• synonyms

Red Cross

  1. an international philanthropic organization (Red Cross Society), formed in consequence of the Geneva Convention of 1864, to care for the sick and wounded in war, secure neutrality of nurses, hospitals, etc., and help relieve suffering caused by pestilence, floods, fires, and other calamities.
  2. a branch of this organization: the American Red Cross.
  3. the English national emblem of St. George's cross.
  4. Geneva cross.
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Also red cross (for defs 3, 4).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for red cross

Historical Examples

  • Such was the foe the Red-cross Knight must face and conquer.

    Tales from Spenser; Chosen from the Faerie Queene

    Edmund Spencer

  • My men are already gone, with the Red-Cross corps, to succor whom they can.

  • Then we passed a vast concourse of red-cross tents of every description, proclaiming a hospital.

    South African Memories

    Lady Sarah Wilson

  • The Red-Cross tents were pitched in the streets and the whole town was one vast hospital.

  • The red-cross knights and yeomenThroughout the holy town,In faith and might, on left and right,Shall tread the paynim down.

    The Saint's Tragedy

    Charles Kingsley

British Dictionary definitions for red cross

Red Cross

  1. an international humanitarian organization (Red Cross Society) formally established by the Geneva Convention of 1864. It was originally limited to providing medical care for war casualties, but its services now include liaison between prisoners of war and their families, relief to victims of natural disasters, etc
  2. any national branch of this organization
  3. the emblem of this organization, consisting of a red cross on a white background
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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 red cross


early 15c., national emblem of England (St. George's Cross), also the badge of the Order of the Temple. Hence red-cross knight, one bearing such a marking on shield or crest. In 17c., a red cross was the mark placed on the doors of London houses inflected with the plague. Red Cross (in Muslim lands, red crescent) adopted as a symbol of ambulance service 1864 by the Geneva Conference.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

red cross in Medicine

Red Cross

  1. An international organization that cares for the wounded, sick, and homeless in wartime according to the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1864, and now also during and following natural disasters.
  2. A national branch of the Red Cross.
  3. The Red Cross emblem of this organization, a Geneva cross or a red Greek cross on a white background.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.