cross to bear

A burden or trial one must put up with, as in Alzheimer's is a cross to bear for the whole family, or in a lighter vein, Mowing that huge lawn once a week is Brad's cross to bear: This phrase alludes to the cross carried by Jesus to his crucifixion. Today it may be used either seriously or lightly. [Second half of 1500s]


Nearby words

  1. cross street,
  2. cross stroke,
  3. cross swords,
  4. cross talk,
  5. cross the rubicon,
  6. cross tolerance,
  7. cross training,
  8. cross up,
  9. cross vault,
  10. cross vine

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.