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.
any of various devices resembling this in shape or use.
anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop: He uses liquor as a psychological crutch.
a forked support or part.
the crotch of the human body.
Also, crotch. Nautical.
a forked support for a boom or spar when not in use.
a forked support for an oar on the sides or stern of a rowboat.
a horizontal knee reinforcing the stern frames of a wooden vessel.
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)
to support on crutches; prop; sustain.

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

crutchlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
crutch (krʌtʃ)
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
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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Word Origin & History

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)
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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Example sentences
To use that mystical, totally unsupported belief as a means of dealing with
  life's problems is a crutch.
But hold that racism card close at hand because you'll flash it as your usual
  crutch and dodge from accountability.
They are not a permanent crutch that perpetuates an inherently uneconomic
  activity, but a temporary measure.
All it says to them is that you and the likes of you believe that they need a
  crutch to compete.
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Images for crutch
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