General English


  • noun a holder for fodder, with sides made of wooden bars


  • A boxed-in area, the sides of which may be an open lattice, often filled with stone, and used as a retaining wall or support for construction above.
  • A retaining framework lining in a shaft or tunnel.

Origin & History of “crib”

Crib is a Germanic word, with relatives today in German (krippe) and Dutch (kribbe). In Old English it meant ‘manger’, and not until the 17th century did it develop its familiar present-day sense ‘child’s bed’. An intermediate stage, now lost, was ‘basket’, which appears to have given rise to its 18th-century use as a thieves’ slang term for ‘pilfer’; this in turn is probably the source of the modern colloquial sense ‘plagiarize’. vulgar Latin borrowed Old high German kripja as *creppia, from which modern French gets crèche (acquired by English in the 19th century).