\ˈkrȯs \

Definition of cross 

(Entry 1 of 7)

1a : a structure consisting of an upright with a transverse beam used especially by the ancient Romans for execution

b often capitalized : the cross on which Jesus was crucified

2a : crucifixion

b : an affliction that tries one's virtue, steadfastness, or patience We all have our crosses to bear.

3 : a cruciform sign made to invoke the blessing of Christ especially by touching the forehead, breast, and shoulders

4a : a device composed of an upright bar traversed (see traverse entry 1 sense transitive 3) by a horizontal one specifically : one used as a Christian symbol

b capitalized : the Christian religion

5 : a structure (such as a monument) shaped like or surmounted by a cross a cross over a grave

6 : a figure or mark formed by two intersecting lines crossing at their midpoints The crosses at the end of the letter indicate kisses. specifically : such a mark used as a signature

7 : a cruciform badge, emblem, or decoration

8 : the intersection of two ways or lines : crossing

9 : annoyance, thwarting a cross in love

10a : an act of crossing (see cross entry 2 sense 8) dissimilar individuals

b : a crossbred individual or kind The dog is a cross of a hunting dog and a sheepdog.

c : one that combines characteristics of two different types or individuals A zedonk is a cross between a zebra and a donkey.

11a : a fraudulent or dishonest contest "I never fought a cross or struck a foul blow in my life … "— George Bernard Shaw

b : dishonest or illegal practices used especially in the phrase on the cross

12 : a movement from one part of a theater stage to another

13a : a punch thrown over the opponent's lead in boxing hit him with a right cross

b : an attacking pass in soccer played across the field from one side to the other or to the middle

14 : a security transaction in which a broker acts for both buyer and seller (as in the placing of a large lot of common stock)

called also cross-trade


crossed; crossing; crosses

Definition of cross (Entry 2 of 7)

transitive verb

1a : to lie or be situated across

b : intersect

2 : to make the sign of the cross upon or over

3 : to cancel by marking a cross on or drawing a line through : strike out cross names off a list

4 : to place or fold crosswise one over the other cross the arms

5a(1) : to run counter to : oppose

(2) : to deny the validity of : contradict

b : to confront in a troublesome manner : obstruct

c(1) : to spoil completely : disrupt used with up His failure to appear crossed up the whole program.

(2) : to turn against : betray crossed me up on the deal

6a : to extend across or over : traverse a highway crossing the entire state

b : reach, attain Only two crossed the finish line.

c : to go from one side of to the other cross a street crosses racial barriers

7a : to draw a line across

b : to mark or figure with lines : streak

8 : to cause (an animal or plant) to interbreed with one of a different kind : hybridize

9 : to meet and pass on the way Our letters must have crossed each other.

10 : to occur to It never crossed my mind.

11 : to carry or take across something crossed the children at the intersection

12 : to turn (the eyes) inward toward the nose The boy made a funny face and crossed his eyes.

intransitive verb

1a : to move, pass, or extend across something crossed through France crossed over to the other side of the river

b : to move or pass from one character, condition, or allegiance to another used with over crossing over to vote for another party's candidate

2 : to lie or be athwart each other

3 : to meet in passing especially from opposite directions

cross one's fingers or keep one's fingers crossed

: to hope for a particular or stated outcome Owners are crossing their fingers that relief might be on the way.— Mike Freeman Keep your fingers crossed that something will be worked out.— Marge Crumbaker

cross paths

: to meet especially by chance crossed paths with an old friend on a business trip

cross swords

: to engage in a dispute



Definition of cross (Entry 3 of 7)

1a : lying across or athwart

b : moving across cross traffic

2a : running counter : opposite

b : mutually opposed cross purposes

3 : involving mutual interchange : reciprocal

4 : marked by typically transitory bad temper

5 : extending over or treating several groups, conditions, or classes a cross sample from 25 colleges



Definition of cross (Entry 4 of 7)

: across



Definition of cross (Entry 5 of 7)

: not parallel : crisscross, crosswise


biographical name
\ˈkrȯs \

Definition of Cross (Entry 6 of 7)

Wilbur Lucius 1862–1948 American educator and politician


geographical name
\ˈkrȯs \

Definition of Cross (Entry 7 of 7)

river 300 miles (483 kilometers) long in western Cameroon and southeastern Nigeria flowing west and south into the Gulf of Guinea

Illustration of cross

Illustration of cross


cross 4a: 1 Latin, 2 Calvary, 3 patriarchal or cross of Lorraine, 4 papal, 5 cross of Lorraine, 6 Greek, 7 Celtic, 8 Maltese, 9 Saint Andrew's, 10 tau, 11 pommée, 12 botonée, 13 fleury, 14 avellan, 15 moline, 16 formée, 17 fourchée, 18 crosslet, 19 quadrate, 20 potent

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from cross


crosser noun


crossly adverb
crossness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cross

Synonyms: Noun

crucible, fire, gauntlet (also gantlet), ordeal, trial

Synonyms: Verb

backstab, betray, double-cross, sell (out), two-time

Synonyms: Adjective

cold-blooded (or coldblood), crossbred, hybrid, mixed, mongrel

Antonyms: Verb

stand by

Antonyms: Adjective

blooded, full-blood, full-blooded, purebred, thoroughbred

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Examples of cross in a Sentence


a necklace with a gold cross The teacher marked the absent students on her list with crosses. Those who could not write signed their names with a cross.


