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[limp] /lɪmp/
verb (used without object)
to walk with a labored, jerky movement, as when lame.
to proceed in a lame, faltering, or labored manner:
His writing limps from one cliché to another. The old car limped along.
to progress slowly and with great difficulty; make little or no advance:
an economy that limps along at a level just above total bankruptcy.
a lame movement or gait:
The accident left him with a slight limp.
1560-70; back formation from obsolete limphault lame; Old English lemphealt limping (see halt2); akin to Middle High German limpfen to limp
Related forms
limper, noun
limpingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for limping
  • Our current camera is limping along, but we're waiting the few extra weeks to avoid buyer's remorse.
  • Behind us, the dazed dog struggles to its feet, limping badly.
  • She came from among the new-arrived ghosts, limping with her wounded foot.
  • That's probably why a traveling wolf pack stopped and waited to let its limping leader catch up.
  • Another had pretended to be lame since early childhood, limping around on two brooms instead of crutches.
  • Soon she was limping, and then she couldn't walk at all.
  • The economy is still limping, job losses are still rising, and consumers are still reluctant to open their wallets.
  • The seconds went limping and dragging by on absolutely leaden feet.
  • Along the way, towns and villages are limping back to life.
  • The client with a plantar ulcer typically will not walk into the clinic limping or complaining of pain.
British Dictionary definitions for limping


verb (intransitive)
to walk with an uneven step, esp with a weak or injured leg
to advance in a labouring or faltering manner
an uneven walk or progress
Derived Forms
limper, noun
limping, adjective, noun
limpingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: probably a back formation from obsolete limphalt lame, from Old English lemphealt; related to Middle High German limpfen to limp


not firm or stiff
not energetic or vital
(of the binding of a book) not stiffened with boards
Derived Forms
limply, adverb
limpness, noun
Word Origin
C18: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Icelandic limpa looseness
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 limping



1560s, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English lympen "to fall short" (c.1400), which is probably from Old English lemphealt "halting, lame, limping," which has a lone cognate in the rare Middle High German limphin, and perhaps is from a PIE root meaning "slack, loose, to hang down" (cf. Sanskrit lambate "hangs down," Middle High German lampen "to hang down"). Related: Limped; limping. As a noun, 1818, from the verb.


1706, "flaccid, drooping," of obscure origin, perhaps related to limp (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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limping in Medicine

limp (lĭmp)
An irregular, jerky, or awkward gait; a claudication. v. limped, limp·ing, limps
To walk lamely, especially with irregularity, as if favoring one leg.

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