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Old English crycce "crutch, staff," from Proto-Germanic *krukjo (cf. Old Saxon krukka, Middle Dutch crucke, Old High German krucka, German Kröcke "crutch," related to Old Norse krokr "hook;" see crook). Figurative sense is first recorded c.1600. As a verb, from 1640s. Italian gruccia "crutch," crocco "hook" are Germanic loan-words.
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.