Definition of crescent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkres(ə)nt/


1The curved sickle shape of the waxing or waning moon.
Example sentences
  • The moon waxes from new to sickle, crescent, half-full and disk, and wanes back again as the relative positions of sun and moon change.
  • Another difference between the hemispheres, which is often overlooked, is the direction in which the crescents of the Waxing and Waning Moons point.
  • Every month, the first crescent of the new moon is observed, defining the beginning of the new month, whilst each year Ramadan commences 11 days earlier.
1.1A representation of a crescent used as an emblem of Islam or of Turkey.
Example sentences
  • They take their name from one of the symbols of Islam, the crescent, and the fact that they are allying together or ‘combining.’
  • And I mark that the crescent was Mohammed's emblem!
  • The flag has a red star and crescent, symbolizing Islam, in a white circle in a red field.
1.2 (the Crescent) chiefly historical The political power of Islam or of the Ottoman Empire.
2A thing that has has the shape of a single curve, especially one that is broad in the center and tapers to a point at each end: a three-mile crescent of golden sand a crescent-shaped building
More example sentences
  • Let's be honest: For most travelers, Honolulu has always been about sunning and swimming along the languorous crescent of golden sand that is Waikiki.
  • They couldn't see another sign of human life along the three-mile crescent.
  • Put a generous dollop of beef into the centre of each circle and fold over to form a crescent.
half-moon, sickle-shape, lunula, lunette;
arc, curve, bow
2.1A street or row of houses forming an arc: we lived at Westway Crescent
More example sentences
  • There were no streets, only avenues, crescents and closes.
  • In the 1820s Bath, Bristol, Dublin, and Edinburgh, cities which had flourished in the eighteenth century, were all still raising classical squares, streets, and crescents.
  • Townhouses line the streets, crescents, and squares - with some terraces descending quite steeply to the north.
2.2 Heraldry A charge in the form of a crescent, typically with the points upward (also a mark of cadency for a second son).
3A moth or butterfly that bears crescent-shaped markings on the wings, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Now, 10 years later, the trees are growing strong, welcome news to the pearl crescent butterfly.


1Having the shape of a crescent: a crescent moon
More example sentences
  • We had rolls and butter, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, cabbage salad, and pastries that were shaped like crescent moons and stuffed with roast meat and apples.
  • Each charm is an alternating crescent moon and star shape.
  • It was a large oval surrounded by to crescent moon shapes.
2 literary Growing, increasing, or developing.
Example sentences
  • The crescent ray grew to immense proportions and then flew downward.



Pronunciation: /krəˈsentik/
Example sentences
  • The container here is similar in design to a crescentic bowl from the compound at Igbo Ukwu called Igbo Isaiah.
  • The cusps of the middle row are crescentic, increase in size posteriorly, and are closely spaced from each other, sometimes joined nearly to the apices by crests.
  • Others resembled SRCs, with rounded or crescentic peripheral nuclei.


Late Middle English cressant, from Old French creissant, from Latin crescere 'grow'. The spelling change in the 17th century was due to the influence of the Latin.

  • The Romans referred to the thin curve of the waxing moon early in its cycle as luna crescens, ‘growing moon’. Crescens comes from Latin crescere ‘to grow’, the source of many English words such as the late 19th century curved croissant (the French form of crescent), accrue (Late Middle English), decrease (Late Middle English), and increase (Late Middle English). From being applied to the moon the word came to be applied to anything of that same shape. See also crew

Words that rhyme with crescent

acquiescent, adolescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incandescent, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, turgescent, virescent, viridescent

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cres·cent

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