crusade

[kroo-seyd]
noun
1.
(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.
2.
any war carried on under papal sanction.
3.
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.
4.
to go on or engage in a crusade.

Origin:
1570–80; earlier crusada < Spanish cruzada; replacing croisade < Middle French. See cross, -ade1

crusader, noun
noncrusading, adjective
post-Crusade, adjective
pre-Crusade, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crusade (kruːˈseɪd)
 
n
1.  (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
2.  (formerly) any holy war undertaken on behalf of a religious cause
3.  a vigorous and dedicated action or movement in favour of a cause
 
vb
4.  to campaign vigorously for something
5.  to go on a crusade
 
[C16: from earlier croisade, from Old French crois cross, from Latin crux; influenced also by Spanish cruzada, from cruzar to take up the cross]
 
cru'sader
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

crusade
1706, respelling of croisade (1577), from M.Fr. croisade, Sp. cruzada, both from M.L. cruciata, pp. of cruciare "to mark with a cross," from L. crux (gen. crucis) "cross." Figurative sense of "campaign against a public evil" is from 1786.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It is easy to campaign if everyone can get behind a common enemy and crusade.
They were quite sincere and considered theirs a moral crusade.
Will never meant to turn his opposition into a crusade.
Napoleon's crusade to conquer the world had stalled.
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