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a crescent shape
a crescent (street)
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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (curved street): cres. (abbreviation)


From Middle English cressaunt, from Anglo-Norman cressaunt and Old French creissant (crescent of the moon) (French croissant), from Latin crēscēns, present active participle of crēscō (arise, thrive), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱreh₁- (to grow). See Old Armenian սերիմ (serim, be born) and սերեմ (serem, bring forth), Ancient Greek κόρη (kórē, girl) and κούρος (koúros, boy), Latin creare (produce, create, bring forth) and Ceres (goddess of agriculture). Doublet of croissant.

The pronunciation with /z/ is a comparatively recent innovation due to the influence of words such as pheasant and present.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɹɛ.zənt/, /ˈkɹɛ.sənt/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɹɛ.sənt/, /ˈkɹɛ.zənt/
  • Rhymes: -ɛsənt, -ɛzənt


crescent (plural crescents)

  1. The figure of the moon as it appears between its first or last quarter and the new moon, with concave and convex edges terminating in points.
  2. Something shaped like a crescent, especially:
    1. A curved pastry.
    2. A curved street, often presenting a continuous façade, as of row houses.
  3. (Islam) A representation of crescent used as a symbol of Islam.
    Turkish flag features a white star and crescent on red base.
  4. (New Zealand) A crescent spanner.
  5. (historical) Any of three orders of knighthood conferred upon foreigners to whom Turkey might be indebted for valuable services.
    • 1880, Elizabeth Stone, Sebastiani receives publicly the Sultan's thanks , and is decorated with the Order of the Crescent:
      Sebastiani receives publicly the Sultan's thanks, and is decorated with the Order of the Crescent
  6. (heraldry) The emblem of the waxing Moon with horns directed upward, when used in a coat of arms; often used as a mark of cadency to distinguish a second son and his descendants.
  7. A crescentspot butterfly.

Derived terms[edit]



crescent (not comparable)

  1. (dated, rare) marked by an increase; waxing, like the Moon.
  2. Shaped like a crescent.




crescent (third-person singular simple present crescents, present participle crescenting, simple past and past participle crescented)

  1. (transitive) To form into a crescent, or something resembling a crescent.
    • 1809, Anna Seward, “Letter VI. 195”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      A dark wood crescents more than half the lawn
  2. (transitive) To adorn with crescents.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “crescent” in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




  1. third-person plural future active indicative of crēscō