Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To press or pinch into small regular folds or ridges: crimp a pie crust.
  • transitive v. To bend or mold (leather) into shape.
  • transitive v. To cause (hair) to form tight curls or waves.
  • transitive v. To have a hampering or obstructive effect on: Supplies of foreign oil were crimped by the embargo.
  • n. The act of crimping.
  • n. Something made by or as if by crimping, as:
  • n. Hair that has been tightly curled or waved.
  • n. A series of curls, as of wool fibers.
  • n. A crease or bend.
  • n. An obstructing or hampering agent or force: Rising interest rates put a crimp in new home construction.
  • n. A person who tricks or coerces others into service as sailors or soldiers.
  • transitive v. To procure (sailors or soldiers) by trickery or coercion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Easily crumbled; friable; brittle.
  • adj. Weak; inconsistent; contradictory.
  • n. A fastener or a fastening method that secures parts by bending metal around a joint and squeezing it together, often with a tool that adds indentations to capture the parts.
  • n. A coal broker.
  • n. One who decoys or entraps men into the military or naval service.
  • n. A keeper of a low lodging house where sailors and emigrants are entrapped and fleeced.
  • n. A hairstyle which has been crimped, or shaped so it bends back and forth in many short kinks.
  • n. A game of cards.
  • v. To fasten by bending metal so that it squeezes around the parts to be fastened.
  • v. To style hair into a crimp.
  • v. To join the edges of food products. For example: Cornish pasty, pies, jiaozi, Jamaican patty, and sealed crustless sandwich.
  • v. To impress (seamen or soldiers); to entrap, to decoy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Easily crumbled; friable; brittle.
  • adj. Weak; inconsistent; contradictory.
  • n. A coal broker.
  • n. One who decoys or entraps men into the military or naval service.
  • n. A keeper of a low lodging house where sailors and emigrants are entrapped and fleeced.
  • n. Hair which has been crimped; -- usually in pl.
  • n. A game at cards.
  • transitive v. To fold or plait in regular undulation in such a way that the material will retain the shape intended; to give a wavy appearance to. Cf. crisp.
  • transitive v. To pinch and hold; to seize.
  • transitive v. to entrap into the military or naval service.
  • transitive v. To cause to contract, or to render more crisp, as the flesh of a fish, by gashing it, when living, with a knife
  • transitive v. In cartridge making, to fold the edge of (a cartridge case) inward so as to close the mouth partly and confine the charge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bend back or inward; draw together; contract or cause to contract or shrink; corrugate. Specifically
  • To bend (the uppers of boots) into shape.
  • To indent (a cartridge-case), or turn the end inward and back upon the head, in order to confine the charge; crease.
  • To cause to contract and pucker so as to become wrinkled, wavy, or crisped, as the hair; form into short curls or ruffles; flute; ruffle.
  • In cookery, to crimple or cause to contract or wrinkle, as the flesh of a live fish or of one just killed, by gashing it with a knife, to give it greater firmness and make it more crisp when cooked.
  • To pinch and hold; seize.
  • To kidnap; decoy for the purpose of shipping or enlisting, as into the army or navy. See the extract.
  • To be very stingy.
  • Easily crumbled; friable; brittle; crisp.
  • Not consistent; contradictory.
  • n. That which has been crimped or curled; a curl or a waved lock of hair: generally used in the plural.
  • n. A crimper.
  • n. One who brings persons into a place or condition of restraint, in order to subject them to swindling, forced labor, or the like; especially, one who, for a commission, supplies recruits for the army or sailors for ships by nefarious means or false inducements; a decoy; a kidnapper. Such practices have been suppressed in the army and navy, and made highly penal in connection with merchant ships.
  • n. A certain game at cards.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make ridges into by pinching together
  • v. curl tightly
  • n. someone who tricks or coerces men into service as sailors or soldiers
  • n. a lock of hair that has been artificially waved or curled
  • n. an angular or rounded shape made by folding

Etymologies

Dutch or Low German krimpen, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German.
Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English crempen, from Proto-Germanic *krimpanan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • I didn't know the "A person who tricks or coerces others into service as sailors or soldiers" definition of this word, but that's how Philip Pullman uses it, here, though he's using it more generally as "a person who tricks or coerces others":

    ""Where are the crimps working from?" said Goldberg.
    "Off the Pier Head, sir. St. Katharine's Basin. See, there's sixty, maybe seventy people to come ashore, maybe more. They offload 'em at the Pier Head, then they can get away straight up Little Thames Street. You seen all them cabs? The cabmen got wind of this trade in the last month or so. They put a copper there regular now, to control 'em. There was nearly a hundred there last week."
    He pushed off, then slipped the oars into the oarlocks and started to pull away with short, light strokes.
    "What are crimps?" said Sally.
    "Parasites," said Goldbergs. "Swindlers. Minor criminals. Those vultures you saw back there.""
    The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman, p 237 of the Dell/Laurel-Leaf paperback

    August 12, 2011