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a. Often Offensive A person who is partially disabled or unable to use one or more limbs:
b. An animal that is partially disabled or unable to use one or more limbs: cannot race a horse that is a cripple.
2. A damaged or defective object or device: "He ... would let that cripple of a steamboat get the upper hand of him in a minute" (Joseph Conrad).
tr.v. crip·pled, crip·pling, crip·ples
1. To cause to lose the use of a limb or limbs.
2. To disable, damage, or impair the functioning of: a strike that crippled the factory.
[Middle English crepel, from Old English crypel.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.