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By analogy with putting a crimp in a pipe or hose, thereby slowing or stopping the flow of liquid through it.


put a crimp in (third-person singular simple present puts a crimp in, present participle putting a crimp in, simple past and past participle put a crimp in)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see put,‎ crimp,‎ in.
  2. To spoil; to affect badly, preventing the usual or desired effect.
    • 2010, Gay Fifer, The River in Egypt, →ISBN:
      This put a crimp in my style, so I was determined we were going to find our own place faster than the timetable we'd set ourselves.
    • 2012, Bill Finch, ‎Beth Maynor Young, ‎& Rhett Johnson, Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See, →ISBN:
      Everyone had expected the economic recession to put a crimp in Davis's ambitions.
    • 2013, Devon Vaughn Archer, Love Is In The Air, →ISBN:
      Would marriage somehow put a crimp in your image as a beautiful, successful and single newscaster?
    • 2014, Gail Loreth, Sarah’s Revenge, →ISBN, page 57:
      It sure would put a crimp in things to have any vandalism happen here.