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cross

cross. Very ancient ornamental form consisting primarily of two straight or nearly straight members, set at 90° to each other, one vertical and the other horizontal, but also with many variations. Varieties of cross include: alisée patée: like a circle with four curved, spear-headed slices taken out of it;Ankh: Ancient Egyptian T-form topped by a halo-like loop, signifying Life and Resurrection, and therefore a prototype of a Crucifixion symbol. With serif-like (splayed) ends to the three arms (instead of being sans-serif), the Ankh-form becomes a crux ansata;bottonée: Greek cross with each arm terminating in a trefoil-like form resembling a clover-leaf;Calvary: large stone cross erected on three steps representing Faith, Hope, and Charity;cantonée: Greek cross with a small Greek cross in each of the areas bounded by the arms;churchyard: large stone cross standing on a stepped base in a churchyard to indicate the ground was consecrated, and from the base of which itinerant friars would preach;city: see market;clover-leaf: as bottonée above;consecration: cross painted or carved on a church wall indicating where chrism was to be applied during the consecration of the building. There were 12 in all, and many have survived as permanent interior decoration;Crusader's: potent cross with four Greek crosses added to the areas bounded by the arms;crux ansata: see Ankh;double: two Greek crosses, one set above the other, with the lower arm of one joined to the upper arm of the other;Eisenkreuz: Prussian iron cross, designed by Schinkel as a form of patée cross, but with the ends of the arms straight, so like a square from which four wide curved-sided sections like spear-heads have been taken out of the sdiagonals;Eleanor: one of the 12 tall Gothic memorial structures resembling a variety of ornate spire set over a stepped base, erected to commemorate the funeral route of Queen Eleanor (d. 1290), consort of King Edward I of England. Three survive (Geddington, Northamptonshire, Northampton, and Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire). The monument at Charing Cross, London, is a C19 revival of the type;fleury or fleurée: Greek cross with each arm terminating in three leaves resembling the fleur-de-lys. If the centre-leaf of each termination is missing, it is a moline cross;forked: Y-shaped;fylfot: Greek cross, with the arms cranked at 90°, the ends pointing anti-clockwise, an ancient symbol associated with good fortune and the sun, called swastika, related to the Greek-key, fret, or labyrinth, and to the potent cross;glory: Latin cross with radiating lines like a sunburst projecting from the centre of the cross where the two arms intersect, symbolizing glory;Greek: with arms of equal length, representing the miraculous powers of Christ, and used as the basic form of Byzantine and some Renaissance church-plans;Hakenkreuz: potent rotated cross, like the fylfot or swastika, but with the cranked arms pointing clockwise, used by the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis). Its association with misfortune is C20 propaganda;iron: see Eisenkreuz above;Jerusalem: as Crusader's cross;Latin: with three equally long topmost arms, though sometimes the vertical arm may be shorter than the two horizontals, and a much longer bottom arm. Used as the basic form for many Western cruciform church-plans from the Romanesque period;Latin cross fleurée: as Latin cross but with a three-leafed termination to each arm resembling the fleur-de-lys;Lorraine: resembles the patriarchal cross, but the lower, longer arm is set further down the vertical element;Maltese: like four identical acute-angled triangles or arrow-heads meeting at their most acute points, with V-shaped notches taken out of the ends of each equal arm;market: large structure in the principal market-place of a town, consisting of a raised platform with a high and elaborate superstructure, sometimes acting as a canopy over the platform. A good example is the Gothic city-or market-cross, Chichester, Sussex (1501);moline: see fleury;papal: like a Latin cross, but with three horizontals set across the vertical, the lowest longer than the one above, which is in turn longer than the topmost member. If the lowest arm is set diagonally, it is a Russian Orthodox cross;patée or pattée: see alisée patée;patée formée: like a square from which four sharp straight-sided triangular notches have been removed from the diagonals, so like the Eisenkreuz but with straight-sided arms;patriarchal: like a Latin cross but with two horizontals set across the vertical, the lower longer than the top and set roughly half-way up the vertical;pommée: Greek cross with each arm terminating in a circular blob;potent: Greek cross with each arm a T;potent rotated: see Hakenkreuz;Rood: cross set above the western entrance to a chancel, on a screen, on a Rood-beam, or suspended. Roods often have a representation of the Crucifixion with Sts Mary and John on either side;St Andrew: X or saltire cross;St Anthony: T or Tau cross;St James: Latin cross fleurée, with each arm terminating in three leaves, like the fleur-de-lys, although the base is usually pointed;St Julian: X or saltire cross with each arm terminating in a Latin cross;St Peter: Latin cross set upside-down;saltire: X-shaped cross, also known as St Andrew's cross. If each arm terminates in a Latin cross, it is a St Julian's cross;Tau: T-shaped cross, also known as St Anthony's cross.The Cross is the emblem of the Christian religion, and is employed architecturally, not merely in the plan of cruciform churches with transepts, but on grave-slabs and tombs and on crowning features on cupolas, gables, spires, etc. It was also placed surmounting a monument, such as a churchyard-, Eleanor-, or market-cross (see above).

