Cramp (kramp), n. [OE. crampe, craumpe; akin to D. & Sw. kramp, Dan. krampe, G. krampf (whence F. crampe), Icel. krappr strait, narrow, and to E. crimp, crumple; cf. cram. See Grape.]


That which confines or contracts; a restraint; a shackle; a hindrance.

A narrow fortune is a cramp to a great mind.

Crippling his pleasures with the cramp of fear.

2. (Masonry)

A device, usually of iron bent at the ends, used to hold together blocks of stone, timbers, etc.; a cramp iron.

3. (Carp.)

A rectangular frame, with a tightening screw, used for compressing the joints of framework, etc.


A piece of wood having a curve corresponding to that of the upper part of the instep, on which the upper leather of a boot is stretched to give it the requisite shape.

5. (Med.)

A spasmodic and painful involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, as of the leg.

The cramp, divers nights, gripeth him in his legs.
Sir T. More.

Cramp bone, the patella of a sheep; -- formerly used as a charm for the cramp. Halliwell. "He could turn cramp bones into chess men." Dickens. --
Cramp ring, a ring formerly supposed to have virtue in averting or curing cramp, as having been consecrated by one of the kings of England on Good Friday.


© Webster 1913

Cramp, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cramped (kr&?;mt; 215); p. pr. & vb. n. Cramping.]


To compress; to restrain from free action; to confine and contract; to hinder.

The mind my be as much cramped by too much knowledge as by ignorance.


To fasten or hold with, or as with, a cramp.

3. Hence,

to bind together; to unite.

The . . . fabric of universal justic is well cramped and bolted together in all its parts.


To form on a cramp; as, to cramp boot legs.


To afflict with cramp.

When the gout cramps my joints.

To cramp the wheels of wagon, to turn the front wheels out of line with the hind wheels, so that one of them shall be against the body of the wagon.


© Webster 1913

Cramp, a. [See Cramp, n.]

Knotty; difficult. [R.]

Care being taken not to add any of the cramp reasons for this opinion.


© Webster 1913

Cramp, n. (Med.)

A paralysis of certain muscles due to excessive use; as, writer's cramp; milker's cramp, etc.


© Webster 1913