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[kroo-seyd] /kruˈseɪd/
(often initial capital letter) any of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslims.
any war carried on under papal sanction.
any vigorous, aggressive movement for the defense or advancement of an idea, cause, etc.:
a crusade against child abuse.
verb (used without object), crusaded, crusading.
to go on or engage in a crusade.
1570-80; earlier crusada < Spanish cruzada; replacing croisade < Middle French. See cross, -ade1
Related forms
crusader, noun
noncrusading, adjective
post-Crusade, adjective
pre-Crusade, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for crusaders
  • The night is sleepless but not dreamless, and a couple of crusaders appear to keep him company.
  • After her burial he penetrates into the mysterious enchanted wood, the bane of the army of the crusaders.
  • One of their biggest crusaders has lost his credibility.
  • With the initial fervor wearing off, it makes for a tired bunch of crusaders.
  • As is fitting for the authors of the best writing guides, these anti-adverb crusaders make a good, nuanced point.
  • Other violent crusaders have escaped punishment in the interim as well.
  • Of course, antievolution crusaders have figured out that language is the ammunition of culture wars.
  • But schleps working in a dying form of media typically don't possess the same panache as tortured caped crusaders.
  • More commonly, some crusaders argue that smokers are pawns of tobacco companies, which ought to be punished.
  • Some shoppers see themselves as crusaders, punishing bad behavior and rewarding unsung heroes.
British Dictionary definitions for crusaders


(often capital) any of the military expeditions undertaken in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries by the Christian powers of Europe to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims
(formerly) any holy war undertaken on behalf of a religious cause
a vigorous and dedicated action or movement in favour of a cause
verb (intransitive)
to campaign vigorously for something
to go on a crusade
Derived Forms
crusader, noun
Word Origin
C16: from earlier croisade, from Old French crois cross, from Latin crux; influenced also by Spanish cruzada, from cruzar to take up the 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 crusaders



1706, respelling of croisade (1570s), from Middle French croisade (16c.), Spanish cruzada, both from Medieval Latin cruciata, past participle of cruciare "to mark with a cross," from Latin crux (genitive crucis) "cross." Other Middle English forms were croiserie, creiserie. Figurative sense of "campaign against a public evil" is from 1786.


1732, from crusade (n.). Related: Crusaded; crusading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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