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

  • n. A person or animal that is partially disabled or unable to use a limb or limbs: cannot race a horse that is a cripple.
  • n. A damaged or defective object or device.
  • transitive v. To cause to lose the use of a limb or limbs.
  • transitive v. To disable, damage, or impair the functioning of: a strike that crippled the factory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Crippled.
  • n. a person who has severe impairment in his physical abilities because of deformation, injury, or amputation of parts of the body.
  • n. a shortened wooden stud or brace used to construct the portion of a wall above a door or above and below a window.
  • n. scrapple.
  • v. to make someone a cripple; to cause someone to get a physical disability
  • v. to damage seriously; to destroy
  • v. to release a product (especially a computer program) with reduced functionality, in some cases, making the item essentially worthless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lame; halting.
  • n. One who creeps, halts, or limps; one who has lost, or never had, the use of a limb or limbs; a lame person; hence, one who is partially disabled.
  • n. Swampy or low wet ground, often covered with brush or with thickets; bog.
  • n. A rocky shallow in a stream; -- a lumberman's term.
  • transitive v. To deprive of the use of a limb, particularly of a leg or foot; to lame.
  • transitive v. To deprive of strength, activity, or capability for service or use; to disable; to deprive of resources.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who creeps, halts, or limps; one who is partially or wholly deprived of the use of one or more of his limbs; a lame person: also applied to animals.
  • n. A dense thicket in swampy or low land; a patch of low timber-growth.
  • n. A rocky shallow in a stream: so called by lumbermen.
  • Lame; decrepit.
  • To walk haltingly, like a cripple.
  • To make (one) a cripple; partly disable by injuring a limb or limbs; deprive of the free use of a limb or limbs, especially of a leg or foot; lame.
  • To disable in part; impair the power or efficiency of; weaken by impairment: as, the fleet was crippled in the engagement; to cripple one's resources by bad debts.
  • Synonyms Maim, Disfigure. etc. See mutilate.
  • n. A kind of temporary staging used by window-cleaners.
  • n. In railroading, a freight-car or other car which has been injured or damaged in its running gear or is for any other reason unfit for use. A ear condemned by a car-inspector as a cripple must be cut out of its train and sent to the cripple-track. See drill-yard.

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

  • v. deprive of strength or efficiency; make useless or worthless
  • n. someone who is unable to walk normally because of an injury or disability to the legs or back
  • v. deprive of the use of a limb, especially a leg


Middle English crepel, from Old English crypel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English crypel, cognate with crēopan ("to creep, to crawl"); confer Dutch kreupel, German Krüppel, Old Norse cryppill. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Cannot contract yet; market too excited". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013