Definition of cramp in English:

cramp

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Painful involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, typically caused by fatigue or strain:

    ‘an attack of cramp’
    [count noun] ‘he suffered severe cramps in his foot’
    • ‘I rub her back, rock back and forth, murmur soothing nothings against her hair until the cramp subsides.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the problem only proved to be cramp in both calves.’
    • ‘The runner suffers severe muscle pain and cramp as well as crippling abdominal discomfort.’
    • ‘Symptoms of infection can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.’
    • ‘Pantothenic acid lack causes fatigue, headaches, nausea, abdominal pain tingling, cramps and susceptibility to lung infections.’
    • ‘Last season she complained that she was getting stomach cramps on game days due to her fears.’
    • ‘The etiology of nocturnal leg muscle cramps is not clear.’
    • ‘Cramps often occur when an athlete is dehydrated.’
    • ‘While some pain or achiness is normal, severe abdominal pain or cramps could be a sign of a serious problem.’
    • ‘In most cases, the cramp occurs as a result of repetitive exercise.’
    • ‘She opened and closed her hands to relieve the cramp that was building in them.’
    • ‘For a number of years, quinine sulfate has been widely used for the treatment of nocturnal leg muscle cramps.’
    • ‘Abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting are the common symptoms of gastrointestinal infections.’
    • ‘Rena walked towards it, fumbling on the way due to cramps in her thigh muscles.’
    • ‘She had abdominal cramps and shooting pelvic pain.’
    • ‘However, it is symmetric, so left-handed folks will still be able to use it without getting muscle cramps.’
    • ‘Heat exhaustion may have been complicated in Radcliffe's case by heat cramp.’
    • ‘Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside.’
    • ‘In one scene, for example, Paul gets painful stomach cramps.’
    • ‘After 5 hours of cycling, Matteo had terrible hunger cramps and was forced to stop.’
    muscle spasm, muscular spasm, muscle contraction, muscular contraction, pang, twinge
    crick, kink, stitch, stiffness, pain, shooting pain, ache, convulsion, tic, twitch
    clonus, hyperkinesis
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1crampsNorth American Abdominal pain caused by menstruation.
      • ‘Orgasms help alleviate menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Often caused by a hormonal imbalance, menstrual cramps are common in teenagers and young women.’
      • ‘Then of course there are full-on menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘The same remedies that work for menstrual cramps also lessen the pain of endometriosis.’
      • ‘The last normal menstrual period, 7 years earlier, had lasted 6 days and was associated with abdominal cramps and pain.’
      • ‘Naprelan is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve mild to moderate pain and menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘My last appointment of the week was a new patient presenting with menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Ibuprofen is helpful for menstrual cramps and pain from inflammation (such as muscle sprains).’
      • ‘Take 1 teaspoon of the liquid extract every hour until your cramps subside.’
      • ‘‘There were many times when I felt faint at matches because of menstrual cramps,’ Susan says.’
      • ‘Such hormones are often prescribed for painful menstrual cramps and ovarian cysts, among other problems.’
      • ‘Many girls also experience abdominal cramps during the first few days of their periods.’
      • ‘Conditions that benefit from acupuncture include neck pain, menstrual cramps, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and kidney stones.’
      • ‘During your period, you may have cramps or pain in your stomach or back.’
      • ‘This essential oil is often used for female complaints, such as PMS, menstrual cramps and menopause.’
      • ‘For some, contractions may seem like strong menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Doctors prescribe birth control pills for contraception and to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome.’
      • ‘Several studies show that kava kava may help reduce anxiety and induce sleep, as well as reduce menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Be it menstrual cramps or back pain, arthritis or migraine, acupuncturists claim to fix it all.’
      • ‘Perhaps someone was using them to relieve arthritis pain, a headache or painful menstrual cramps.’
  • 2A tool, typically shaped like a capital G, for clamping two objects together for gluing or other work.

