Definition of cramp in US English:

cramp

noun

  • 1Painful involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, typically caused by fatigue or strain.

    ‘he suffered severe cramps in his foot’
    • ‘Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside.’
    • ‘Symptoms of infection can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.’
    • ‘She opened and closed her hands to relieve the cramp that was building in them.’
    • ‘While some pain or achiness is normal, severe abdominal pain or cramps could be a sign of a serious problem.’
    • ‘In one scene, for example, Paul gets painful stomach cramps.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the problem only proved to be cramp in both calves.’
    • ‘Heat exhaustion may have been complicated in Radcliffe's case by heat cramp.’
    • ‘For a number of years, quinine sulfate has been widely used for the treatment of nocturnal leg muscle cramps.’
    • ‘I rub her back, rock back and forth, murmur soothing nothings against her hair until the cramp subsides.’
    • ‘Abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting are the common symptoms of gastrointestinal infections.’
    • ‘The runner suffers severe muscle pain and cramp as well as crippling abdominal discomfort.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rena walked towards it, fumbling on the way due to cramps in her thigh muscles.’
    • ‘The etiology of nocturnal leg muscle cramps is not clear.’
    • ‘In most cases, the cramp occurs as a result of repetitive exercise.’
    • ‘Pantothenic acid lack causes fatigue, headaches, nausea, abdominal pain tingling, cramps and susceptibility to lung infections.’
    • ‘Cramps often occur when an athlete is dehydrated.’
    • ‘Last season she complained that she was getting stomach cramps on game days due to her fears.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1crampsNorth American Abdominal pain caused by menstruation.
      • ‘My last appointment of the week was a new patient presenting with menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Be it menstrual cramps or back pain, arthritis or migraine, acupuncturists claim to fix it all.’
      • ‘Naprelan is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve mild to moderate pain and menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘This essential oil is often used for female complaints, such as PMS, menstrual cramps and menopause.’
      • ‘Doctors prescribe birth control pills for contraception and to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome.’
      • ‘Take 1 teaspoon of the liquid extract every hour until your cramps subside.’
      • ‘Conditions that benefit from acupuncture include neck pain, menstrual cramps, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and kidney stones.’
      • ‘For some, contractions may seem like strong menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘‘There were many times when I felt faint at matches because of menstrual cramps,’ Susan says.’
      • ‘Orgasms help alleviate menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Perhaps someone was using them to relieve arthritis pain, a headache or painful menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Often caused by a hormonal imbalance, menstrual cramps are common in teenagers and young women.’
      • ‘The last normal menstrual period, 7 years earlier, had lasted 6 days and was associated with abdominal cramps and pain.’
      • ‘Then of course there are full-on menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘Such hormones are often prescribed for painful menstrual cramps and ovarian cysts, among other problems.’
      • ‘Several studies show that kava kava may help reduce anxiety and induce sleep, as well as reduce menstrual cramps.’
      • ‘During your period, you may have cramps or pain in your stomach or back.’
      • ‘Ibuprofen is helpful for menstrual cramps and pain from inflammation (such as muscle sprains).’
      • ‘The same remedies that work for menstrual cramps also lessen the pain of endometriosis.’
      • ‘Many girls also experience abdominal cramps during the first few days of their periods.’
  • 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.

verb

  • 1with object Restrict or inhibit the development of.

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

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

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

Phrases

  • cramp someone's style

    • informal Prevent a person from acting freely or naturally.

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