AskDefine | Define crib

Dictionary Definition



1 baby bed with high sides [syn: cot]
2 a literal translation used in studying a foreign language (often used illicitly) [syn: pony, trot]
3 a card game in which each player is dealt 6 cards and discards one or two to make up the crib [syn: cribbage]


1 use a crib, as in an exam
2 take unauthorized (intellectual material)
3 line with beams or planks; "crib a construction hole" [also: cribbing, cribbed]

User Contributed Dictionary



cribb, from West . Cognate with Dutch krib, German Krippe. The sense of ‘stealing, taking notes, plagiarize’ seems to have developed out of the verb.



  1. A baby’s bed (British and Australasian cot) with high, often slatted, often moveable sides, suitable for a child who has outgrown a cradle or bassinet.
    1889 In two minutes I was kneeling by the child’s crib, and Sandy was dispatching servants here, there, and everywhere, all over the palace. I took in the situation almost at a glance -- membranous croup! — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
  2. A bed for a child older than a baby.
    1848 a day or two afterwards I learned that Miss Temple, on returning to her own room at dawn, had found me laid in the little crib; my face against Helen Burns’s shoulder, my arms round her neck. I was asleep, and Helen was -- dead. — Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.
  3. A small sleeping berth in a packet ship or other small vessel
  4. A wicker basket; c.f. Moses basket.
  5. The baby Jesus and the manger in a creche or Nativity scene, consisting of statues of Mary, Joseph and various other characters such as the magi.
  6. A manger, a feeding trough for animals elevated off the earth or floor, especially one for fodder such as hay.
  7. A bin for drying or storing grain, as with a corn crib.
    1835 ''...I began to think of my horse. He, however, like an old campaigner, had taken good care of himself. I found him paying assiduous attention to the crib of Indian corn, and dexterously drawing forth and munching the ears that protruded between the bars. — Washington Irving, A Tour on the Prairies, Chapter 35.
  8. A small room, especially one of rough construction, used for storage or penning animals.
  9. A small, covered structure for confining animals.
    1871 A kitchen, a meat-house, a dairy, a crib with two stalls in the rear, one for the horse the other for the cow, were the out-buildings. — Richard Malcolm Johnston, Dukesborough Tales.
  10. A stall for large domestic animals.
    Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. — Proverbs 14:4 KJV
  11. A confined space, as with a cage or office-cubicle
    1846 The singers were in a crib of wirework (like a large meat- safe or bird-cage) in one corner — Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy.
  12. A job, a position; (British), an appointment.
    1904 He had seen so many lean years of faithful service when the enemy held the corner on all the official cribs that, now in the days of his party’s fatness and of his own righteous reward, the habit of good, honest hustling stuck to him, and he lined up an array of pulls and indorsements that made him swell with happiness every time he went over the list. “Some folks have to die before they can get that sort of thing,” he would say as he tapped the bundle of indorsements. Forrest Crissey, Tattlings of a Retired Politician.
    1893 ...but if I have lost my crib and get nothing in exchange I shall feel what a soft Johnny I have been.'' — Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk”.
  13. A hovel, a roughly constructed building best suited to the shelter of animals but used for human habitation.
    How many thousand of my poorest subjects
    Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
    Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
    That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
    And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
    Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
    Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
    And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
    Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
    Under the canopies of costly state,
    And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody? — Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1
  14. A hovel or additional room off a hovel, or set of such rooms, used for prostitution.
    1905 In Los Angeles I saw what was called the “Cribs”, one of the most disgraceful conditions. No one stayed there during the day; they were there just for the night only. These poor degraded girls would pay two dollars a night to the owners. — Carry Nation, The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation, Chapter 16.
  15. One’s residence, or where one normally hangs out.
  16. A boxy structure traditionally built of heavy wooden timbers, to support an existing structure from below, as with a mineshaft or a building being raised off its foundation in preparation for being moved; see cribbing.
  17. italbrac usually plural A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet.
    These cribs are taken from a Google on “foobar”.
  18. The licit or illicit use of a pony or cheat sheet when taking a test; when illicit, a form of academic dishonesty, and even plagiarism.
    1917 ''At school and at college Richard was, to say the least, an indifferent student. And what made this undeniable fact so annoying, particularly to his teachers, was that morally he stood so very high. To “crib,” to lie, or in any way to cheat or to do any unworthy act was, I believe, quite beyond his understanding. — Richard Harding Davis, Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis.
  19. A minor theft, extortion or embezzlement, with or without criminal intent.
  20. In the context of "Cribbage": : Short for the card game cribbage.
    1913 “May we play crib, Mrs. Radford?” he asked. — D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers.
  21. In the context of "Cribbage": : The cards discarded by players and used by the dealer.
    1814 “And that makes thirty-one; -- four in hand and eight in crib. -- You are to deal, ma’am; shall I deal for you?” — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park'' Chapter 2.1.
  22. italbrac cryptanalysis A known piece of information corresponding to a section of encrypted text, that is then used to work out the remaining sections.
  23. A small holiday home, often near a beach and of simple construction.



a baby’s bed with high sides
a child's bed
a feeding trough for animals
a bin or box for storing grain
nativity scene
petty theft or plagiarism
notes concealed by a student to aid him/her in test or examination
a collection of quotes or references for use in speaking


(transitive and intransitive)
  1. To place or confine in a crib.
    Zeugmatically, she cribbed the baby and then the corn.
  2. To collect one or more passages and/or references for use in a speech, written document or as an aid for some task; to create a crib sheet.
    I cribbed the recipe from the Food Network site, but made a few changes of my own.
  3. To install timber supports, as with cribbing.
  4. To cram for a particular subject from notes.
  5. To steal or embezzle, to cheat out of: petty thieving.
    ''It was very easy, Briggs said, to make a galley-slave of a boy all the half-year, and then score him up idle; and to crib two dinners a-week out of his board, and then score him up greedy; but that wasn’t going to be submitted to, he believed, was it? — Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son'', 1848, Chapter 14.
  6. To engage in academic dishonesty by the illicit use of a pony or cheat sheet; plagiarism.
  7. (intransitive) To complain [about something].
  8. (phrasal verb) To be cabined and cribbed and confined; to be caged, hemmed in, confined.
    But now I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confined, bound in
    To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo’s safe? — Shakespeare, Macbeth'', Act 3, Scene 4.


to plagiarize or steal
intransitive: to complain

Extensive Definition

A crib is an infant bed.
Crib may also refer to:
crib in German: Krippe

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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