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crux

[kruhks] /krʌks/
noun, plural cruxes, cruces
[kroo-seez] /ˈkru siz/ (Show IPA)
1.
a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point:
The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
2.
a cross.
3.
something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < Latin: stake, scaffold, or cross used in executions, torment; figurative senses perhaps < New Latin crux (interpretum) (commentators') torment, a difficult passage in a text; cf. crucial
Synonyms
1. essence, heart, core, gist.

Crux

[kruhks] /krʌks/
noun, genitive Crucis
[kroo-sis] /ˈkru sɪs/ (Show IPA).
Astronomy
Origin
< Latin: a cross
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for crux

crux

/krʌks/
noun (pl) cruxes, cruces (ˈkruːsiːz)
1.
a vital or decisive stage, point, etc (often in the phrase the crux of the matter)
2.
a baffling problem or difficulty
3.
(mountaineering) the most difficult and often decisive part of a climb or pitch
4.
a rare word for cross
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: cross

Crux

/krʌks/
noun (Latin genitive) Crucis (ˈkruːsɪs)
1.
the more formal name for the Southern Cross
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crux
n.

1814, "cross," from Latin crux "cross" (see cross (n.)). Figurative use for "a central difficulty," is older, from 1718; perhaps from Latin crux interpretum "a point in a text that is impossible to interpret," in which the literal sense is something like "crossroads of interpreters." Extended sense of "central point" is from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crux in Medicine

crux (krŭks, kruks)
n. pl. crux·es or cru·ces (krōō'sēz)
A cross or a crosslike structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for crux

Crux

constellation lying at about 12 hours 30 minutes right ascension (the coordinate on the celestial sphere analogous to longitude on the Earth) and 60 south declination (angular distance south of the celestial equator), now visible only from south of about 30 north latitude (i.e., the latitude of North Africa and Florida). It appears on the flags of Australia, New Zealand, and Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)

Learn more about Crux with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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