crusade

noun
cru·​sade | \ krü-ˈsād How to pronounce crusade (audio) \

Definition of crusade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

verb
crusaded; crusading

Definition of crusade (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in a crusade

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Other Words from crusade

Verb

crusader noun

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

Not long afterward, the New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrison, closed down many of the city’s nightclubs in an anti-vice crusade, and the local music scene collapsed. Gavin Edwards, SFChronicle.com, "Dr. John, pianist-singer who popularized New Orleans sound, dies," 7 June 2019 While many cities are besieged by a crusade of globalization, the best way to champion oddity is to celebrate it. Giulia Barcaro, National Geographic, "Meet the local legends of this Italian town by the sea," 3 Apr. 2019 Instead, as the months passed and his frustration grew, Huddy’s case evolved into a crusade that put him smack in the middle of Rhodes’ re-election battle against Republican Nancy Aichholz. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Politics or bad break? How one man's tax bill became a headache for Auditor Dusty Rhodes," 18 June 2018 Wander told Page Six that Feldman has been paranoid since launching his crusade. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Corey Feldman shares photo of 'world's smallest knife wound' after alleged stabbing | The Kansas City Star," 30 Mar. 2018 That national crusade against drug use, particularly marijuana, started by Richard Nixon in the seventies and ramped up by Ronald Reagan in the eighties, did little to stem usage rates or ease of access. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 James’s accession to the throne gave Penn increased influence at court and the prospect of some success in his long crusade for freedom of conscience and toleration. Robert K. Landers, WSJ, "‘William Penn’ and ‘The Worlds of William Penn’ Review: A Trans-Atlantic ‘Holy Experiment’," 11 Jan. 2019 Trump has set off similar surprises in trade, one of his signature political crusades. Philip Rucker, The Seattle Times, "Officials scramble to make Trump’s false assertions real," 23 Oct. 2018 On Tuesday, his steady crusade paid off, with Mr. Rose winning 65 percent of the vote in the primary in the 11th Congressional District, which takes in all of Staten Island and a chunk of South Brooklyn. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "With G.O.P. Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Like Sanders, Warren has crusaded against rising income inequality and released detailed proposals for taking on Wall Street and expanding government programs. al.com, "Bernie Sanders: Eliminate all $1.6 trillion in student loan debt," 24 June 2019 Yet, to my especial surprise, many of these downtrodden damsels weren’t crusading millennial activists fresh from campus indoctrination camps but women in their sixties from my own generation. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 But a paying readership soon developed, lured by Billy’s crusading front-page editorials taking the studio bosses to task. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "‘Hollywood Godfather’ Review: Shaking Down Tinseltown," 27 Dec. 2018 Around the same time, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell similarly crusaded against Microsoft's closed-platform plans—and rolled out a lukewarm Steam Box initiative to try to combat it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Confirmed: Fortnite on Android will drive its bus past Google’s 30% cut [Updated]," 3 Aug. 2018 Franco, who was black and a lesbian, crusaded for black and gay causes. Sergio Ramalho, The Seattle Times, "Sister of slain Brazilian councilwoman calls for justice," 14 Jan. 2019 The most striking sight is in the Quire, where the Garter Knights each have permanent, elaborately carved stalls, marked by large enameled brass nameplates in French, the language the royal court and crusading knights used in the 14th century. Nancy Nathan, chicagotribune.com, "At Windsor Castle, a look at Harry and Meghan's (relatively) low-key wedding site," 16 Apr. 2018 The crusading Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong who cooked evidence and raced to prosecute was disbarred and convicted of contempt for his actions. Fox News, "Ingraham: The rush to judgment and injustice for Kavanaugh," 18 Sep. 2018 The trove has a colorful history, having been obtained in a hotel-room raid on a visiting businessman that may or may not have been coordinated by a crusading anti-Facebook journalist, who has stubbornly refused to comment on the matter. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018

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

Noun

circa 1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1732, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crusade

Noun and Verb

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

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Dictionary Entries near crusade

crural

cruro-

crus

crusade

crusader

crusado

cruse

Statistics for crusade

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crusade

The first known use of crusade was circa 1708

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More Definitions for crusade

crusade

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crusade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the wars that European Christian countries fought against Muslims in Palestine in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries
: a major effort to change something

crusade

verb

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

: to take part in a major effort to change something

crusade

noun
cru·​sade | \ krü-ˈsād How to pronounce crusade (audio) \

Kids Definition of crusade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : one of the military expeditions made by Christian countries in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims
2 : a campaign to get things changed for the better a crusade against litter

crusade

verb
crusaded; crusading

Kids Definition of crusade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to take part in a medieval military expedition to recover the Holy Land
2 : to take part in a campaign to make things better

Other Words from crusade

crusader \ krü-​ˈsā-​dər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on crusade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crusade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crusade

Spanish Central: Translation of crusade

Nglish: Translation of crusade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crusade for Arabic Speakers

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