Definition of cripple in English:

cripple

verb

[with object]
  • 1Cause (someone) to become unable to walk or move properly.

    ‘a young student was crippled for life’
    ‘a crippling disease’
    • ‘Her son was crippled after a road accident when he was five.’
    • ‘Myself personally I have told my husband that if anything happens he is not to let me come around if I am going to be crippled badly and brain damaged.’
    • ‘A sizeable population of the villages neighbouring the border are crippled and maimed.’
    • ‘One man set the key example by challenging death, fighting a disease that crippled him.’
    • ‘A rude person with a fate of becoming disabled will eventually be crippled, but because of his/her personality not many people will care.’
    • ‘Many survivors from the march have been crippled or maimed, but Ahir escaped with just a fracture in his right leg.’
    • ‘Rising to leave, he winced as his legs cramped, almost crippling him with their intense pain.’
    • ‘But he refuses to allow his children to be immunised against the disease that crippled him three decades ago.’
    • ‘After the accident that crippled him, Delbert could no longer play mandolin.’
    • ‘I realized that he was quite crippled from the accident.’
    • ‘And the arthritis isn't the typical osteoarthritis that strikes so many older people or the less-common rheumatoid arthritis that can cripple victims as young as six months.’
    • ‘If he lives, he'll be a burden to her forever, brain damaged and crippled.’
    • ‘The judges reportedly expressed more concern for the insurance companies who pick up the bill for damages than for those who are crippled or killed.’
    • ‘When she was too crippled to walk more than a few steps, she still spread her husband's shirts out on the kitchen table and ironed them.’
    • ‘He was crippled, impaired, and everywhere he turned he saw dead ends.’
    • ‘There are copious menu selections for those who might be crippled, incapable or weak.’
    • ‘A young man crippled by a disease of old age may not get the operation he and his family have been hoping and praying for over the last year.’
    • ‘In extreme cases, the young soldiers are crippled or even killed.’
    • ‘The young crippled men who have been admitted to the home also enjoyed the music - they clapped and cheered as the band played.’
    • ‘People are crippled and occasionally killed playing contact sports such as football and rugby, yet no one would suggest they are banned.’
    disable, paralyse, immobilize, make lame, lame, incapacitate, debilitate, handicap
    disabled, having a disability, wheelchair-using
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cause severe and disabling damage to (a machine).
      • ‘The first part of their plan was to disable all orbital satellites around the earth, to cripple the technology of advanced secular nations.’
      • ‘Qualitatively, the Iraqi military machine is crippled, with no spare parts for its ancient equipment.’
      • ‘However, it was modified to accept an electron bolt gun, giving it the ability to disable (/ cripple / damage) much larger ships.’
      • ‘The Obliterator was severely damaged in the ramming, but the alien vessel was crippled.’
      • ‘With 24 actual plies, it can withstand severe cuts that would cripple a tire with just 12 actual plies.’
      • ‘Dunkerque was only slightly damaged, but was crippled by torpedo aircraft during a second attack on 6 July.’
      • ‘The aim is to damage an adversary's capacity to attack by crippling its advancing armed forces.’
      • ‘Finally, we should spread our eggs over many baskets, so that no single breakdown cripples our electricity grid.’
      • ‘We found that almost a dozen cameras were not attached to a recording machine, six could barely see in the dark and others were crippled by mechanical faults.’
      • ‘They aimed to cripple the machinery of war, not simply broaden disdain for it.’
      • ‘In the meantime, a missile salvo from Comet struck the already damaged Claymore, crippling the ship.’
      • ‘Clearly, clamping locks on electronic equipment and intentionally crippling CDs wouldn't increase sales.’
      • ‘Only four or five compromised client machines can cripple a server; in this way it's a fiendishly economical attack.’
      • ‘The firewalls on a PC are also disabled or crippled to ensure that the virus can replicate or allow external connections to a back-door installed on the PC.’
      • ‘We must cripple the American war machine and lend all possible material support to those suffering its wrath.’
      • ‘In today's high-speed networked computing environment, both inadvertent damage and malicious attacks can cripple a system in the blink of an eye.’
      • ‘There was little actual shot damage, but there were crippling collisions.’
      • ‘Because of this bad judgment, my ship is crippled and we have no way to repair the damage with anything we have on board.’
      • ‘Did the sudden motion cripple its electrical systems?’
      • ‘The Shattering Strike took another series of hits, which crippled its engines and left it's weaponry in ruins.’
    2. 1.2 Deprive of the ability to function normally.
      ‘developing countries are crippled by their debts’
      ruin, destroy, wipe out, crush, break
      View synonyms

noun

dated, offensive
  • 1A person who is unable to walk or move properly through disability or because of injury to their back or legs.

    1. 1.1 A person with a severe limitation of a specified kind.
      ‘an emotional cripple’

Usage

The word cripple has long been in use to refer to ‘a person unable to walk through illness or disability’ and is recorded (in the Lindisfarne Gospels) as early as AD 950. In the 20th century the term acquired offensive connotations and has now been largely replaced by broader terms such as ‘disabled person’

Origin

Old English: from two words, crypel and crēopel, both of Germanic origin and related to creep.

Pronunciation

cripple

/ˈkrɪp(ə)l/