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Old English cros (mid-10c.), from Old Irish cros, probably via Scandinavian, from Latin crux (accusative crucem, genitive crucis) "stake, cross" on which criminals were impaled or hanged, hence, figuratively, "torture, trouble, misery;" originally a tall, round pole; possibly of Phoenician origin. Replaced Old English rood. Also from Latin crux are Italian croce, French croix, Spanish and Portuguese cruz, Dutch kruis, German Kreuz.
"ill-tempered," 1630s, probably from 16c. sense of "contrary, athwart," especially with reference to winds and sailing ships, from cross (n.). Cross-purposes "contradictory intentions" is from 1660s.
c.1200, "make the sign of a cross," from cross (n.). Sense of "to go across" is from c.1400; that of "to cancel by drawing lines over" is from mid-15c. Related: Crossed; crossing.
"flat of the hand," c.1300, from Old French palme (Modern French paume), from Latin palma "palm of the hand," also "flat end of an oar; palm tree," from PIE *pel- "to spread out; flat" (cf. Greek palame "open hand," Old Irish lam, Welsh llaw, Old English folm, Old High German folma "hand," Sanskrit panih "hand, hoof"). Palm oil is earlier in the punning sense of "bribe" (1620s) than in the literal sense of "oil from the fruit of the West African palm" (1705, from palm (n.2)).
tropical tree, Old English palma, Old French palme, both from Latin palma "palm tree," originally "palm of the hand;" the tree so called from the shape of its leaves, like fingers of a hand (see palm (n.1)).
The word traveled early to northern Europe, where the tree does not grow, via Christianity, and took root in the local languages (e.g. Old Saxon palma, Old High German palma, Old Norse palmr). Palm Sunday is Old English palm-sunnandæg.
In ancient times, a leaf or frond was carried or worn as a symbol of victory or triumph, or on feast days; hence figurative use of palm for "victory, triumph" (late 14c.). Palm court "large room in a hotel, etc., usually decorated with potted palms" first recorded 1908.
"impose (something) on (someone)," 1670s, from palm (n.1). Extended form palm off is from 1822.
The inner surface of the hand that extends from the wrist to the base of the fingers.
To conceal a playing card against the palm in order to use it in a gambling hand: It was five cards that he palmed, three aces and a pair of queens (1673+)Related Terms
in the New Testament the instrument of crucifixion, and hence used for the crucifixion of Christ itself (Eph. 2:16; Heb. 12:2; 1 Cor. 1:17, 18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12, 14; Phil. 3:18). The word is also used to denote any severe affliction or trial (Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21). The forms in which the cross is represented are these: 1. The crux simplex (I), a "single piece without transom." 2. The crux decussata (X), or St. Andrew's cross. 3. The crux commissa (T), or St. Anthony's cross. 4. The crux immissa (t), or Latin cross, which was the kind of cross on which our Saviour died. Above our Lord's head, on the projecting beam, was placed the "title." (See CRUCIFIXION.) After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (B.C. 313), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, "In hoc signo vinces", i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and Omega. (See A.)