure, especially one of rough construction, used for storage or penning animals.
  • n. A confined space, as with a cage or office-cubicle
  • n. A job, a position; (British), an appointment.
  • n. A hovel, a roughly constructed building best suited to the shelter of animals but used for human habitation.
  • n. One’s residence, or where one normally hangs out.
  • n. A boxy structure traditionally built of heavy wooden timbers, to support an existing structure from below, as with a mineshaft or a building being raised off its foundation in preparation for being moved; see cribbing.
  • n. A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet.
  • n. A minor theft, extortion or embezzlement, with or without criminal intent.
  • n. : Short for the card game cribbage.
  • n. : The cards discarded by players and used by the dealer.
  • n. A known piece of information corresponding to a section of encrypted text, that is then used to work out the remaining sections.
  • n. A small holiday home, often near a beach and of simple construction.
  • n. A packed lunch taken to work.
  • v. To place or confine in a crib.
  • v. To collect one or more passages and/or references for use in a speech, written document or as an aid for some task; to create a crib sheet.
  • v. To install timber supports, as with cribbing.
  • v. To steal or embezzle, to cheat out of: petty thieving.
  • v. To complain, to grumble
  • v. To crowd together, or to be confined, as if in a crib or in narrow accommodations.
  • v. To seize the manger or other solid object with the teeth and draw in wind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A manger or rack; a feeding place for animals.
  • n. A stall for oxen or other cattle.
  • n. A small inclosed bedstead or cot for a child.
  • n. A box or bin, or similar wooden structure, for storing grain, salt, etc..
  • n. A hovel; a hut; a cottage.
  • n. A structure or frame of timber for a foundation, or for supporting a roof, or for lining a shaft.
  • n. A structure of logs to be anchored with stones; -- used for docks, pier, dams, etc.
  • n. A small raft of timber.
  • n. A small theft; anything purloined; a plagiarism; hence, a translation or key, etc., to aid a student in preparing or reciting his lessons.
  • n. A miner's luncheon.
  • n. The discarded cards which the dealer can use in scoring points in cribbage.
  • intransitive v. To crowd together, or to be confined, as in a crib or in narrow accommodations.
  • intransitive v. To make notes for dishonest use in recitation or examination.
  • intransitive v. To seize the manger or other solid object with the teeth and draw in wind; -- said of a horse.
  • transitive v. To shut up or confine in a narrow habitation; to cage; to cramp.
  • transitive v. To pilfer or purloin; hence, to steal from an author; to appropriate; to plagiarize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shut or confine as in a crib; cage; coop.
  • To line with timbers or planking: said of a shaft or pit.
  • To pilfer; purloin; steal.
  • To translate (a passage from a classic) by means of a crib. See crib, n., 16.
  • To be confined in or to a crib.
  • To make use of cribs in translating. See crib, n., 16.
  • To make up (logs, boards, or staves) into small rafts or cribs to be united later into a large raft.
  • n. The manger or rack of a stable or house for cattle; a feeding-place for cattle; specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church, a representation of the manger in which Christ was born. See bambino.
  • n. A stall for oxen or other cattle; a pen for cattle.
  • n. A small frame with inclosed sides for a child's bed. A small chamber; a small lodging or habitation.
  • n. A situation; a place or position: as, a snug crib.
  • n. A house, shop, warehouse, or public house.
  • n. A box or bin for storing grain, salt, etc. See corn-crib.
  • n. A lockup.
  • n. A solid structure of timber or logs (see cribwork) secured under water to serve as a wharf, jetty, dike, or other support or barrier; also, a foundation so made with the superstructure raised upon it, as the crib in Lake Michigan from which water is supplied to Chicago.
  • n. A solidly built floating foundation or support.
  • n. An inner lining of a shaft, consisting of a frame of timbers and a backing of planks, used to keep the earth from caving in, prevent water from trickling through, etc. Also called cribbing.
  • n. A reel for winding yarn.
  • n. A division of a raft of staves, containing a thousand staves.
  • n. In the game of cribbage, a set of cards made up of two thrown from the hand of each player. See cribbage.
  • n. A theft, or the thing stolen; specifically, anything copied from an author without acknowledgment.
  • n. A literal translation of a classic author for the illegitimate use of students.
  • n. The bowl or trap of a pound-net.
  • n. Short for cribble.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. use a crib, as in an exam
  • n. a bin or granary for storing grains
  • n. the cards discarded by players at cribbage
  • n. baby bed with high sides made of slats
  • v. take unauthorized (intellectual material)
  • n. a literal translation used in studying a foreign language (often used illicitly)
  • n. a card game (usually for two players) in which each player is dealt six cards and discards one or two
  • v. line with beams or planks


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, manger, from Old English cribb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English cribb ("manger, stall"), from West Proto-Germanic. Cognate with Dutch krib, German Krippe ("rack, crib"). The sense of ‘stealing, taking notes, plagiarize’ seems to have developed out of the verb.



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  • Following his brief tenure, the infamous Chief Wappenstein was convicted of bribery. At his trial, brothel operators testified to the price they had to pay to the Chief, who told them that since they had previous been paying ten dollars per bed (or "crib") as fines to the city each month, they should now just pay him ten dollars per crib directly.
    Christopher T. Bayley, iSeattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2015), ch. 1

    January 17, 2016

  • the fodder of us all?

    August 10, 2012

  • Aarggh, missing qroqqa so much!

    August 10, 2012

  • See acribia.

    February 25, 2009

  • How the modern senses are connected: the original meaning in Old English was "manger, specifically that in which Jesus was laid". This developed various senses of small containers, small buildings, and frameworks, including in the 1600s "child's cot". Perhaps from a sense of "basket" or "bag" came a thieves' cant verb "bag i.e. steal", which in the 1800s gave "petty theft" and in particular "translation illicitly used to help pupils" (and 1900s 'crib sheet', a similar set of notes not specifically relating to translation).

    The relationship to the crib in cribbage is unclear.

    What got me interested in this is finding that 'creche' is cognate. After the Second Germanic Consonant Shift, common Germanic *krib- gives Old High German krip-, taken into Romance, and passing from South French crépia, crepcha, giving North French crèche.

    February 25, 2009