We crossed the state border hours ago. The dog crossed the street. The highway crosses the entire state. He was the first runner to cross the finish line. The train crosses through France. Put a nail where the boards cross. One line crossed the other.


I didn't mean to make you cross. I was cross with her for being so careless.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Normally, the Soyuz has four boosters surrounding its main core that separate in a cross-like configuration during the flight. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Three astronauts will launch to space on Monday — two months after botched flight," 2 Dec. 2018 Sitting Bull’s conversations with Catherine are a mix of cross-cultural banter and gradual understanding. Justin Chang, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ paints a timid picture," 4 July 2018 The 16 teachers at the academy are referred to as mediators — most are certified in special education and most are cross-certified in specific courses. Mikaela Porter, Courant Community, "West Hartford Ben Bronz Academy Moves Into New Space Next To Northwest Catholic," 29 June 2018 Sitting Bull’s conversations with Catherine are a mix of cross-cultural banter and gradual, mutual understanding. Justin Chang,, "Jessica Chastain plays the artist who painted Sitting Bull in the inert history lesson 'Woman Walks Ahead'," 28 June 2018 Unlike Meghan’s rumored recent cross-country travels back home to Toronto, which somehow went completely unseen by the press, Doria’s time at L.A. airport was captured in footage obtained by Inside Edition and published on Monday. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Mother Doria Ragland is Reportedly on Her Way to London After Being Spotted at the Airport," 18 Sep. 2018 The Rhône Valley, in southern Switzerland, is known for its vineyards and famous Matterhorn peak, while the Jura region in northwestern part of the country borders France and draws visitors for its cross-country skiing, hiking, and medieval towns. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Switzerland Is Quickly Losing Its Snow," 13 Sep. 2018 Susan Schmierer, 65, and William Schmierer, 64, tourists from Virginia on a cross-country road trip to Palm Springs, were last seen June 2 near the 250-foot-high volcanic cinder cone surrounded by a field of black lava rocks off Interstate 40. Javier Panzar,, "Extreme heat hampers search for tourist missing in Mojave Desert after companion is found dead," 10 July 2018 Jonathan Rhys Meyers‘ wife Mara Lane is clearing the air after the actor was detained by police following a cross-country flight on Sunday. Ale Russian,, "Jonathan Rhys Meyers Was Working Through 'Anger Issues' Before He Was Detained by Cops," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The possibility it could be used for something as vain as making your skin look dewier honestly never even crossed my mind. Jillian Ruffo, Glamour, "I Tried a Glow-Boosting IV Treatment to See If It'd Give Me Better Skin," 30 Nov. 2018 By the estimates of the Department of Homeland Security, around 70,000 people a year claim asylum after crossing illegally. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "US to appeal judge’s order barring asylum restrictions," 28 Nov. 2018 Photo: Nadège Mazars for The Wall Street Journal Most families surrender to border patrol agents after crossing the border illegally. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "A Way for Migrants to Ease U.S. Entry: Come as a Family," 16 Nov. 2018 Not to mention, there's really nothing as satisfying as physically crossing things off a physical to-do list, especially on a day like Thanksgiving. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "I've Been Hosting Thanksgiving for 5 Years and Here Are My Tips," 16 Nov. 2018 We’re crossing our fingers that this dreamy, cranberry-colored couch will be on sale! Jolie Peters, House Beautiful, "The Best Places To Score A Sofa On Black Friday," 14 Oct. 2018 After crossing the Louisiana-Texas state line (about 1 hour and 40 minutes), stop at the Texas Travel Information Center in Orange. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Road Trip: 5 Days from New Orleans to Houston," 19 July 2018 Wesly Ramos-Vasquez, an immigrant father from Guatemala, was released nine days after crossing the border illegally with his 14-year-old daughter on June 28. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Trump administration issues new asylum rules aimed at families arriving at border," 13 July 2018 Forecasters said Beryl would likely weaken further after crossing the Lesser Antilles. Danica Coto, Houston Chronicle, "Weakened Beryl moving to Caribbean; Chris forms in Atlantic," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Already by 8 pm Eastern, polls in a fairly broad cross-section of regions and swing districts will have closed. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "It could take days — or weeks — to find out which party won Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 The victim was on the school robotics team, student council, ran cross country and played in the marching band, Dwyer said. Fox News, "Police: Teen fatally stabs love rival at Detroit-area school," 12 Sep. 2018 Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert is also standard. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Toyota’s all-new 2019 Avalon hits dealerships in May," 28 Apr. 2018 That’s mainly because Germans have learned from history that government shutdowns tend to be one of the least successful measures to force cross-party cooperation. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns," 9 Feb. 2018 The other two pieces from last year’s state meet team are Revord’s younger sister, McKenna, a sophomore, who was 24th at last fall’s state cross country meet, and junior Bella Pisani. Steve Reaven,, "Hinsdale Central seniors hope to 'go out on top' in 4x800," 7 May 2018 The other 4 to 9 spots are open to involved citizens, business owners, committee or board members, and builders or developers to provide a broad cross-section of the community. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Norcross seeking volunteers for committee openings," 5 June 2018 The criss-cross rattan takes the starch out of a formal bed frame shape without sacrificing any drama. Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "10 Stunning Rattan Pieces for Your Home," 22 Jan. 2018 Ruth Borst, Julian’s mother, ran cross country at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and running has always been part of her life. Stefanie Loh, The Seattle Times, "As a new Special Olympics USA Games men’s 5,000m champ is crowned, a rivalry blooms," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

