crutch

[kruhch]
noun
1.
a staff or support to assist a lame or infirm person in walking, now usually with a crosspiece at one end to fit under the armpit.
2.
any of various devices resembling this in shape or use.
3.
anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop: He uses liquor as a psychological crutch.
4.
a forked support or part.
5.
the crotch of the human body.
6.
Also, crotch. Nautical.
a.
a forked support for a boom or spar when not in use.
b.
a forked support for an oar on the sides or stern of a rowboat.
c.
a horizontal knee reinforcing the stern frames of a wooden vessel.
7.
a forked device on the left side of a sidesaddle, consisting of two hooks, one of which is open at the bottom and serves to clamp the left knee and the other of which is open at the top and serves to support the right knee.
verb (used with object)
8.
to support on crutches; prop; sustain.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English crucche, Old English cryce (oblique crycce); cognate with Norwegian krykkja, Danish krykke, German Krücke, Dutch kruk. See crook1

crutchlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
crutch (krʌtʃ)
 
n
1.  a long staff of wood or metal having a rest for the armpit, for supporting the weight of the body
2.  something that supports or sustains: a crutch to the economy
3.  (Brit) another word for crotch
4.  nautical
 a.  a forked support for a boom or oar, etc
 b.  a brace for reinforcing the frames at the stern of a wooden vessel
 
vb
5.  (tr) to support or sustain (a person or thing) as with a crutch
6.  slang (Austral), (NZ) to clip (wool) from the hindquarters of a sheep
 
[Old English crycc; related to Old High German krucka, Old Norse krykkja; see crosier, crook]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

crutch
O.E. crycce "staff," from P.Gmc. *krukjo. Figurative sense is first recorded c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

crutch (krŭch)
n.
A staff or support used by a physically injured or disabled individual as an aid in walking, usually designed to fit under the armpit and often used in pairs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang Dictionary

crutch definition


  1. n.
    a car. (Streets.) : That's one fine crutch you got here, Bud.
  2. n.
    a device to hold a marijuana cigarette butt. : Here's a crutch so you can finish your smoke.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
These addictions alter mental state and are crutches for getting through
  day-to-day life.
Presently the muscle gives her problems during day and night and she can not
  walk with out crutches or uses a wheel chair.
As the machine-gun barrels were chair legs and the handlebars were crutches,
  the effect was more theatrical than threatening.
It's a five-minute outpatient procedure that requires the individual to be on
  crutches or use a cane for about two weeks.
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