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From Middle English creste, borrowed from Old French creste (modern crête), from Latin crista.



crest (plural crests)

A bird's crest.
  1. A tuft, or other natural ornament, growing on an animal's head, for example the comb of a cockerel, the swelling on the head of a snake, the lengthened feathers of the crown or nape of bird, etc.
  2. The plume of feathers, or other decoration, worn on or displayed on a helmet; the distinctive ornament of a helmet.
  3. (heraldry) A bearing worn, not upon the shield, but usually on a helmet above it, sometimes (as for clerics) separately above the shield or separately as a mark for plate, in letterheads, and the like.
    • 1897, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity[1]:
      I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me. I look upon notoriety with the same indifference as on the buttons on a man's shirt-front, or the crest on his note-paper.
  4. The upper curve of a horse's neck.
  5. The ridge or top of a wave.
  6. The summit of a hill or mountain ridge.
    A helmet with a crest.
  7. The helm or head, as typical of a high spirit; pride; courage.
  8. The ornamental finishing which surmounts the ridge of a roof, canopy, etc.
  9. The top line of a slope or embankment.
  10. (anatomy) A ridge along the surface of a bone.
  11. (informal) A design or logo, especially one of an institution, association or high-class family.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      Hungry for fame and the approval of rare-animal collector Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton), Darwin deceives the Captain and his crew into believing they can get enough booty to win the pirate competition by entering Polly in a science fair. So the pirates journey to London in cheerful, blinkered defiance of the Queen, a hotheaded schemer whose royal crest reads simply “I hate pirates.”
  12. Any of several birds in the family Regulidae, including the goldcrests and firecrests.


Coordinate termsEdit



crest (third-person singular simple present crests, present participle cresting, simple past and past participle crested)

  1. Particularly with reference to waves, to reach a peak.
  2. To furnish with, or surmount as, a crest; to serve as a crest for.
    • Shakespeare
      His legs bestrid the ocean, his reared arm / Crested the world.
    • Wordsworth
      groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow
  3. To mark with lines or streaks like waving plumes.
    • Spenser
      Like as the shining sky in summer's night, [] / Is crested with lines of fiery light.