Middle English Dictionary Entry

cros n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A cross for crucifixion, a gibbet; (b) the cross of Christ; holi ~; Exaltacioun of the ~, a feast, Sept. 14; feste of the holi ~, feast of the Invention of the Cross, May 3; (c) winnen the ~, to recapture Christ's cross from the Saracens; (d) a part of Christ's cross (as a relic); (e) a vision of Christ's cross; signe of the ~, token of the ~.
(a) Fig. Christianity; (b) fig. crucifixion; (c) fig. the burden of a Christian; suffering; penance; (d) in oaths and exclamations.
(a) An ornamental likeness of the cross, a drawn or painted cross, a cross made of cloth; blak ~, red ~, whit ~; (b) an ornament shaped like a cross; the cross on a scepter; the cross guard of a sword; (c) the form of a cross made by placing things or by laying or spreading something; (d) her. a cross on a coat of arms; also, a crosslet; an ~, forming a cross or the ends of a cross; (e) the insignia of a crusader or of a pilgrim to the Holy Land; beren the ~, to be crusading; burnen with the ~, adorn (oneself) with the cross, join a crusade; marked with the (signe of the) ~, pledged to go on a crusade; nimen the ~, taken the (signe of the) ~, join a crusade; signed with the ~, pledged to go on a crusade or a pilgrimage; (f) ?a crusade.
(a) A cross formed by two lines drawn or cut on a surface; -- used as a marker, signature, etc.; (b) two lines intersecting at right angles; (c) a cross stamped or cut on a coin; esp., the cross on one side of some English coins; also, a die used for stamping the cross on coins; ~ and pile, the head and tail of a coin; ~ and pile stonden in balaunce, everything is uncertain; neither ~ ne pile, no money at all; (d) a coin.
(a) The mark of a cross cut on the body or across a wound; a cross made on the crown of a madman; (b) a madman, a fool; maken to ~, to give (oneself) the appearance of a madman.
(a) The sign of the cross made with the right hand or with fingers; Cristes ~, signe of the (holi) ~; (b) casten a ~, to make a cross [?the sign of the cross, ?a cross formed by a body or bodies, ?a cross drawn on the ground] as part of a spell to ward off evil.
(a) A small cross; a crucifix; (b) a larger cross or crucifix in a church; crepen to ~ [see crepen]; (c) a cross or crucifix carried before a procession; a cross placed or carried at the head of an army; signe of the ~; (d) a cross on a grave.
(a) An outdoor cross or crucifix; a roadside cross, boundary cross, market cross, etc.; cried at the ~ [see crien]; (b) in personal names and place names [see also Smith PNElem. 1.114 & 2.7].
A prelate's crosier; receven ~, taken ~ in hond, to become a bishop or archbishop; ~ of Caunterburi, the cross or crosier borne before the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Serving as a combining element in cpds. and combs. [cp. OED cross-, comb. form, as well as related senses of cross n. and cross adj.], in which it primarily denotes (not always distinguishably) (a) Christ's cross: ~ belle, a bell rung at the Elevation of the Host; ~ Crist, Crist ~ [see Crist]; ~ daies, the three days preceding Ascension Day; ~ hed, the top part of a cross; ~ man, a dweller at or near a cross; ~ shaft, ~ staf, a staff to which a cross, crosier, or crucifix is attached; also the long lower member of a cross; (b) an orientation transverse to the assumed major orientation: ~ aleie, a cross walk in a garden; ~ bar, a transverse bar; ~ bem, a transverse timber; ~ bend, a brace that runs crosswise of a structure; ~ brede, a cross piece of a cart; ~ dormaunt, a beam running perpendicularly across the main beams; ~ tre, a horizontal timber forming part of the structure of a mill; (c) the intersection of two lines, forming a cruciform shape: ~ ele, one side of the transept of a cruciform church; in pl., the transept; ~ line, a line crossing another line; ~ seil, a sail set across the mast; maken ~ seil, to haul the yards square across the mast; ~ sil, crossed beams forming the base of a pillory; ~ windoue, a lattice window; ~ wort, ~ worth, crosswort Galium cruciata; (d) with uncertain reference: ~ hed, some kind of fastening on a chest; ~ signifiing, ?crossing of optic nerves [cp. ML crucesignatio]; ~ trestel, some kind of trestle; ~ werk, some kind of needlework.
In phrases: after a ~, in a ~, in the shape of a cross, crosswise; on ~, across [see acrois].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1423-4) Doc.Brewer in Bk.Lond.E.183/1328 : Horold, atte Crosse yn Tourstrete, hath j Barell is nought morken, yfounde vpon þe shuldres of hese seruantes.
  • Note: New sense: 7.(c) as name of a brewery or an alehouse.--per SMK
    Note: See note below for reassigning the names, including this one, to sense 11.--per MLL
  • (1285) in Reaney Dict.Br.Surnames118 : Richard del Crosse.
  • (1354) in Reaney Dict.Br.Surnames118 : Robert Cros.
  • Note: Needed for date.
    Note: Belong to sense 11.
Note: I propose grouping all of the name (place-names, personal names, surnames, and the alehouse name) in this word under sense 11. This involves separating the two personal names (which actually may be surnames) from the place-names in sense 7.(b) and shifting both groups to sense 11. under subsense (a)--"in names," and subsense (b)--"in place-names." Keep sense 11.(c) as the alehouse name (assigned to sense 7.(c) in supplement note). Retain the "Smith PNElem." reference in sense 7.(b) in the gloss for sense 11.(b).--per MLL