criss·​cross | \ˈkris-ˌkrȯs \
crisscrossed; crisscrossing; crisscrosses

Definition of crisscross 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to mark with intersecting lines

2 : to pass back and forth through or over

intransitive verb

1 : to go or pass back and forth



Definition of crisscross (Entry 2 of 3)

: marked or characterized by crisscrossing



Definition of crisscross (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a crisscross pattern : network

2 : the state of being at cross-purposes also : a confused state

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Other Words from crisscross


crisscross adverb

Examples of crisscross in a Sentence


Several highways crisscross the state. shoelaces that crisscross over the top of the shoe Tourists crisscrossed the lake from morning until night. Scientists have been crisscrossing the country to collect data.


She pointed toward the crisscross of trees that had fallen on the path.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The designers cast a wide net for inspiration, often crisscrossing northern India to source new fabrics, or jetting back and forth to North America for fashion pop-ups. Whitney Wei, Vogue, "Meet the Indian Design Duo Shaking Up the Look of Athleisure," 28 Nov. 2018 In this alpine setting an hour south of Geneva, the Thiou River drifts out of the glacial lake into a picturesque old town crisscrossed by bridges. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Exploring Annecy, the Venice of the French Alps," 7 Nov. 2018 In a brightly lighted warehouse about 70 miles southwest of London, a swarm of Ocado’s R2-D2-size robots scurry about on an elevated grid of squares, crisscrossing and coming close to crashing into one another without ever doing so. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "How Robots and Drones Will Change Retail Forever," 15 Oct. 2018 When the hijackers turned off the planes' transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips crisscrossing some of the country's busiest air corridors. Popular Mechanics, "Debunking 9/11 Myths: About the Airplanes," 11 Sep. 2018 When winter looms, apply a mulch of crisscrossed evergreen boughs to help plants make it through the cold weather ahead. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 President Trump’s two top Middle East advisors have quietly crisscrossed the region all week, stopping in five countries in an effort to drum up support for their still-secret proposal to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tracy Wilkinson,, "White House team visits Mideast to advance its still-secret Israeli-Palestinian peace plan," 23 June 2018 Flashing lights crisscrossed the nightclub while people filled in the three rows of chairs lined up around the ring. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "Pro wrestling gets a hold in the city, San Francisco style," 5 June 2018 But as Levine crisscrosses the state promoting his radical sea-rise agenda on Miami Beach, his signature accomplishment is springing leaks back home. David Smiley, Alex Harris And Joey Flechas, miamiherald, "Levine is campaigning on climate change. But his sea-rise legacy is complicated. | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brush over top of cake, then use a fork to score a crisscross pattern into the dough. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "This French plum tart is a bit on the shy side," 11 Sep. 2018 When stacking, use a crisscross pattern to make pillars at each end for stability. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Stack Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 One sported a crisscross over the face, and evoked Princess Amidala from Star Wars. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Starry Saint Laurent show in Paris sees models walk on water," 25 Sep. 2018 Score the fruit in a crisscross pattern through to the skin. Linda Gassenheimer, sacbee, "Making a chicken mango salad? Soon you will get the tang of it," 10 July 2018 Flatten again in opposite direction, forming crisscross marks. Cassie Armstrong,, "Peanut Butter Cookie Day: How to observe in Central Florida," 12 June 2018 The ceiling is tall enough to include a dining mezzanine on one side, and the crisscross of round filament lights above the rows of blond wood tables helps to reinforce the bright, modern effect. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wursthall in San Mateo at its best with beer & brat," 18 May 2018 The pieces have a graphic impact with crisscross weaving on the winged chair backs and a striped effect on the sloped base of the dining chair and stool/side table. Colleen Barry, Fox News, "Furniture designers explore what it is to be sustainable," 20 Apr. 2018 The pieces have a graphic impact with crisscross weaving on the winged chair backs and a striped effect on the sloped base of the dining chair and stool/side table. Washington Post, "Furniture designers explore what it is to be sustainable," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crisscross.' 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 crisscross


1818, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1840, in the meaning defined above


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crisscross


obsolete christcross, crisscross mark of a cross

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Statistics for crisscross

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crisscross

The first known use of crisscross was in 1818

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More Definitions for crisscross



English Language Learners Definition of crisscross

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to form a pattern on (something) with lines that cross each other

: to go from one side of (something) to the other side and come back again



English Language Learners Definition of crisscross (Entry 2 of 2)

: a pattern that is formed by lines crossing each other


criss·​cross | \ˈkris-ˌkrȯs \
crisscrossed; crisscrossing

Kids Definition of crisscross

1 : to go, pass, or extend back and forth or cover with something that extends back and forth On our trip we crisscrossed the state.

2 : to mark with or make lines that go across one another

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More from Merriam-Webster on crisscross

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crisscross

Spanish Central: Translation of crisscross

Nglish: Translation of crisscross for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crisscross

What made you want to look up crisscross? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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