Formed as a hybrid of Middle French croisade and Spanish cruzada, both from the word for cross; possibly corresponding to a Medieval Latin cruciāta, nominative feminine singular of cruciātus (“crucified; tortured”), from crux (“cross”), in reference to Jesus's crucifixion. Recorded in English since the 1570s.
(medieval history): Crusade
crusade (plural crusades)
- Any of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th to 13th centuries to reconquer the Levant from the Muslims.
- During the crusades, many Muslims and Christians and Jews were slaughtered.
- Any war instigated and blessed by the Church for alleged religious ends. Especially, papal sanctioned military campaigns against infidels or heretics.
- (figuratively) A grand concerted effort toward some purportedly worthy cause.
- a crusade against drug abuse
- (archaic) A Portuguese coin; a crusado.
- To make a grand concerted effort toward some purportedly worthy cause.
- He crusaded against similar injustices for the rest of his life.