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

Examples from the Web for crisscrossing

Contemporary Examples of crisscrossing

Historical Examples of crisscrossing

  • The fine, crisscrossing wires disappeared, and in their stead was color, every color in the spectrum.

  • Then in a second or two it was solid—a thing like a shining cage, with crisscrossing white bars.

  • Huge ships of weird design were crisscrossing the air above, obviously looking for something.

    Beyond The Thunder

    H. B. Hickey

  • The great steel derricks and their crisscrossing cables cast curiously foreshortened shadows on the gleaming white expanse.

    Flamsted quarries

    Mary E. Waller

  • Something was crossing and crisscrossing inside him like two rings tossed back and forth by jugglers.

    First Man

    Clyde Brown

British Dictionary definitions for crisscrossing



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 crisscrossing



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