1

crescent

play
noun cres·cent \ ˈkre-sᵊnt \

Definition of crescent

1 a :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 1a) and a concave (see 1concave 2) edge
2 :something shaped like a crescent
  • The crescent is used as the symbol of Islam.

crescentic

play \kre-ˈsen-tik, krə-\ adjective

crescent was our Word of the Day on 06/26/2009. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of crescent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of crescent

Middle English cressant, from Anglo-French, from present participle of crestre to grow, increase, from Latin crescere; akin to Old High German hirsi millet, Lithuanian šerti to feed, Greek koros boy


2

crescent

adjective

Definition of crescent

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

Did You Know?

You probably know "crescent" as the shape of a moon that is less than half-illuminated. These days, "crescent" is generally used of either a waxing or waning moon, but that wasn't always the case. Originally, it referred only to the increasing illumination phase that immediately follows the new moon. That original meaning nicely reflects the meaning of the word's Latin ancestor crescere, which means "to grow." The meaning of "crescere" also shines through when we use "crescent" as an adjective meaning "increasing" or "growing." English speakers have been using "crescent" in this way since the 16th century.

Origin and Etymology of crescent

Latin crescent-, crescens, present participle of crescere — see 1crescent


Crescent

play
trademark Cres·cent \ ˈkre-sᵊnt \

Definition of Crescent

used for an adjustable open-end wrench


CRESCENT Defined for English Language Learners

crescent

play
noun

Definition of crescent for English Language Learners

  • : the shape of the visible part of the moon when it is less than half full

  • : a shape that is curved, wide at its center, and pointed at its two ends like a crescent moon


CRESCENT Defined for Kids

1

crescent

play
noun cres·cent \ ˈkre-sᵊnt \

Definition of crescent for Students

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

2

crescent

adjective

Definition of crescent for Students

:shaped like the crescent moon
  • crescent rolls

Medical Dictionary

crescent

play
noun cres·cent \ ˈkres-ᵊnt \

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


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