Bibliography

Dirsztay (1978);
G. Ferguson (1961);
Seymour (1898)

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cross

cross / krôs/ • n. 1. a mark, object, or figure formed by two short intersecting lines or pieces (+ or ×). ∎  a mark of this type (×) made to represent a signature by a person who cannot write. ∎  a mark of this type (×) used to show that something is incorrect or unsatisfactory. 2. an upright post with a transverse bar, as used in antiquity for crucifixion. ∎  (the Cross) the cross on which Jesus was crucified. ∎  this, or a representation of it, as an emblem of Christianity. ∎ fig. a thing that is unavoidable and has to be endured: she's just a cross we have to bear. ∎ short for sign of the cross (see sign). ∎  a staff surmounted by a cross carried in religious processions. ∎  a cross-shaped decoration awarded for personal valor or indicating rank in some orders of knighthood: the Military Cross. ∎  (the Cross) the constellation Southern Cross. Also called crux. 3. an animal or plant resulting from crossbreeding; a hybrid: a Devon and Holstein cross. ∎  (a cross between) a mixture or compromise of two things: a cross between a monorail and a conventional railroad. 4. a sideways or transverse movement or pass, in particular: ∎  Soccer a pass of the ball across the field toward the center close to one's opponents' goal. ∎  Boxing a blow delivered across and over the opponent's lead. • v. [tr.] 1. go or extend across or to the other side of (a path, road, stretch of water, or area): he has crossed the Atlantic twice fig. a shadow of apprehension crossed her face | [intr.] we crossed over the bridge. ∎  go across or climb over (an obstacle or boundary): he attempted to cross the border into Jordan | [intr.] we crossed over a fence. ∎  [intr.] (cross over) (esp. of an artist or an artistic style or work) begin to appeal to a different audience, esp. a wider one. 2. [intr.] pass in an opposite or different direction; intersect: the two lines cross at 90°. ∎  [tr.] cause (two things) to intersect. ∎  [tr.] place (something) crosswise: Michele sat back and crossed her arms. ∎  (of a letter) be sent before receipt of another from the person being written to: our letters crossed. 3. draw a line or lines across; mark with a cross: cross the t's. ∎  (cross someone/something off) delete a name or item on a list as being no longer required or involved. ∎  (cross something out) delete an incorrect or inapplicable word or phrase by drawing a line through it. 4. (cross oneself) (of a person) make the sign of the cross in front of one's chest as a sign of Christian reverence or to invoke divine protection. 5. Soccer pass (the ball) across the field toward the center when attacking. 6. cause (an animal of one species, breed, or variety) to interbreed with one of another species, breed, or variety. ∎  cross-fertilize (a plant): a hybrid tea was crossed with a polyantha rose. 7. oppose or stand in the way of (someone): no one dared cross him. • adj. annoyed. PHRASES: at cross purposes misunderstanding or having different aims from one another: we had been talking at cross purposes. cross one's fingers (or keep one's fingers crossed) put one finger across another as a sign of hoping for good luck. ∎  hope that someone or something will be successful. cross one's mind (of a thought) occur to one, esp. transiently: it never crossed my mind to leave the tent and live in a house. cross someone's path meet or encounter someone. the way of the Crosssee way.DERIVATIVES: cross·er n. cross·ly adv. cross·ness n.