    • ‘Clamping dovetails is not easy but I have found that it is possible to glue them up without cramps at all.’
    1. 2.1 A metal bar with bent ends for holding masonry together:
      ‘the facade is built of travertine blocks without mortar but held by metal cramps’

verb

  • 1[with object] Inhibit the development of:

    ‘tighter rules will cramp economic growth’
    • ‘The overall effect is handsome without cramping the action.’
    • ‘But truth be told, even the guys who'd been explicitly invited were cramping the all-girl scene.’
    • ‘The ubiquitous pyramid is poorly used, cramping the main action in an unlit area upstage.’
    • ‘If you get up early enough, you can probably travel at least 300 miles per day but don't cramp yourself with time limits.’
    • ‘Tradition not only cramps the human spirit, it can be bad for the economy.’
    • ‘Namely bowling round the wicket, restricting his opportunities to drive through extra cover and generally cramping him for room.’
    • ‘War hardens hearts, eats the economy, and cramps political liberty.’
    • ‘In favouring the obdurate option, United cramped Celtic for room and impressively limited their effectiveness.’
    • ‘But too much centralisation cramps the very leadership qualities that are desperately required to modernise the NHS.’
    • ‘You guys are cramping my play so please back off.’
    • ‘He never did anything, just sitting there day after day, always waiting for me and cramping my life.’
    • ‘The problems with the current law have cramped the growth of aquaculture for many years.’
    • ‘The racial prejudice against non-Fijians inhibited and cramped the growth and practice of Sikhism.’
    • ‘Among the many legit reasons for doing so, I realized that I'd pretty much convinced myself being with him cramped my creativity.’
    hinder, impede, inhibit, hamper, constrain, hamstring, obstruct, block, thwart, slow, check, arrest, curb, bridle, shackle, encumber, retard, handicap, tie, interfere with
    restrict, limit, confine, restrain, impose limits on, set limits on, regulate, control, moderate, cut down on
    stymie
    View synonyms
  • 2[with object] Fasten with a cramp or cramps:

    ‘cramp the gates to the posts’
  • 3[no object] Suffer from sudden and painful contractions of a muscle or muscles:

    ‘in the final game, Chang cramped severely’
    • ‘Lactose intolerance can cause bloating, cramping, diarrhea and excess gas.’
    • ‘What if his muscles started to cramp due to a lack of warm-up exercise?’
    • ‘She'd been holding this thing within her for so long her muscles were cramping.’
    • ‘Our muscles cramped because we didn't move much.’
    • ‘The first day back, my quadricep muscle was cramping.’
    • ‘Why do our legs cramp up as we're waking up?’
    • ‘And muscles cramping up while flying could be deadly.’
    • ‘Heart muscle may cramp when it needs more oxygen because of exertion, emotion, or exposure to cold.’
    • ‘I groaned in pure bliss, feeling the countless muscles that cramped when I slept in the Shadow Hall start to relax.’
    • ‘"I was losing 10 seconds every mile because my stomach was cramping.’
    • ‘Her stomach was cramping but she knew it would be too early to have the baby.’
    • ‘I had had no water or food all day and my stomach was cramping almost unbearably.’
    • ‘Her moves became automatic, her muscles cramped into the same movements over and over again.’
    • ‘Several times the man collapsed, though he rose again and kept scrambling, his muscles cramping and his old joints creaking.’
    • ‘A chronic condition characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea and constipation.’
    • ‘She didn't even try to protest as all her muscles cramped up.’
    • ‘There are a number of possible reasons for muscles to cramp up.’
    • ‘Every muscle in her legs were cramping and her mind was dulled with sleep.’
    • ‘I've been sitting in this position for a good 2 1/2 hours and my muscles are starting to cramp up.’
    • ‘Her hand had such low muscle tone that it cramped painfully as she tried to control the pencil when she wrote.’

Phrases

  • cramp someone's style

    • informal Prevent a person from acting freely or naturally:

      ‘he's not putting any pressure on me that would cramp my style’
      • ‘Never, ever go clubbing with friends: they'll only cramp your style.’
      • ‘I got sick during the world champs which cramped my style, but I didn't shame myself.’
      • ‘He's also partially-sighted, but hasn't let that cramp his style.’
      • ‘A coalition government and a secular constitution have cramped their style.’
      • ‘People stand on your toes, nudge towards the front and just cramp your style underneath the arches.’
      • ‘He said it cramps his style of getting really big bucks from Fat Cats.’
      • ‘I prefer action stories; dull conferences can cramp my style.’
      • ‘The peg did not appear to have cramped his style on the dance floor, or with the ladies.’
      • ‘At least we know this parenthood gig isn't going to cramp our style.’
      • ‘The truth has not cramped their style in the past and is unlikely to do so during the current confirmation hearings.’
      restrict, restrain, limit, constrain, confine, cramp
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch krampe; sense 1 of the noun is via Old French crampe.

Pronunciation:

cramp

/kramp/