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early 14c., from Old French creste "tuft, comb" (Modern French crête), from Latin crista "tuft, plume," perhaps related to word for "hair" (e.g. crinis), but it also was used for crest of a cock or a helmet. Replaced Old English hris.
late 14c., "provide with a crest," from Old French crester, from creste (see crest (n.)). Meaning "to come over the top of" is from 1832. Related: Crested; cresting.
A projection or ridge, especially of bone; cresta.
decorative architectural repeat motif applied to the top of a wall, screen, or roof. Widely used during the Gothic period (the 12th through the 15th century), it was frequently found on the bressummer, or superstructure, of a church and on the cornice of the church rood screen, a partition separating the east end of the nave from the chancel, or area around the altar.