crescent

noun
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.

crescent

adjective

Definition of crescent (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Crescent

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

Definition of Crescent (Entry 3 of 3)

used for an adjustable open-end wrench

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Other Words from crescent

Noun

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

Did You Know?

Adjective

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.

Examples of crescent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Coyotes kept just one logo from Fisher’s package, the crescent moon, although the purple was replaced by red. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Birth of the Kachina: The colorful story behind the Phoenix Coyotes' unique, Southwest branding," 25 May 2020 The timing of Eid al-Fitr is based on sighting of the crescent moon as per the Islamic lunar calendar. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "When is Eid al-Fitr? Muslims to celebrate one of the biggest holy festivals amid coronavirus," 22 May 2020 Transfer to a baking sheet, making sure the tip of each crescent is under the cookie. Olga Massov, Washington Post, "Our Platonic ideal of a rugelach is this cherry-and-pecan number," 2 Dec. 2019 On Tuesday, a mosque was vandalized, with a video showing men attempting to rip the crescent from its minaret. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "More than a dozen killed in Delhi clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups during Trump visit to India," 25 Feb. 2020 For a delicious, easy and savory appetizer, roll up the crescent rolls with jarred pesto and grated Parmesan cheese. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News, "10 life-changing holiday kitchen hacks that will help you stress less, save time," 6 Dec. 2019 Enthusiasts have designed websites and apps that show when and where the crescent will be visible. The Economist, "When is Eid al-Fitr?," 6 June 2019 In the meantime, skywatchers see Venus, the Pleiads star cluster, and a waxing crescent moon this weekend. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About April's Super Pink Moon," 27 Mar. 2020 On Friday and Saturday nights, look for the waxing crescent moon to pose with Venus, creating a great photo opportunity. National Geographic, "Picnic with a View," 25 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of crescent

Noun

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

Adjective

1574, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crescent

Noun

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.

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for crescent

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crescent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crescent. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for crescent

crescent

noun
How to pronounce Crescent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crescent

: 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

noun
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

crescent

adjective

Kids Definition of crescent (Entry 2 of 2)

: shaped like the crescent moon crescent rolls

crescent

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on crescent

Spanish Central: Translation of crescent

Nglish: Translation of crescent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crescent for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about crescent

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