Definition of crupper in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrʌpə/


A strap buckled to the back of a saddle and looped under the horse’s tail to prevent the saddle or harness from slipping forward.
Example sentences
  • Donkeys and mules don't have the big shoulders horses have, so their saddles have a special tail piece called a crupper to prevent saddle and rider from sliding forward onto the animal's neck.
  • Attached to the back edge of the aparejo's two sacks was a crupper, a broad leather strap, that ran around the animal's hindquarters and under its tail.
  • ‘Remember not to touch the horse's crupper and stand behind them,’ the coach warned us again and again.


Middle English: from Old French cropiere, related to croupe (see croup2). Compare with croupier.

  • crop from Old English:

    From around ad 700 to the late 18th century crop, related to group (late 17th century), had a sense ‘flower head, ear of corn’, which gave rise to the main modern meaning ‘a cultivated plant grown on a large scale’ and also to senses referring to the top of something, such as the verb uses ‘to cut very short’ or ‘to bite off and eat the tops of plants’. The sense ‘a very short hairstyle’ goes back to the late 18th century but is particularly associated with the 1920s, when the Eton crop, reminiscent of the style then worn at the English public school Eton, was fashionable for young women.

    To come a cropper is to suffer a defeat or disaster. The origin of the phrase may be the 19th-century hunting slang term ‘cropper’, meaning ‘a heavy fall’. Cropper probably came from neck and crop, an expression meaning ‘completely or thoroughly’ and originally used in the context of a horse falling to the ground. Crop here referred either to the rider's whip (originally the top part of a whip) or the horse's hindquarters. This sense is found in Old French croupe ‘rump’, which appears as croup in Middle English, and is the source of the crupper (Middle English), the bit of harness that goes from the saddle under the horse's tail, and which lies behind the word croupier (early 18th century). In early use, this was a term for a person standing behind a gambler to give advice, adopted from French, cropier ‘pillion rider, rider on the croup’.

Words that rhyme with crupper

cuppa, scupper, supper, upper

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: crup|per

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