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From Middle English crucche, from Old English cryċċ ‎(crutch, staff), from Proto-Germanic *krukjō ‎(crutch, staff), from Proto-Indo-European *grewg- ‎(wrinkle, bend), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- ‎(to turn, bend). Cognate with Scots curche, crutch ‎(crutch, stilts), Dutch kruk ‎(crutch), Low German krukke, Krück ‎(crutch), German Krücke ‎(crutch), Swedish krycka ‎(crutch). Latin crucia, crucca, croccia, crocia ‎(crutch), and its descendants are ultimately from the Germanic.


crutch ‎(plural crutches)

  1. A device to assist in motion as a cane, especially one that provides support under the arm to reduce weight on a leg.
    He walked on crutches for a month until the cast was removed from his leg.
    • Shakespeare
      I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other.
  2. Something that supports, often used negatively to indicate that it is not needed and causes an unhealthful dependency; a prop
    Alcohol became a crutch to help him through the long nights; eventually it killed him.
    • H. Smith
      Rhyme is a crutch that lifts the weak alone.
  3. A crotch; the area of body where the legs fork from the trunk.
  4. A form of pommel for a woman's saddle, consisting of a forked rest to hold the leg of the rider.
  5. (nautical) A knee, or piece of knee timber.
  6. (nautical) A forked stanchion or post; a crotch.



crutch ‎(third-person singular simple present crutches, present participle crutching, simple past and past participle crutched)

  1. (transitive) To support on crutches; to prop up.
    • Two fools that crutch their feeble sense on verse. — Dryden.
  2. (transitive) To shear the hindquarters of a sheep; to dag.
    • After learning how to crutch at 13, he could dag 400 sheep in a day by the spring of 1965 and earned himself more than just a bit of pocket money. — 2010 January 29, Emma Partridge, Stock Journal, Richie Foster a cut above the rest,