criss·​cross | \ ˈkris-ˌkrȯs How to pronounce crisscross (audio) \
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 French executive continued crisscrossing the world to run the company after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Pierre Nanterme Pushed Accenture to Rethink Its Mission in Consulting," 6 Feb. 2019 The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems. Richard Aster, CBS News, "California overdue for a major earthquake, expert warns," 30 Jan. 2018 MORE The Martian surface is crisscrossed with what looks like the scars of running water cut into its dusty dry surface. Nola Taylor Redd,, "Geometry Helps Solve the Mystery of Mars' Water," 13 July 2018 So, Lenhardt has been crisscrossing the U.S. this year, spending weeks at a time in San Diego getting the business started, then returning home to her veterinary practice and three children. Doug Williams,, "Fitness is serious business to bicoastal entrepreneur," 2 July 2018 Qatari police officers in national dress, wearing crisscrossing bandoliers, patrol some areas of Doha on horseback, a nod to a time before Qatar’s vast natural gas wealth when rifle-carrying cavalry defended the emirate. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: A year into boycott, few signs of crisis in Qatar," 5 June 2018 The vote follows a lackluster campaign in which Mr. Putin ignored his opponents, instead crisscrossing Russia to make visits to factories, concerts and forums aimed at showcasing his achievements and broad support. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Russians Vote for President, With Putin a Heavy Favorite," 18 Mar. 2018 Over the past few weeks, Ford's campaign has crisscrossed Ontario, hitting on several hot-button issues. Alan Freeman,, "The brother of Toronto mayor Rob Ford is running for office — and he sounds a lot like Trump," 29 Apr. 2018 In the meantime, both continue crisscrossing the state, trying to win over voters. Casey Stegall, Fox News, "Cruz-O'Rourke Senate race may hold insight on future politics of Texas," 15 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Circular patterns of bolts, typically the lug nuts on wheels, should be tightened not in a circle, but in a crisscross or starfish pattern. 2. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 Instead of having a bar across the top like most classic aviator styles, these Jessica Simpson frames feature a crisscross detail between the lenses. Amanda Greene, Woman's Day, "Sunglasses for Every Face Shape," 9 July 2010 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

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

11 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce crisscross (audio) \
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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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