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cross

cross, widely used symbol. In various forms, it can be found in such diverse cultures as those of ancient India, Egypt, and pre-Columbian North America. It also is found in the megalithic monuments of Western Europe.

In Christianity

The most frequent use of a cross is among Christians, to whom it recalls the crucifixion of Jesus and humanity's redemption thereby. The Christian form of blessing by tracing a cross over oneself or another person or thing originated before AD 200. The oldest Christian remains contain drawings of crosses and cruciform artifacts, and the fact that the cross was the Christian emblem before the toleration of Christianity is shown by the vision of Constantine I. His mother, St. Helena, is supposed to have found the True Cross at Calvary in 327, and the event is commemorated on May 3 as the Finding of the Cross. Splinters of the relic are widely distributed and honored by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. In 614, to the scandal of Christendom, Khosru II of Persia took the largest piece of the relic from Jerusalem. It was restored by Heraclius in 627; the anniversary of this event is Sept. 14, the Exaltation of the Cross. The relic was lost in the Muslim occupation of Jerusalem. Use of the cross was one of the popular practices attacked by Byzantine iconoclasm and vindicated (787) by the Second Council of Nicaea.

The crucifix—the cross with the figure of Jesus upon it—had already been established in use; at first, the figure was painted or in bas-relief, a style surviving in the Christian East. Older Western crucifixes often presented the Savior reigning, in robe and crown. The realistic dying figure, dating from the Renaissance, is now universal in Roman Catholicism.

Devotion to the cross as a symbol of the Passion is an outstanding development (from the 11th cent.) in the history of Christian piety; it has ever since been an essential part of the public and private religious life of Roman Catholics. Protestants have been generally sparing in using the cross and do not use the crucifix, but the symbolism has been retained in their literature (e.g., in the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross). The cross was the badge of the Crusades and was adopted as the emblem of the Templars, of the Knights Hospitalers (Knights of Malta), and of the Teutonic Knights. It became important in heraldry, flag designs, and decorations.

Examples of artistic effort spent on crosses are seen in the monumental crosses of market, town, and wayside in Europe (e.g., at Cheddar, Malmesbury, and Winchester, England) and in the wayside calvaries of Austria and Brittany. Some of the finest art products of the Celts were stone crosses. (For the later Eleanor Crosses, see Eleanor of Castile.) Processional crosses (on poles) lend themselves to elaboration. Crosses are also worn for personal adornment. Pectoral crosses and necklace crosses have given scope for fine enameling.

Cross Shapes

There are many shapes of crosses. The Latin cross, the commonest, has an upright longer than its transom. With two transoms it is called an archiepiscopal or patriarchal cross; with three it is a papal cross. A cross widely used by Slavs and by others of Eastern rites has two transoms and a slanting crosspiece below. The Greek cross has equal arms. St. Andrew's cross is like an X, and the tau cross is like a T. The Celtic, or Iona, cross bears a circle, the center of which is the crossing. The Maltese cross and the swastika (an ancient and widely diffused symbol) are still more elaborate.

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cross

cross3 cross my heart used to emphasize the truthfulness and sincerity of what one is saying.
cross one's fingers put one finger across another as a sign of hoping for good luck.
cross someone's palm with silver pay someone before having one's fortune told, originally by describing a cross on the fortune-teller's hand with a silver coin.
cross swords have an argument or dispute.
cross the floor in the British House of Commons, to change one's party allegiance, literally by moving across the floor or open space which divides the Government and the Opposition benches.
don't cross the bridge till you come to it do not concern yourself with difficulties until they arise. The saying is recorded from the mid 19th century, but is now also common as the metaphorical phrase to cross one's bridges when one comes to them.

