Definition of crux
- The origin of the word is a scholarly crux.
- … he discarded all but the essential cruxes of his argument.
- —Carl Van Doren
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the crux of the problem is that the school's current budget is totally inadequate
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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.
First Known Use: 1718See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up crux? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
the quality or fact of being simultaneous
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