crutch word

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crutch word (plural crutch words)

  1. A word that becomes a filler in conversation, or is used for verbal emphasis, without adding any meaning to an utterance.
    • 2012 Jen Doll, ""A Literal Epidemic of Crutch Words," The Atlantic, 13 September 2012.
      Of course, we didn't list all the crutch words, because it appears we're living in a crutch word epidemic.
    • 2016 O'Brian Gunn, ""Crutch Words that Hobble Your Writing," BKA Content, 29 December 2016.
      A crutch word is essentially a placeholder, something we say or sometimes even write when we can’t think of the right word to accurately describe what we want to convey.
    • n.d. ""Words That Can Ruin Your Sentence: Actually," Everything After Z, 13 September 2012.
      Actually is the perfect example of a crutch word. It is meant to signify something that exists in reality, but it is more often used as a way to add punch to a statement (as in, "I actually have no idea").