Definitions

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

  • n. A word game in which a player or team must find and express a rhyme for a word or line presented by the opposing player or team.
  • n. Doggerel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A guessing game in which players guess words that rhyme with a clue word, seeking a word that is kept secret or concealed.
  • n. A word rhyming with another word.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A game in which one person gives a word, to which another finds a rhyme.
  • n. A word rhyming with another word.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A game in which one person or side has to find a rime to a word which is given by another, or to form a couplet by matching with a line another line already given, the new line being composed of words not used in the other.
  • n. A word which rimes with another.
  • To rime as in the game of crambo.

Etymologies

Obsolete crambe, cabbage, from Latin crambē (repetīta), (warmed-over) cabbage, said of pedestrian writing, from Greek krambē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Compare cramp ("difficult") (adjective). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • From the day when Dorris Kincaid had come over with the gray glass vase and her repeated thanks, when the flowers had done their ministry and faded, there had been little simple courtesies, each way, between the opposite houses; and once Kenneth and his sister had taken tea with the Ripwinkleys, and they had played "crambo" and "consequences" in the evening.

    Real Folks

  • She thought of her work, the skewed meter of putty and junk, the crambo clink, she thought of rust rot and wadded cotton batting.

    Underworld

  • What will I not give to have Gargantua see us while we are in this maggotty crambo-vein!

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • The few works which treat on the subject have all become as obselete as "hot cockles" and "crambo."

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 21, 1841

  • We finished the evening with music and dumb crambo -- that particularly

    Chateau and Country Life in France

  • "Formal drinking" is usually played after dinner and is more and more coming to take the place of charades, sleight-of-hand performances, magic lantern shows, "dumb crambo," et cetera, as the parlor amusement par excellence.

    Perfect Behavior

  • Counsellor Pleydell, such as we have described him, was enthroned, as a monarch, in an elbow-chair placed on the dining-table, his scratch wig on one side, his head crowned with a bottle-slider, his eye leering with an expression betwixt fun and the effects of wine, while his court around him resounded with such crambo scraps of verse as these: Where is Gerunto now? and what’s become of him?

    Chapter XXXVI

  • "Why aren't you in number eight sap, instead of doing a dumb-crambo show?"

    No Man's Land

  • We had tea-parties followed by games of twenty questions, by charades, and dumb crambo, where fun and wit were the order of the hour.

    Harrison, Mrs. Burton, 1843-1920. Recollections Grave and Gay

  • It is not of dumb-crambo, however, nor of hunt-the-slipper (a dreadful game), nor of "bump" (a worse game) that I wish to speak, but of that which befell after.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-12

Comments

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  • A word game that wasn't listed! (Well, sionnach has dumb crambo). Has anyone played it?

    January 29, 2010