late 14c., cressaunt, "crescent-shaped ornament," from Anglo-French cressaunt, from Old French creissant, croisant "crescent of the moon" (12c., Modern French croissant), from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength," from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow."
Applied in Latin to the waxing moon, luna crescens, but subsequently in Latin mistaken to refer to the shape, not the stage. The original Latin sense is preserved in crescendo.
Meaning "moon's shape in its first or last quarter" is from mid-15c. in English. Meaning "small roll of bread made in the form of a crescent" is from 1886. Adjectival sense of "shaped like the crescent moon" is from c. 1600 (earlier it meant "increasing, growing," 1570s).
A badge or emblem of the Turkish sultans (probably chosen for its suggestion of "increase"); figurative sense of "Muslim political power" is from 1580s, but modern writers often falsely associate it with the Saracens of the Crusades or the Moors of Spain. Horns of the waxing moon are on the viewer's left side; those of the waning moon are on his right.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grow."
It forms all or part of: accretion; accrue; cereal; Ceres; concrete; create; creation; creature; Creole; crescendo; crescent; crew (n.) "group of soldiers;" croissant; cru; decrease; Dioscuri; excrescence; excrescent; griot; increase; Kore; procerity; procreate; procreation; recreate; recreation; recruit; sincere.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kouros "boy," korē "girl;" Latin crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell," Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born."
"a crescent or crescent-shaped body," 1690s in reference to lenses convex on one side, concave on the other, and thicker in the middle; c. 1812 in reference to liquid surfaces, Modern Latin meniscus, from Greek meniskos "lunar crescent," diminutive of mene "moon" (see moon (n.)). Related: Meniscoid; mensicoidal; mensical; mensicate.
1570s, "semi-circular partial horseshoe," from French lunette (13c.), literally "little moon," diminutive of lune "moon," from Latin luna (see luna). Later applied to a wide range of objects and ornamentations resembling more or less a crescent moon.
1580s, in astrology, "first entrance of a house in the calculation of a nativity," from Latin cuspis "point, spear, pointed end, head," which is of unknown origin. Astronomical sense is from 1670s, "point or horn of a crescent." Anatomical sense of "a prominence on the crown of a tooth" is from 1839.
mid-15c., fertil, "bearing or producing abundantly," from Old French fertil (15c.) and directly from Latin fertilis "bearing in abundance, fruitful, productive," from ferre "to bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children"). Fertile Crescent (1914) was coined by U.S. archaeologist James H. Breasted (1865-1935) of University of Chicago in "Outlines of European History," Part I.