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crux

[kruhks]
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noun, plural crux·es, cru·ces [kroo-seez] /ˈkru siz/.
  1. a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point: The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
  2. a cross.
  3. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.
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Origin of crux

1635–45; < Latin: stake, scaffold, or cross used in executions, torment; figurative senses perhaps < New Latin crux (interpretum) (commentators') torment, a difficult passage in a text; cf. crucial

Synonyms

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1. essence, heart, core, gist.

Crux

[kruhks]
noun, genitive Cru·cis [kroo-sis] /ˈkru sɪs/. Astronomy.
  1. Southern Cross.
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Origin of Crux

< Latin: a cross
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for crux

crux

noun plural cruxes or cruces (ˈkruːsiːz)
  1. a vital or decisive stage, point, etc (often in the phrase the crux of the matter)
  2. a baffling problem or difficulty
  3. mountaineering the most difficult and often decisive part of a climb or pitch
  4. a rare word for cross
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin: cross

Crux

noun Latin genitive Crucis (ˈkruːsɪs)
  1. the more formal name for the Southern Cross
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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 crux

n.

1814, "cross," from Latin crux "cross" (see cross (n.)). Figurative use for "a central difficulty," is older, from 1718; perhaps from Latin crux interpretum "a point in a text that is impossible to interpret," in which the literal sense is something like "crossroads of interpreters." Extended sense of "central point" is from 1888.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

crux in Medicine

crux

(krŭks, kruks)
n. pl. crux•es
  1. A cross or a crosslike structure.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.