mid-15c., "a making of the sign of a cross;" 1530s, "a marking with a cross," verbal noun from cross (v.). From early 15c. as "place or action of passing across;" 1630s as "place where (a river, a road, etc.) is crossed;" from 1690s as "intersection" (originally of streets). Meaning "action of crossing out by drawing crossed lines through" is from 1650s. Crossing-gate is from 1876.