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See also: Crux




From Latin crux (cross, wooden frame for execution), from the Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, to bend). Compare cross.



crux (plural cruxes or cruces)

  1. The basic, central, or essential point or feature.
    The crux of her argument was that the roadways needed repair before anything else could be accomplished.
  2. The critical or transitional moment or issue, a turning point.
    • 1993, Laurence M. Porter, "Real Dreams, Literary Dreams, and the Fantastic in Literature", pages 32-47 in Carol Schreier Rupprecht (ed.) The Dream and the Text: Essays on Literature and Language.
      The mad certitude of the ogre, Abel Tiffauges, that he stands at the crux of history and that he will be able to raise Prussia "to a higher power" (p. 180), contrasts sharply with the anxiety and doubt attendant upon most modern literary dreams.
  3. A puzzle or difficulty.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. Sheridan to this entry?)
    The perpetual crux of New Testament chronologists. — Strauss.
  4. (climbing) The hardest point of a climb.
    • 1907, The Alpine Journal, vol. 23. [1]
      the real crux of the climb was encountered
    • 1973, Pat Armstrong, "Klondike Fever: Seventy Years Too Late", in Backpacker, Autumn 1973, page 84:
      The final half-mile was the crux of the climb.
    • 2004, Craig Luebben, Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills, The Mountaineers Books, ISBN 9780898867435, page 179:
      Most pitches have a distinct crux, or tough spot; some have multiple cruxes. [] ¶ Climb efficiently on the "cruiser" sections to stay fresh for the cruxes.
    • 2009, R. J. Secor, The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails, Third Edition, The Mountaineers Books, ISBN 9780898869712, page 51:
      Continue climbing the groove; the crux is passing some vegetation on the second pitch.
  5. (heraldry) A cross on a coat of arms.

Related termsEdit




Borrowing from Latin crux in the phrase crux interpretum.


crux f (plural cruces or cruxen)

  1. crucial or otherwise serious, difficult problem


Latin Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia la


From Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, to bend).[1] Possible cognate with Latin circus (circle) and curvus (curve).



crux f (genitive crucis); third declension

  1. wooden frame on which criminals were crucified, especially a cross
  2. (derogatory) gallows bird; one who deserves to be hanged
  3. (figuratively) torture; misery


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative crux crucēs
genitive crucis crucum
dative crucī crucibus
accusative crucem crucēs
ablative cruce crucibus
vocative crux crucēs

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



  • crux in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • crux in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “crux”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • crux” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to threaten some one with death, crucifixion, torture, war: minitari (minari) alicui mortem, crucem et tormenta, bellum
    • to crucify: in crucem agere, tollere aliquem
    • to crucify: cruci suffigere aliquem
  • crux in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • crux in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  1. ^ Pokorny 611