• synonyms


  1. a metal cup or basket often mounted on a pole or suspended from above, containing oil, pitch, a rope steeped in rosin, etc., burned as a light or beacon.
Show More

Origin of cresset

1325–75; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French craisset, equivalent to cras grease + -et -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cresset

Historical Examples of cresset

  • A splinter of fir was burning in the cresset, and the fire was lighted in the stove.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • The broken door let them into a small courtyard, lit by a cresset.

  • The curtains in the cabin swayed to and fro, as did the cresset of the lamp.

    Ulric the Jarl

    William O. Stoddard

  • She stood under the cresset's light like a rock, while Lucy, like a wave, fretted about her.

    Barbara Lynn

    Emily J. Jenkinson

  • The cresset moon was up in heaven—at least, Emma said it was—when we started.

British Dictionary definitions for cresset


  1. history a metal basket mounted on a pole in which oil or pitch was burned for illumination
Show More

Word Origin for cresset

C14: from Old French craisset, from craisse grease
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