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Cross

Cross

One of the oldest and most widespread symbols in history, the cross is best known as a sign of the Christian faith. However, the cross has played a significant role in many other cultures as well. Peoples as different as the ancient Egyptians and modern peace marchers have adopted it to represent an idea they considered important.


Shapes and Uses of the Cross

Throughout the world and through the ages, people have used the shape of the cross to decorate religious articles, to protect against illness, to bring good luck, and for countless other purposes. Many different versions of the cross exist, including the Xshaped St. Andrews cross and the T-shaped tau cross (named after the Greek letter). In addition, a wide variety of items have been made in the shape of the cross, including small amulets and jewelry, church altars and gravestones, and decorations on flags and shields.

Among the ancient civilizations who used the cross as a religious symbol were the Egyptians. The ankh, or Egyptian cross, was a tau cross with a circle or oval on top. The T part of the cross represented life or wisdom, and the circle or oval stood for eternity. Under the pharaoh Akhenaten, the ankh became the symbol of the Egyptian sun god, and gods and pharaohs were often shown holding the cross. Early Egyptian Christians adopted it as a symbol of eternal life through Christ's sacrifice.

Other ancient peoples, such as the Phoenicians* of the eastern Mediterranean and the Aztecs of central Mexico, also used the ankh. For the Aztecs, it was a symbol of secret knowledge available to only a few.

A Fearsome Symbol

The swastika has come to be feared and despised because of its association with the Nazis in World War II. Yet historically, the swastika was widely used as a religious symbol. To some ancient peoples, it was a pictograph of the sun revolving in the universe. American Indians used it to symbolize the workings of the winds and the waters. To the Norse, the swastika represented Thor's hammer. Early Christians used it as a disguised cross on tombs during the time when it was dangerous to display a Christian cross. Hindus use the swastika, considered a symbol of good fortune, to decorate doorways and books.

amulet small object thought to have supernatural or magical powers

The Greek cross, with two equal bars that intersect in the middle, was adopted by many peoples. The ancient Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians all used it to represent the basic elementsearth, water, wind, and firefrom which they believed all living things were created. They also marked religious articles with the sign of the cross. Ancient Buddhists and Hindus followed a similar practice. In addition, the Greek cross has been found on items used by the Druids of Celtic* Britain and by the Aztecs. But its meaning for these peoples has not been established.


In other cultures, the Greek cross represented the four principal directions (north, south, east, and west). The Plains Indians place the cross within a circle to signify the four main directions of the heavens. In the Bible, paradise is said to be divided by four rivers that form a cross. In parts of Africa, people believe that crossroads are places where the worlds of the living and the dead meet.


The Christian Cross

The cross is the most important symbol of Christianity. It stands for the cross on which Jesus was crucified and represents the greatness of God's sacrifice and the spiritual salvation that humans gained as a result.


A Changing Symbol. In the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, crucifixion was used mainly as a method of execution for political and religious opponents, pirates, and slaves. The condemned were tied or nailed to a cross and died of exhaustion or heart failure.

Early Christians were hesitant to adopt the cross as their symbol. Many could not accept an instrument of death as the symbol of their devotion. Moreover, until the a.d. 300S, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire and crucifixion was banned, open use of the cross could lead to persecution.

The earliest crosses were empty, emphasizing Christ's triumph over death and the eternal life available to humankind. By the 300s, the figure of a lamb was added over it, symbolizing Christ. Later the human figure of Christ was portrayed on the cross, emphasizing at first his divine nature but later his human suffering.



relics pieces of bone, possessions, or other items belonging to a saint or sacred person

The True Cross. According to legend, the cross on which Jesus had been crucified was found by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The story relates that she found three crosses (Jesus had been crucified along with two thieves). To determine which of them belonged to Christ, Helena ordered that a corpse be brought and placed on each cross in turn. When the corpse was laid on one of the crosses, it came to life, thus showing that that was the cross of Christ. Fragments of the cross were later sold as relics and honored in churches throughout Europe.

* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.

