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Syllabification: cru·sade
Pronunciation: /kro͞oˈsād

Definition of crusade in English:


(often Crusade)
1A medieval military expedition, one of a series made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.
Example sentences
  • Medieval England was to gain a great deal from the Crusades.
  • Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are two names that tend to dominate the Crusades.
  • The first Crusade took three years to reach the Holy Land.
1.1A war instigated by the Church for alleged religious ends.
Example sentences
  • Our holy wars, crusades, and pogroms have decimated people in the millions in the name of our religion.
  • However, there has been little to compare to the crusades and religious wars in medieval and early-modern Europe.
  • Therefore, the Civil War must be a religious crusade to regain the Almighty's favour.
1.2An organized campaign concerning a political, social, or religious issue, typically motivated by a fervent desire for change: a crusade against crime
More example sentences
  • A civil servant has vowed to carry on her crusade against crime despite becoming the victim of a hate campaign.
  • While urging the authorities to find more resources to fix up our schools, our political representatives ought to be leading the crusade against vandalism.
  • The crusade against child obesity is likely to produce, not healthy outcomes, but miserable children and anxious parents and epidemics of dieting and eating disorders.
campaign, drive, push, movement, effort, struggle;
battle, war, offensive


[no object] Back to top  
Lead or take part in an energetic and organized campaign concerning a social, political, or religious issue: he crusaded against gambling in the 1950s
More example sentences
  • She said that, as somebody who has been crusading to get insurance premiums down for drivers under 25, she was appalled at such comments.
  • He was a pioneer conservationist, crusading to save Georgian London from the developers and responsible for saving Carlton House Terrace.
  • You're crusading against a lot of the violence that some of the other hip-hop artists celebrate.
campaign, fight, do battle, battle, take up arms, work, strive, struggle, agitate, lobby, champion, promote


late 16th century (originally as croisade): from French croisade, an alteration (influenced by Spanish cruzado) of earlier croisée, literally 'the state of being marked with the cross', based on Latin crux, cruc- 'cross'; in the 17th century the form crusado, from Spanish cruzado, was introduced; the blending of these two forms led to the current spelling, first recorded in the early 18th century.

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