Architecture. a decorative coping, balustrade, etc., usually designed to give an interesting skyline.
Furniture. ornamentation either carved or sawed in the top rail of a piece or else added to it.
a system of ornamental ridges or flutes on a piece of plate armor.

1865–70; crest + -ing1 Unabridged


the highest part of a hill or mountain range; summit.
the head or top of anything.
a ridge or ridgelike formation.
the foamy top of a wave.
the point of highest flood, as of a river.
the highest point or level; climax; culmination.
a tuft or other natural growth on the top of the head of an animal, as the comb of a rooster.
anything resembling or suggesting such a tuft.
the ridge of the neck of a horse, dog, etc.
the mane growing from this ridge.
an ornament or heraldic device surmounting a helmet.
a helmet.
a ridge running from front to back along the top of a helmet; comb.
Heraldry. a figure borne above the escutcheon in an achievement of arms, either on a helmet or by itself as a distinguishing device. See illus. under coat of arms.
Anatomy. a ridge, especially on a bone.
a ridge or other prominence on any part of the body of an animal.
Architecture. a cresting.
Machinery. (in a screw or other threaded object) the ridge or surface farthest from the body of the object and defined by the flanks of the thread. Compare root1 ( def 15a ).
verb (used with object)
to furnish with a crest.
to serve as a crest for; crown or top.
to reach the crest or summit of (a hill, mountain, etc.).
verb (used without object)
to form or rise to a crest, as a wave or river.
to reach the crest or highest level: Interest in the project has crested.

1275–1325; Middle English creste < Old French < Latin crista

crested, adjective
crestless, adjective
subcrest, noun
uncrested, adjective
undercrest, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crest (krɛst)
1.  a tuft or growth of feathers, fur, or skin along the top of the heads of some birds, reptiles, and other animals
2.  something resembling or suggesting this
3.  the top, highest point, or highest stage of something
4.  a ridge on the neck of a horse, dog, lion, etc
5.  the mane or hair growing from this ridge
6.  an ornamental piece, such as a plume, on top of a helmet
7.  heraldry a symbol of a family or office, usually representing a beast or bird, borne in addition to a coat of arms and used in medieval times to decorate the helmet
8.  a ridge along the top of a roof, wall, etc
9.  a ridge along the surface of a bone
10.  archery Also called: cresting identifying rings painted around an arrow shaft
11.  (intr) to come or rise to a high point
12.  (tr) to lie at the top of; cap
13.  (tr) to go to or reach the top of (a hill, wave, etc)
[C14: from Old French creste, from Latin crista]

CREST (krɛst)
an electronic share-settlement system, created by the Bank of England and owned by 69 firms, that began operations in 1996
[C20: from CrestCo, the name of the operating company]

cresting (ˈkrɛstɪŋ)
1.  an ornamental ridge along the top of a roof, wall, etc
2.  carpentry a shaped decorative toprail or horizontal carved ornament surmounting a chair, mirror, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. creste "tuft, comb," from L. crista "tuft, plume," perhaps related to word for "hair," but also used for crest of a cock or a helmet, replaced O.E. hris. Crestfallen (1580s) comes from cockfighting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

crest (krěst)
A projection or ridge, especially of bone; cresta.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
crest   (krěst)  Pronunciation Key 
The part of a wave with greatest magnitude; the highest part of a wave. Compare trough. See more at wave.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
With seas cresting at no more than five feet and an experienced crew, no one considered capsizing a credible possibility.
Here's another peculiarity: this ritual of relaxation is cresting at a cultural moment when noise and agitation are everywhere.
The dormer windows, decorative cornice and filigree iron cresting are other notable elements in the architecture.
The steep, slate-covered mansard roof is topped with intricate iron cresting to emphasize its height and irregularity.
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