Pronunciation: (kruch), [key]
1. a staff or support to assist a lame or infirm person in walking, now usually with a crosspiece at one end to fit under the armpit.
2. any of various devices resembling this in shape or use.
3. anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop: He uses liquor as a psychological crutch.
4. a forked support or part.
5. the crotch of the human body.
6. Also,crotch. Naut.
a. a forked support for a boom or spar when not in use.
b. a forked support for an oar on the sides or stern of a rowboat.
c. a horizontal knee reinforcing the stern frames of a wooden vessel.
7. a forked device on the left side of a sidesaddle, consisting of two hooks, one of which is open at the bottom and serves to clamp the left knee and the other of which is open at the top and serves to support the right knee.

to support on crutches; prop; sustain.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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