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cross

cross1 a mark, object, or figure formed by two short intersecting lines or pieces; especially (with capital initial), the Cross on which Christ was crucified, or a representation of this.

A cross is the emblem of St Helena and St Philip.
cross of Lorraine another term for the Lorraine cross.
cross saltire a cross shaped like the letter X; this is the emblem of St Andrew.
cross upside down the emblem of St Peter (see Peter1), who was crucified head downwards.
have one's cross to bear suffer the troubles that life brings. The allusion is to Jesus (or Simon of Cyrene) carrying the Cross to Calvary for the Crucifixion. The expression is also used metaphorically in Matthew 10:38.

See also crosses are ladders that lead to Heaven, no cross, no crown.

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cross

cross 1 gibbet consisting of a vertical post with transverse bar; sign or symbol representing this, esp. in Christian use. Late OE. cros — ON. kross — OIr. cros — L. CRUX. cruc-, whence also OF. croiz (mod. croix), Sp. cruz, etc. The L. word is also repr. by OE. crūċ, ME. crouch (whence crouched adj. wearing a cross, esp. in Crouched, later Crutched, Friars, earlier †crossed freres).
Hence cross vb. †crucify; set or lie in a cross-position XIV (draw a line across XVIII); mark with a cross; put or pass across XV; thwart, oppose XVI.

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cross

cross Ancient symbol with different significance to many cultures. In Christianity, it is associated with Christ's sacrificial death by crucifixion for the redemption of mankind. An image of a cross is usually placed on, above, or near the altar in churches and is often carried in religious processions. Other crosses are used as religious or secular symbols. They include the crosses of St George, St Andrew, the Victoria Cross, the Red Cross, and the Maltese Cross. As a religious symbol, the cross existed in ancient Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria.

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cross

cross2 cross keys keys borne crosswise, as in the papal arms.
cross-legged of the effigy of a knight shown with one leg laid over the other; the popular tradition that this represents a crusader, although long-enduring, is unhistorical, since the first such effigies are not found until c.1250 (when the era of the Crusades was drawing to a close), and the style continued for another 80 or so years.

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Cross

Cross. Chief of Christian symbols, deriving from the crucifixion of Christ. It is used in various forms (plain, crucifix, icon) in the furnishing of churches and altars, and as an object of private devotion. The claimed wood of the ‘true cross’ (see INVENTION OF THE CROSS) was divided and redivided, and now most of the relics are very small.

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cross

cross
1. A mating between two selected individuals. Controlled crosses are made for many reasons, e.g. to investigate the inheritance of a particular characteristic or to improve a livestock or crop variety. See also back cross; reciprocal cross; test cross.

2. An organism resulting from such a mating.

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cross

cross 2 adj. lying or passing athwart; contrary, opposite; †contentious XVI; out of humour, peevish XVII. Partly attrib. use of CROSS 1, partly ellipt. use of CROSS 3 adv.

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cross

cross 3 † adv. crosswise, and prep. across. XVI. Aphetic of ACROSS; the prep. survives in crosscountry adj. (XVIII).

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cross

crossacross, boss, Bros, cos, cross, crosse, doss, dross, emboss, en brosse, floss, fosse, gloss, Goss, joss, Kos, lacrosse, loss, moss, MS-DOS, Ross, toss •LaosÁyios Nikólaos, chaos •Eos • Helios •Chios, Khíos •Lesbos • straw boss • Phobos • rooibos •extrados • kudos • reredos • intrados •Calvados • Argos • Lagos • logos •Marcos • telos •Delos, Melos •Byblos • candyfloss •tholos, Vólos •bugloss • omphalos • Pátmos •Amos, Deimos, Sámos •Demos • peatmoss • cosmos • Los Alamos • Lemnos • Hypnos • Minos •Mykonos • tripos • topos • Atropos •Ballesteros, pharos, Saros •Imbros • criss-cross • rallycross • Eros •albatross • monopteros • Dos Passos •Náxos • Hyksos • Knossos • Santos •benthos •bathos, pathos •ethos • Kórinthos

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"cross." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cross." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cross-2

"cross." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cross-2