Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to cross

across (adv./prep.)

c. 1200, o cros, "in the shape of a cross;" c. 1300, a-croiz, "in a crossed position;" early 14c., acros, "from one side to another;" a contraction of Anglo-French an cros, literally "on cross;" see a- (1) + cross (n.)).

Meaning "on the other side (as a result of crossing)" is from 1750. In crossword puzzle clues from 1924. Spelling acrost, representing a dialectal or vulgar pronunciation, is attested by 1759. Phrase across the board "embracing all categories" (1945) is said to be originally from horse-racing, in reference to a bet of the same amount of money on a horse to win, place, or show. To get (something) across "make (something) understood or appreciated" is by 1913, probably from earlier theater expression get (something) across the footlights, perform it so as to be received by the audience (1894).

Advertisement
crux (n.)

1814, "a cross," from Latin crux "cross," a word of uncertain origin. Sometimes said to be cognate with Irish cruach "heap, hill," Gaulish *krouka "summit," Old Norse hryggr "backbone," Old English hrycg "back." But de Vaan is suspicious:

The Celtic and Gm. forms are often reconstructed as *kr(e)u-k-, but we find vacillating vocalism within Gm.; also, the meanings 'backbone' and 'heap' are not necessarily connected. Even if the words in *kruk- from Latin and Italo-Celtic belong together, the root structure does not look PIE (and a root enlargement k is unknown), and might be interpreted as a non-IE substratum word borrowed into Italo-Celtic. But Latin may also just have borrowed the word from a contemporary language.

The figurative use for "a central difficulty" (1718) is older in English than the literal sense; perhaps it is from Latin crux interpretum "a point in a text that is impossible to interpret," the literal meaning of which is something like "crossroads of interpreters." But Century Dictionary ascribes it to "the cross as an instrument of torture; hence anything that puzzles or vexes in a high degree ...." Extended sense of "central point" is attested by 1888.

crusade (n.)

"military expedition under the banner of the cross," 1706, a respelling or replacement of croisade (1570s), from French croisade (16c.), Spanish cruzada, both from Medieval Latin cruciata, past participle of cruciare "to mark with a cross," from Latin crux (genitive crucis) "cross" (see crux).

The modern English form is comparatively late, and even the earlier croisade is post-Middle English (French croisade replaced earlier croisée). Middle English nouns were croiserie (c. 1300), creiserie.

Especially in reference to the medieval expeditions undertaken by European Christians for recovery of the Holy Land from Muslims. Generally they are counted as seven between 1095 and 1271, but some smaller efforts (e.g. the "Children's Crusade") are omitted and the word sometimes is extended to other religiously motivated expeditions (e.g. against the Albigenses or the Prussians). Figurative sense of "vigorous campaign for a moral cause or against a public evil" is from 1786.

rood (n.)

Middle English rode, "a cross; a crucifix," especially a large one, from Old English rod "cross," especially that upon which Christ suffered, from Proto-Germanic *rod- (source also of Old Saxon ruoda "stake, pile, cross," Old Norse roða, Old Frisian rode, Middle Dutch roede, Old High German ruota, German Rute "rod, pole"), which is of uncertain origin.  Perhaps it shares a PIE root with Latin ratis "raft," retae "trees standing on the bank of a stream;" Old Church Slavonic ratiste "spear, staff;" Lithuanian reklės "scaffolding," but de Vaan is doubtful. Probably not connected with rod.

Also in Old English "a pole;" and in Middle English also a local measure varying from 6 to 8 yards and a square measure of land.

christ-cross (n.)

"mark of the cross," cut, printed, or stamped on anything, early 15c; see Christ + cross (n.), and compare crisscross.

cross- 

word-forming element typically representing cross as a noun, adverb (cross-examine), adjective (crossbar), and in many words a confluence of them. "There is no distinct line of division between cross as an adjective and cross as a prefix. As a prefix, it often represents the adv. cross, or the prep. cross, across." [Century Dictionary]

crossbow (n.)

also cross-bow, "missile-throwing weapon consisting of a bow fixed athwart a stock," mid-15c., from cross (n.) + bow (n.1). Unknown to the ancients but common in Europe in the Middle Ages.

cross-bun (n.)

type of bun indented on top with an X, used especially on Good Friday, 1733, from cross (n.) + bun.

crozier (n.)

"long staff ending in a hook or curve, carried by or before a bishop or archbishop on solemn occasions," late 13c., croiser (mid-13c. as a surname), "one who bears a bishop's staff, prelate's crosier-bearer," from Old French crocier, from Medieval Latin crociarius "bearer of a cross," from crocia "cross;" also from Old French croisier "one who bears or has to do with a cross" (see cross (n.)). The two words merged in Middle English. Technically, "the bearer of a bishop's pastoral staff;" erroneously applied to the staff itself since 1733.

double-cross (n.)

"act of treachery," 1834, from double (adj.) + cross (n.) in the sense of "pre-arranged swindle or fix." Originally to win a race after promising to lose it (to cheat in cheating, hence the double). As a verb from 1903, "to cheat," American English. Related: Double-crossed; double-crosser; double-crossing.