Definition of crux
1 : a puzzling or difficult problem : an unsolved question The origin of the word is a scholarly crux.
2 : an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome
3 : a main or central feature (as of an argument) … he discarded all but the essential cruxes of his argument. — Carl Van Doren
crux was our Word of the Day on 12/04/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of crux in a Sentence
the crux of the problem is that the school's current budget is totally inadequate
Recent Examples of crux from the Web
And that, say some environmental advocates, is the crux of the issue.
The crux of the issue is finding a way to get moderates and conservatives on the same page.
And the crux of their effort to protect people’s lungs is a requirement that developers install air filters.
At the crux of it all is one man with a long history in his hometown and enough personal fervor to match the flavor his kitchen is pumping out.
The crux of the problem, Karns said, has been lingering discomfort on the top of his forearm.
And that’s the crux of the argument made by those pushing to see California do away with monetary bail in most cases.
The crux of the idea that seems to be driving the whole exercise: Waiting for something to happen is sometimes more intense than the moment in which that something actually happens.
But the crux of the argument posed by Acevedo, Manley, and others in law-enforcement leadership is that the legislation may strip them of the authority to dictate, to a degree, what officers can and can’t do.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crux.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Latin, crux referred literally to an instrument of torture, often a cross or stake, and figuratively to the torture and misery inflicted by means of such an instrument. Crux eventually developed the sense of "a puzzling or difficult problem"; that was the first meaning that was used when the word entered English in the early 18th century. Later, in the late 19th century, crux began to be used more specifically to refer to an essential point of a legal case that required resolution before the case as a whole could be resolved. Today, the verdict on crux is that it can be used to refer to any important part of a problem or argument, inside or outside of the courtroom.
Origin and Etymology of crux
Latin cruc-, crux cross, torture
First Known Use: 1718See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up crux? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).