crescent

noun
cres·cent | \ ˈkre-sᵊnt \

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 \

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, 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

Jadhran eventually lost control of the oil crescent to Hifter’s forces in 2016. Rami Moussa, The Seattle Times, "Libya’s government urges UN to block ‘illegal’ oil sales," 26 June 2018 After Hurricane Irma stirred up pollution and killed off vegetation in the sunny fertile crescent, the stage was likely set. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "What’s an algae bloom and how did it wind up sliming Florida’s biggest lake?," 10 July 2018 Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing crescent dough. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Healthy Table: Daily cup or two of coffee may have health benefits," 13 May 2018 Unroll the crescent dough sheets out on a flat surface. Robin Miller, azcentral, "Have a date with Netflix? Easy, healthy finger food recipes to get you through binge-worthy shows," 11 Apr. 2018 Soak in the view or meander down to the crescent-moon shaped beach and chill. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "One Day, One Place: Half Moon Bay harbor," 11 July 2018 In 2016, 41 percent of the city's accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles occurred in the crescent neighborhoods. Steve Harrison And Gavin Off, charlotteobserver, "Residents say a death 'has to happen for the city to make changes.' They may be right.," 19 June 2018 Juicy roast beef and sharp provolone cheese are stuffed into crescent roll dough and baked into golden-brown bombs. Robin Miller, azcentral, "Have a date with Netflix? Easy, healthy finger food recipes to get you through binge-worthy shows," 11 Apr. 2018 When throwing a family-friendly Halloween party, cook up some witchy foods: Bake halfway rolled-out crescent rolls to resemble witches’ hats. Mali Anderson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ideas for celebrating Halloween with kids: From the not-so-scary to the downright spooky," 16 Oct. 2017

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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Phrases Related to crescent

the Red Crescent

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for crescent

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

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More Definitions for crescent

crescent

noun

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 \

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 \

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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