: A wooden or metal vertical prop that helps support a disabled person while he or she is walking. Crutches extend from the walking surface to either the armpit or the arm. A typical hardwood armpit crutch has a 20-inch length of 1"x1" wood at the bottom to which are attached 2 other lengths of about 4 feet or longer that taper upward and outward, like the letter "Y," to a maximum width of about 5 inches at the top. Across the top is a padded or unpadded horizontal piece 6 to 8 inches wide that fits under the armpit to support the body. In the middle of the crutch, between the tapering shafts, is a crosspiece used as a handgrip. Holes, bolts and wing nuts in the sides of the bottom shaft and the two tapering top shafts allow the user to adjust the length of the crutch and the position of the handgrip. A typical aluminum armpit crutch has a similar design and may have push buttons to allow for easy adjustment. Arm crutches typically are metal and have a single shaft with a projecting handgrip and a cuff that closes around the arm. Crutches usually have a nonskid rubber tip on the bottom. "Crutch" is often used figuratively to refer to an inadvisable measure a person uses to bear up under stress, anxiety or depression. Crutches of this kind include alcohol, drugs and tobacco. "Crutch" is derived from the Middle English words "crutche" and "crucche."
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A device used singly or in pairs to assist in walking when the act is impaired by a lower extremity (or trunk) disability; it transfers all or part of weight-bearing to the upper extremity. [A. S. cryce]

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crutch 'krəch n
1) a support typically fitting under the armpit for use as an aid in walking
2) the crotch esp. of an animal
crutch vt to support on crutches

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(kruch) 1. a device of wood or metal, ordinarily long enough to reach from the armpit to the ground, with a concave surface fitting under the arm and a cross bar for the hand, used for supporting the weight of the body. 2. the perineal region, especially of a nonhuman animal.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Crutch — (kr[u^]ch; 224), n.; pl. {Crutches} ( [e^]z). [OE. crucche, AS. crycc, cricc; akin to D. kruk, G. kr[ u]cke, Dan. krykke, Sw. krycka, and to E. crook. See {Crook}, and cf. {Cricket} a low stool.] 1. A staff with a crosspiece at the head, to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • crutch — O.E. crycce crutch, staff, from P.Gmc. *krukjo (Cf. O.S. krukka, M.Du. crucke, O.H.G. krucka, Ger. Kröcke crutch, related to O.N. krokr hook; see CROOK (Cf. crook)). Figurative sense is first recorded c.1600. As a verb, from 1640s. It. gruccia …   Etymology dictionary

  • Crutch — Crutch, v. t. To support on crutches; to prop up. [R.] [1913 Webster] Two fools that crutch their feeble sense on verse. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • crutch — [kruch] n. [ME crucche < OE crycce, staff, akin to Ger krücke < IE base * ger : see CRADLE] 1. any of various devices used, often in pairs, by lame people as an aid in walking; typically, a staff with a hand grip and a padded crosspiece on… …   English World dictionary

  • crutch — [krʌtʃ] n [: Old English; Origin: crycc] 1.) [usually plural] one of a pair of long sticks that you put under your arms to help you walk when you have hurt your leg on crutches (=use crutches) ▪ I was on crutches for three months after the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • crutch — crutch·er; crutch; …   English syllables

  • crutch — index mainstay Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • crutch — [ krʌtʃ ] noun 1. ) count a stick that fits under your arm so that you can lean on it and walk when your leg or foot is injured: a pair of crutches be on crutches: I was on crutches for six weeks. 2. ) singular someone or something that you… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • crutch — ► NOUN 1) a long stick with a crosspiece at the top, used as a support by a lame person. 2) something used for support or reassurance. 3) the crotch of the body or a garment. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • Crutch — For other uses, see Crutch (disambiguation). Using underarm crutches A typical forearm crutch Crutches are mobility aids used to counter a mobility impairment or an injury that limits wa …   Wikipedia

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