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See also: Cresset



From Middle English cresset, from Old French crasset, cresset (sort of lamp or torch); perhaps of Old Dutch or Old High German origin, and akin to English cruse and/or French creuset (crucible), the latter being from Gallo-Roman Vulgar Latin *croceolus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹɛsɪt/
    • (file)


cresset (plural cressets)

  1. A metal cage, basket or cup with fire in it, used for various purposes:
    1. (chiefly historical) A metal cup, suspended from or attached to the top of a pole and filled with burning pitch etc., used as portable illumination.
      • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
        Starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed / With naphtha and asphaltus.
      • 1835, William Wordsworth, Stanzas suggested in a Steamboat off St. Bees' Head, on the coast of Cumberland:
        As a cresset true that darts its length / Of beamy lustre from a tower of strength.
    2. A metal basket filled with burning material, used to attract fish when night fishing; a fire basket.
    3. (coopering) A small furnace or iron cage to hold fire for charring the inside of a cask, and making the staves flexible.
      • 1805–1814, Dante Alighieri, Henry Francis Cary (translator), The Divine Comedy, "Inferno", Canto VIII
        We reach'd the lofty turret's base, our eyes / its height ascended, where we mark'd uphung / two cressets and another saw from far


See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Old French crasset, cresset, possibly from a West Germanic language.


  • IPA(key): /krɛˈsɛt/, /ˈkrɛsɛt/


cresset (plural cressettes)

  1. cresset (metal cup filled with pitch)


  • English: cresset