At the pageant, children sat cross-legged in the dirt, crowded close to the spindly stage where the contestants spun and danced in red feather headdresses, gold brocade and clouds of tulle. Aurora Almendral, New York Times, "A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines," 29 Apr. 2018 In a corner of their studio, a small white robot sits cross-legged, surrounded by coils of sweet-smelling incense. The Economist, "Prophets and profitsIn South Korea fortune-telling will soon be a $3.7bn business," 24 Feb. 2018 The company projects that the merger will result in more than $1 billion in cost savings and eventually generate additional revenue from cross-selling products and services to its customers. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Molinaroli left his mark on Johnson Controls in his brief, tumultuous tenure as CEO," 2 Sep. 2017 Both assertions were rejected in January by a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., which found that the jury instructions were valid and that the witness already had been cross-examined once, and a second cross would yield nothing materially new. Michael Hiltzik,, "A convicted coal executive is still trying to dodge blame for the deaths of 29 miners," 24 May 2017

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1551, in the meaning defined above


1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cross


Middle English, from Old English, from Old Norse or Old Irish; Old Norse kross, from Old Irish cros, from Latin cruc-, crux


see cross entry 1


see cross entry 1


see cross entry 1


see cross entry 1

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Statistics for cross

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cross

The first known use of cross was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cross



English Language Learners Definition of cross

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a long piece of wood with a shorter piece across it near the top that people were once fastened to and left to die on as a form of punishment

the Cross : the cross on which Jesus Christ died

: an object or image in the shape of a cross that is used as a symbol of Christianity



English Language Learners Definition of cross (Entry 2 of 3)

: to go from one side of (something) to the other : to go across (something)

: to go or pass across each other

: to place one arm, leg, etc., over the other



English Language Learners Definition of cross (Entry 3 of 3)

: annoyed or angry


\ˈkrȯs \

Kids Definition of cross

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a structure, object, or mark formed by two lines that cross each other

2 often capitalized : the structure on which Jesus Christ was crucified used as a symbol of Christianity

3 : a mixture of two different things, types, or qualities The game is a cross of luck and skill.

cross to bear

: a hardship that someone endures for a long time We all have our crosses to bear.


crossed; crossing

Kids Definition of cross (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to move, pass, or extend across or past Look both ways before you cross the street.

2 : to place one over the other Cross your fingers!

3 : to lie or be situated across A path crosses the front yard.

4 : to go across : intersect

5 : to turn (the eyes) toward the nose

6 : to draw a line across Remember to cross your t's.

7 : to act against : oppose She's tough, and I wouldn't dare to cross her.

8 : to cause (an animal or plant) to breed with one of another kind : produce hybrids

9 : to pass going in opposite directions Their letters crossed in the mail.

cross off

: to draw a line through (something) You can cross my name off the list.

cross out

: to draw a line through (something) to show that it is wrong I crossed out the misspelled word.

cross someone's mind

: to be thought of by someone Losing never crossed her mind.

cross yourself

: to touch the forehead, chest, and shoulders as an expression of Christian faith (as in prayer)


crosser; crossest

Kids Definition of cross (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : hard to get along with : irritable

2 : lying, falling, or passing across a cross street

Other Words from cross

crossly adverb


\ˈkrȯs \

Medical Definition of cross 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a device composed of an upright bar traversed by a horizontal one

2a : an act of crossing dissimilar individuals

b : a crossbred individual or kind

Medical Definition of cross (Entry 2 of 3)

: to cause (an animal or plant) to interbreed with one of a different kind : hybridize the crossing of two cattle breeds



Medical Definition of cross (Entry 3 of 3)

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More from Merriam-Webster on cross

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cross

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cross

Spanish Central: Translation of cross

Nglish: Translation of cross for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cross for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cross

Comments on cross

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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