cres·​cent | \ ˈkre-sᵊnt How to pronounce crescent (audio) \

Definition of crescent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the moon at any stage between new moon and first quarter and between last quarter and the succeeding new moon when less than half of the illuminated hemisphere is visible
b : the figure of the moon at such a stage defined by a convex (see convex sense 1a) and a concave (see concave entry 1 sense 2) edge
2 : something shaped like a crescent The crescent is used as the symbol of Islam.



Definition of crescent (Entry 2 of 3)

: marked by an increase : increasing "My powers are crescent … "— William Shakespeare


Cres·​cent | \ ˈkre-sᵊnt How to pronounce Crescent (audio) \

Definition of Crescent (Entry 3 of 3)

used for an adjustable open-end wrench

Other Words from crescent


crescentic \ kre-​ˈsen-​tik How to pronounce crescent (audio) , krə-​ \ adjective

Examples of crescent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those in northeast Asia can today see a waning crescent Moon, 42%-lit, occult Mars. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 17 July 2022 When our satellite does emerge from its New Moon conjunction with the Sun expect lush views of a slender crescent Moon. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 26 June 2022 Starting from the eastern horizon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will appear across the east-southeast sky in order of their distance from the sun each morning, and a crescent moon joined the lineup on Friday morning, astronomers said. Nick Stoico,, 20 June 2022 Chair pose really hits your glutes and quads, while the crescent lunge targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. SELF, 22 June 2022 There are few more beautiful sights than a super-slim crescent Moon framing the planet Venus—the brightest of all the planets as seen from Earth. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 31 May 2021 The crescent moon will be looked for on June 29, 2022 after sunset. Manal Aman, Woman's Day, 9 June 2022 That morning, the lineup will be even more compelling thanks to a waning crescent Moon positioned between Mars and Venus. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 6 June 2022 There will also be a waning 19%-lit crescent Moon between Venus and Mars. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Over Islam’s holy month of Ramadan this April, the municipality hung signs wishing Muslim residents a Ramadan Kareem, a common greeting similar to Merry Christmas, and projected a crescent moon over the Jerusalem skyline. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 29 July 2022 Crescent Corn Moon: Cut out a crescent moon shape from a piece of cardboard. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 15 July 2022 But Kraje even charms while observing from afar, delighting in the lunacy of others while perched on the crescent moon in the glowing woodland set of scenic designer Anastasia Rurikov Simes. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 4 July 2022 Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and curl in the ends slightly to make a crescent shape. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 24 May 2022 During a partial eclipse, the moon and sun are not perfectly aligned, so the moon does not completely cover the sun as seen from Earth, so the sun appears as takes a crescent shape in the sky. Maria Jimenez Moya, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 Do flatten the curve: Brats typically come in a crescent moon-style shape, with a serious curve to them. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Feb. 2022 However, on Friday morning, an extra special treat will be visible in the dawn sky because a waning crescent moon will be positioned between Venus and Mars. Maria Pasquini,, 23 June 2022 What stands out the most is likely the crescent-style infinity pool in a central courtyard. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crescent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of crescent


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1574, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crescent


Latinization of Middle English cressant, cressaunt, borrowed from Anglo-French, noun derivative from present participle of creistre "to increase, grow," going back to Latin crēscere "to come into existence, increase in size or numbers," perhaps going back to Indo-European *kreh1- "become stronger, increase," whence also Slavic *krějǫ, *krějati (whence Old Czech křáti, kříti "to recover, regain strength," Russian dialect krejátʼ "to convalesce, get well," Ukrainian krijáty "to regain strength," Bulgarian kréja "weaken, wither"—sense perhaps by loss of an earlier privative prefix)

Note: Latin crēscere and creāre (see create entry 1) have traditionally been linked to Indo-European *ḱerh3- "feed, satisfy" (see ceres), but this has recently been questioned on both morphological and semantic grounds. Cf. Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, Leiden, 2008; Oleg Trubačev, Ètimologičeskij slovarʼ slavjanskix jazykov: praslavjanskij leksičeskij fond, Vypusk 12 (Moscow, 1985), pp. 130-31; and in particular Eugen Hill, "Lateinisch crēscō 'wachsen' etymologisch: urslavisch *krějǫ 'genesen', litauisch šeriù 'füttern' oder armenisch serem 'erzeugen'?", International Journal of Diachronic Linguistics and Linguistic Reconstruction, vol. 3 (2006), pp. 187-209, where the issues are thoroughly discussed.


borrowed from Latin crēscent-, crescēns, present participle of crēscere "to come into existence, increase in size or numbers" — more at crescent entry 1

Buying Guide

A love for education starts at an early age. The Reviews team researched the best science toys for kids to jumpstart their learning.

Learn More About crescent

Time Traveler for crescent

Time Traveler

The first known use of crescent was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About crescent

Dictionary Entries Near crescent

crescendo pedal



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for crescent

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crescent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for crescent


cres·​cent | \ ˈkre-sᵊnt How to pronounce crescent (audio) \

Kids Definition of crescent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the shape of the visible part of the moon when it is less than half full
2 : something shaped like a crescent moon



Kids Definition of crescent (Entry 2 of 2)

: shaped like the crescent moon crescent rolls


cres·​cent | \ ˈkres-ᵊnt How to pronounce crescent (audio) \

Medical Definition of crescent

1 : a crescent-shaped anatomical structure or section
2 : the gametocyte of the falciparum malaria parasite that is shaped like a crescent and constitutes a distinguishing character of malignant tertian malaria

More from Merriam-Webster on crescent

Nglish: Translation of crescent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crescent for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crescent


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!