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cramp1

[kramp] /kræmp/
noun
1.
Often, cramps.
  1. a sudden, involuntary, spasmodic contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, especially of the extremities, sometimes with severe pain.
  2. a piercing pain in the abdomen.
  3. an intermittent, painful contraction of structures of a wall containing involuntary muscle, as in biliary colic or in the uterine contractions of menstruation or of labor.
verb (used with object)
3.
to affect with or as if with a cramp.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English crampe < Old French < Germanic; cognate with Middle Dutch crampe, Old Saxon krampo, Old High German krampfo; derivative of adj. meaning narrow, constrained, bent; compare Old High German krampf, Old Norse krappr; akin to crimp

cramp2

[kramp] /kræmp/
noun
2.
a portable frame or tool with a movable part that can be screwed up to hold things together; clamp.
3.
anything that confines or restrains.
4.
a cramped state or part.
verb (used with object)
5.
to fasten or hold with a cramp.
6.
to confine narrowly; restrict; restrain; hamper.
7.
to turn (the front wheels of a motor vehicle) by means of the steering gear; steer.
adjective
8.
cramped2 .
Idioms
9.
cramp one's style, Informal. to prevent one from showing one's best abilities.
Origin
1375-1425; late Middle English crampe < Middle Dutch: hook. See cramp1
Related forms
crampingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cramp
  • Muscle cramp is defined as a paroxysmal, involuntary, and painful contraction of skeletal muscle.
  • Your fingers cramp from repeatedly pushing the buttons, and your eyes get rheumy from staring at the tiny screen.
  • The injuries were nothing serious, merely a strain, a cramp and some tendon wear-and-tear.
  • New parenthood may crimp your sleep schedule, but don't let it cramp your style.
  • Les was so jealous that he nearly bent over as if with a stomach cramp.
  • The thing is inevitable, for the stiff cramp often comes on after wounds.
  • But it is arithmetic that threatens to cramp his ambitions.
  • Fragile banking systems and inadequate corporate restructuring continue to cramp domestic expansion.
  • They lobby vigorously against anything that might cramp their freedom.
  • On flights lasting more than six hours, your legs can start to cramp and your body reacts poorly to sitting in the same position.
British Dictionary definitions for cramp

cramp1

/kræmp/
noun
1.
a painful involuntary contraction of a muscle, typically caused by overexertion, heat, or chill
2.
temporary partial paralysis of a muscle group writer's cramp
3.
(usually pl in the US and Canada) severe abdominal pain
verb
4.
(transitive) to affect with or as if with a cramp
Word Origin
C14: from Old French crampe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German krampho

cramp2

/kræmp/
noun
1.
Also called cramp iron. a strip of metal with its ends bent at right angles, used to bind masonry
2.
a device for holding pieces of wood while they are glued; clamp
3.
something that confines or restricts
4.
a confined state or position
verb (transitive)
5.
to secure or hold with a cramp
6.
to confine, hamper, or restrict
7.
(informal) cramp someone's style, to prevent a person from using his abilities or acting freely and confidently
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch crampe cramp, hook, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German khramph bent; see cramp1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cramp
cramp
"muscle contraction," late 14c., from O.Fr. crampe, from a Frankish word (cf. O.H.G. krapmhe "cramp, spasm," related to kramph "bent, crooked"). The same P.Gmc. root yielded M.Du. crampe, M.L.G. krampe, one of which gave Eng. cramp "a metal bar bent at both ends" (c.1500), which yielded a metaphoric sense (first recorded 1719) of "something that confines or hinders." Writer's cramp is first attested 1853.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cramp in Medicine

cramp (krāmp)
n.

  1. A sudden, involuntary, spasmodic muscular contraction causing severe pain, often occurring in the leg or shoulder as the result of strain or chill.

  2. A temporary partial paralysis of habitually or excessively used muscles.

  3. cramps Spasmodic contractions of the uterus, such as those occurring during menstruation or labor, usually causing pain in the abdomen that may radiate to the lower back and thighs.

v. cramped, cramp·ing, cramps
To affect with or experience a cramp or cramps.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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