crusade

1 of 2

noun

cru·​sade krü-ˈsād How to pronounce crusade (audio)
1
capitalized : any of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to win the Holy Land from the Muslims
2
: a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm
a crusade against drunk driving

crusade

2 of 2

verb

crusaded; crusading

intransitive verb

: to engage in a crusade

Did you know?

In 1095, when Palestinian lands were held by Muslims, Pope Urban II exhorted Christians to reclaim the Holy Sepulchre and other venerated sites. Those who responded wore crosses of cloth on their breasts to identify themselves as soldiers in Christ’s army. Medieval French words for such holy wars were croisement, croiserie, croisée, and croisade, all derivatives of crois, meaning “cross.” In the 18th century, long after the crusades themselves had ceased, English borrowed both French croisade and the Spanish cruzado (likewise formed from a word meaning “cross”), blending the two to produce crusade.

Examples of crusade in a Sentence

Noun a grassroots crusade for spending more money on our public schools
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Some of Ackman’s friends and former classmates have mixed feelings about his Harvard crusade. Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Only once the British government agreed to include Alderney in the memorial, and publicly stated that thousands died on the island, would James move on from his crusade. Rebecca Panovka, Harper's Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024 But that’s just the beginning of this Black man’s crusade against economic injustice. Peter Debruge, Variety, 10 Mar. 2024 The litigation is part of a national crusade by right-leaning advocacy and legal groups against diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives in healthcare. Ronnie Cohen, Los Angeles Times, 29 Feb. 2024 One is of jihad, Herbert’s term for the fervent crusade led by Paul Atreides with the Fremen against the oppressive interstellar regime. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2024 This has to rank as one of the most economically illiterate and juvenile presidential crusades in recent history. Rich Lowry, National Review, 27 Feb. 2024 Such behavior resulted in Pope Innocent III’s papal push to exterminate these heretics—leading to a slaughter of between a quarter and a million Cathars in the 13th century during the Albigensian crusade. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 But that crusade will come up against a thorny and forbidding set of complications, according to civil liberty experts — no matter how fired up the Swifties are. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 25 Jan. 2024
Verb
McCain, who in 2017 brought the perspective of a staunch conservative and pre-Trump Republican to her co-hosting duties at The View until departing in 2021, has crusaded for her late father’s legacy. Kevin Dolak, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Apr. 2024 Navalny, who had long crusaded for free and fair elections in Russia and was blocked from running for president in 2018, had urged Russians to vote against Putin at noon Sunday. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2024 Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin who crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests, died in prison Friday Feb. 16, 2024 Russia's prison agency said. Jim Heintz, arkansasonline.com, 17 Feb. 2024 Epic Games, which has spent years crusading against the massive cut Apple demands for in-app sales, and which intends to launch its own iOS app store in the EU later this year, is the most notable example. David Meyer, Fortune, 26 Jan. 2024 Russian authorities said that Alexei Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin who crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests, died in prison. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 23 Feb. 2024 Navalny, 47, crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, 19 Feb. 2024 Alexei Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin who crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests, died in prison Friday Feb. 16, 2024 Russia's prison agency said. Jim Heintz, arkansasonline.com, 17 Feb. 2024 Friedman, who was concerned more with crusading executives than crusading investors, thought shareholders would mostly desire profit. Walter Frick, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crusade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

blend of Middle French croisade & Spanish cruzada; both ultimately from Latin cruc-, crux cross

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1732, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crusade was circa 1708

Dictionary Entries Near crusade

Cite this Entry

“Crusade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crusade. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

crusade

1 of 2 noun
cru·​sade krü-ˈsād How to pronounce crusade (audio)
1
capitalized : any of the military expeditions made by Christian countries in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims
2
: a campaign to get things changed for the better
a crusade against crime

crusade

2 of 2 verb
crusaded; crusading
: to take part in a crusade
crusader noun
Etymology

Noun

derived from early French croisade and Spanish cruzada, both meaning literally "an expedition of persons marked with or bearing the sign of the cross" and both derived from Latin cruc-, crux "cross" — related to cross

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