AskDefine | Define cripple

Dictionary Definition

cripple n : someone whose legs are disabled


1 deprive of strength or efficiency; make useless or worthless; "This measure crippled our efforts"; "Their behavior stultified the boss's hard work" [syn: stultify]
2 deprive of the use of a limb, especially a leg; "The accident has crippled her for life" [syn: lame]

User Contributed Dictionary



Anglo-Saxon crypel, cognate with crēopan, "to creep", "to crawl"; confer Dutch kreupel, German Krüppel, Old Norse cryppill.


  • /kɹɪpl/, /kr\Ipl/
  • Rhymes: -ɪpəl


  1. Crippled.
    • 1599 — William Shakespeare, Henry V, iv 1
      And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night, who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp so tediously away.




  1. a person who has severe impairment in his physical abilities because of deformation, injury, or amputation of parts of the body.
    He returned from war a cripple . This use is politically incorrect.
  2. a shortened wooden stud or brace used to construct the portion of a wall above a door or above and below a window.



a person who has severe impairment in his physical abilities
a shortened wooden stud or brace


  1. to make someone a cripple; to cause someone to get a physical disability
    The car bomb crippled five passers-by.
  2. to damage seriously; to destroy
    My ambitions were crippled by a lack of money.
  3. to release a product (especially a computer program) with reduced functionality, in some cases, making the item essentially worthless.
    The word processor was released in a crippled demonstration version that did not allow you to save.


to give someone a physical disability
to damage seriously; to destroy
to release a product (especially a computer program) with reduced functionality

Extensive Definition

A cripple is a person or animal with a disability, particularly one who is unable to walk because of an injury or illness. The word was recorded as early as 950 AD, and derives from the Proto-Germanic krupilaz. The German and Dutch words Krüppel and kreupel are cognates.
The word generally came to be regarded as pejorative when used for people, in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada during the 1960s. In other English-speaking countries, the term is still widely used without pejorative connotations. Cripple is also a transitive verb, meaning "cause a disability or inability".
Cripple may also refer to:
In society:
  • Crips, a modern street gang started in Los Angeles.
In geography: In software:
  • Crippleware, a type of shareware that lacks full functionality.
In mass media: In building construction:


cripple in German: Krüppel
cripple in Luxembourgish: Krëppel

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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