Origin of crisscross

First recorded in 1810–20; variant of christcross
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crisscross

conflicting, confused, awry

Examples from the Web for crisscross

Contemporary Examples of crisscross

Historical Examples of crisscross

British Dictionary definitions for crisscross



to move or cause to move in a crosswise pattern
to mark with or consist of a pattern of crossing lines


(esp of a number of lines) crossing one another in different directions


a pattern made of crossing lines
a US term for noughts and crosses


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