Definitions

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

  • n. A staff or support used by the physically injured or disabled as an aid in walking, usually designed to fit under the armpit and often used in pairs.
  • n. A forked leg rest on a sidesaddle.
  • n. A device used for assistance or support; a prop: a mnemonic crutch.
  • n. The crotch of a person or an animal.
  • n. A forked device or part.
  • transitive v. To support on or as if on crutches; prop up.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device to assist in motion as a cane, especially one that provides support under the arm to reduce weight on a leg.
  • n. Something that supports, often used negatively to indicate that it is not needed and causes an unhealthful dependency; a prop
  • n. A crotch; the area of body where the legs fork from the trunk.
  • v. To support on crutches; to prop up.
  • v. To shear the hindquarters of a sheep; to dag.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A staff with a crosspiece at the head, to be placed under the arm or shoulder, to support the lame or infirm in walking.
  • n. A form of pommel for a woman's saddle, consisting of a forked rest to hold the leg of the rider.
  • n.
  • n. A knee, or piece of knee timber.
  • n. A forked stanchion or post; a crotch. See Crotch.
  • transitive v. To support on crutches; to prop up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A support for the lame in walking, consisting of a staff of the proper length, with a crosspiece at one end so shaped as to fit easily under the armpit. The upper part of the staff is now commonly divided lengthwise into two parts, separated by an inserted piece used as a handle.
  • n. Hence Figuratively, old age.
  • n. Any fixture or mechanical device resembling a crutch or the head of a crutch.
  • n. A rack: as, a bacon-crutch.
  • To support on crutches; prop or sustain.
  • In soap-making, to stir forcibly with a crutch. See crutch, n., 3 .
  • n. A cross. See cross.
  • n.
  • In leather manufacturing, to work with a crutch.

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

  • n. a wooden or metal staff that fits under the armpit and reaches to the ground; used by disabled person while walking
  • n. anything that serves as an expedient

Etymologies

Middle English crucche, from Old English crycc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Gutter crutch (‘arthritis crutch’) For children who, due to elbow pain or stiffness, cannot use straight-arm crutches.

    Chapter 7

  • The roughly $4.6 billion, three-year tax hike was then billed as a necessary but short-term crutch as the state hobbled through a recession.

    Tax Changes Pose Problem For the GOP

  • The answer is not sleep medication, or psychotropic medication, as the medications themselves are toxic to the organs, have side-effects, are often addictive and may be a short-term crutch that masks or worsens a long-term health problem.

    Anne Dunev: What Is Stopping You From Getting A Good Night's Sleep?

  • Writing that suggests that the Bush crutch is about to dissolve?

    McCain 'pleasantly surprised' by Iraqi leader

  • Such orders harm the morale of our fighting men and women and are nothing more than a short-term crutch for maintaining force levels.

    Bobby Muller: Support the Stop-loss Compensation Act

  • One of the funniest segments for me was when Mark Andrada (pictured in the first photo) interpreted the word crutch from the audience.

    blogTO

  • The trope (or maybe it's better defined as a crutch) is that people can spend all day with the alter ego of the superhero, talking to him/her, and somehow not recognize their mannerisms and/or voice behind the mask ten minutes later when the hero comes to their rescue.

    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • The crutch is a method of wrapping the meat with aluminum foil and adding a splash of liquid like apple juice or beer.

    Physicist Cracks BBQ Mystery

  • My crutch has been my 2yr old running me to exhaustion and then if I'm still up but can't do anything useful I make a super super hot bath get a fiction usually a historical romance and read until I start skipping chapters or pages and then go crawl in bed.

    A Society of Chronic Insomniacs - SpouseBUZZ

  • Could this create some sort of a crutch, which is very necessary, with the socialist world?

    CASTRO 15 SEP COMMENTS ON LATIN AMERICAN DEBT

Comments

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  • Got married in a rush to save a kid from being deported
    Now she's in love
    I was so touched, I was moved to kick the crutches
    From my crippled friend
    She was not impressed cause I cured her on the Sabbath
    So I went to confess
    When she saw the funny side, we introduced my child bride
    To whisky and gin.


    (The state I am in, by Belle and Sebastian)

    December 26, 2008