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From Middle English crib, cribbe, from Old English crib, cryb, cribb, crybb (couch, bed; manger, stall), from Proto-Germanic *kribjǭ (crib, wickerwork), from Proto-Indo-European *grebʰ-, *gerbʰ- (bunch, bundle, tuft, clump), from *ger- (to turn, twist). Cognate with Saterland Frisian creb (crib), West Frisian krêbe (crib), Dutch krib (crib, manger), German Krippe (rack, crib), Danish krybbe (crib), Icelandic krubba (crib). Doublet of crèche. The sense of ‘stealing, taking notes, plagiarize’ seems to have developed out of the verb.