• synonyms


[kris-kraws, -kros]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to move back and forth over: students crisscrossing the field on their way to school.
  2. to mark with crossing lines.
verb (used without object)
  1. to proceed or pass back and forth; be arranged in a crisscross pattern: The streets in that part of town crisscross confusingly.
  1. Also criss·crossed. having many crossing lines, paths, etc.
  1. a crisscross mark, pattern, etc.
  2. tick-tack-toe.
  1. in a crisscross manner; crosswise.
  2. awry; askew.

Origin of crisscross

First recorded in 1810–20; variant of christcross
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for crisscross


  1. to move or cause to move in a crosswise pattern
  2. to mark with or consist of a pattern of crossing lines
  1. (esp of a number of lines) crossing one another in different directions
  1. a pattern made of crossing lines
  2. a US term for noughts and crosses
  1. in a crosswise manner or pattern
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for crisscross


1818, from Middle English crist(s)-crosse "Christ's cross" (late 15c.), earlier cros-kryst (late 14c.), "referring to the mark of a cross formerly written before the alphabet in hornbooks. The mark itself stood for the phrase Christ-cross me speed ('May Christ's cross give me success'), a formula said before reciting the alphabet" [Barnhart]. Used today without awareness of origin. As an adjective, 1846; as a noun, 1848.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper