[kres-uh nt]



shaped like a crescent.
increasing; growing.

Origin of crescent

1350–1400; < Latin crēscent- (stem of crēscēns) present participle of crēscere to grow (see create, -esce); replacing Middle English cressaunt < Anglo-French < Latin as above
Related formscres·cen·tic [kri-sen-tik] /krɪˈsɛn tɪk/, adjectivesub·cres·cen·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crescent

Contemporary Examples of crescent

Historical Examples of crescent

  • Dare you to wear your brother's coat without the crescent which should stamp you as his cadet.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • But was the "star and crescent" the symbol of the City of Constantine?

    The Non-Christian Cross

    John Denham Parsons

  • Diana had sped an arrow from her bow that is like the crescent moon.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody

  • The crescent moon and the stars filtered down a tinsel light.

  • There was one born in the sky, sir, the day I was christened with a Turkish crescent.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for crescent



the biconcave shape of the moon in its first or last quarters
any shape or object resembling this
mainly British
  1. a crescent-shaped street, often lined with houses of the same style
  2. (capital when part of a name)Pelham Crescent
heraldry a crescent moon, used as the cadency mark of a second son
the crescent (often capital)
  1. the emblem of Islam or Turkey
  2. Islamic or Turkish power


archaic, or poetic increasing or growing
Derived Formscrescentic (krəˈsɛntɪk), adjective

Word Origin for crescent

C14: from Latin crescēns increasing, from crescere to grow
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 crescent

late 14c., "crescent-shaped ornament," from Anglo-French cressaunt, from Old French creissant "crescent of the moon" (12c., Modern French croissant), from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength," from PIE root *ker- "to grow" (cf. Latin Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Greek kouros "boy," kore "girl;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born").

Applied in Latin to the waxing moon, luna crescens, but subsequently in Latin mistaken to refer to the shape, not the stage. The original Latin sense is preserved in crescendo. A badge or emblem of the Turkish sultans (probably chosen for its suggestion of "increase"); figurative sense of "Muslim political power" is from 1580s, but modern writers often falsely associate it with the Saracens of the Crusades or the Moors of Spain. Horns of the waxing moon are on the viewer's left side; those of the waning moon are on his right.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for crescent




Something having concave and convex edges terminating in points.


Related formscres•centic (krə-sĕntĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for crescent



Partly but less than half illuminated. Used to describe the Moon or a planet. Compare gibbous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.