from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An image or figure of Jesus on the cross.
  • n. A cross viewed as a symbol of Jesus's crucifixion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wooden cross used for crucifixions, as by the Romans.
  • n. An ornamental or symbolic sculptural representation of Christ on a crucifix, often worn as a pendant or displayed in a Christian church.
  • n. The iron cross, a position on the rings where the gymnast holds the rings straight out on either side of the body.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A representation in art of the figure of Christ upon the cross; esp., the sculptured figure affixed to a real cross of wood, ivory, metal, or the like, used by the Roman Catholics in their devotions.
  • n. The cross or religion of Christ.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To crucify.
  • n. A cross, or representation of a cross, with the crucified figure of Christ upon it.
  • n. The cross of Christ; hence, the religion of Christ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. representation of the cross on which Jesus died
  • n. a gymnastic exercise performed on the rings when the gymnast supports himself with both arms extended horizontally


Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin crucifīxus, from Latin, past participle of crucifīgere, crucify; see crucify.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • Eesh! Yeah, lots of people seem not to know that a cross without a "little man on it" is just a cross. A crucifix by definition has a corpus.

    December 9, 2007

  • Reminds me of a bit from a monologue by Ben Elton. Supposedly a true story, he's standing in a jeweller's and overhears the following conversation:
    Customer: Do you have any crucifixes?
    Salesgirl: Umm, what's that?
    Customer: You know, a pendant that's like a cross.
    Salesgirl: Ooh, yes! Would you be wanting a plain one or one with a little man on it?

    December 9, 2007