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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Cross

  CROSS   noun
An ancient religious symbol erroneously supposed to owe its significance to the most solemn event in the history of Christianity, but really antedating it by thousands of years.  By many it has been believed to be identical with the crux ansata of the ancient phallic worship, but it has been traced even beyond all that we know of that, to the rites of primitive peoples.  We have to-day the White Cross as a symbol of chastity, and the Red Cross as a badge of benevolent neutrality in war.  Having in mind the former, the reverend Father Gassalasca Jape smites the lyre to the effect following:
  'Be good, be good!' the sisterhood
      Cry out in holy chorus,
  And, to dissuade from sin, parade
      Their various charms before us.

  But why, O why, has ne'er an eye
      Seen her of winsome manner
  And youthful grace and pretty face
      Flaunting the White Cross banner?

  Now where's the need of speech and screed
      To better our behaving?
  A simpler plan for saving man
      (But, first, is he worth saving?)

  Is, dears, when he declines to flee
      From bad thoughts that beset him,
  Ignores the Law as 't were a straw,
      And wants to sin -- don't let him.

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911

Regular definition:
kr?s n., v., & adj. --n. 1 an upright post with a transverse bar, as used in antiquity for crucifixion. 2 a (the Cross) in Christianity, the cross on which Christ was crucified. b a representation of this as an emblem of Christianity. c = sign of the cross. 3 a staff surmounted by a cross and borne before an archbishop or in a religious procession. 4 a a thing or mark shaped like a cross, esp. a figure made by two short intersecting lines (+ or x). b a monument in the form of a cross, esp. one in the centre of a town or on a tomb. 5 a cross-shaped decoration indicating rank in some orders of knighthood or awarded for personal valour. 6 a an intermixture of animal breeds or plant varieties. b an animal or plant resulting from this. 7 (foll. by between) a mixture or compromise of two things. 8 a a crosswise movement, e.g. of an actor on stage. b Football etc. a pass of the ball across the direction of play. c Boxing a blow with a crosswise movement of the fist. 9 a trial or affliction; something to be endured (bear one's crosses). --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by over; also absol.) go across or to the other side of (a road, river, sea, etc.). 2 a intr. intersect or be across one another (the roads cross near the bridge). b tr. cause to do this; place crosswise (cross one's legs). 3 tr. a draw a line or lines across. b Brit. mark (a cheque) with two parallel lines, and often an annotation, to indicate that it must be paid into a named bank account. 4 tr. (foll. by off, out, through) cancel or obliterate or remove from a list with lines drawn across. 5 tr. (often refl.) make the sign of the cross on or over. 6 intr. a pass in opposite or different directions. b (of letters between two correspondents) each be dispatched before receipt of the other. c (of telephone lines) become wrongly interconnected so that intrusive calls can be heard. 7 tr. a cause to interbreed. b cross-fertilize (plants). 8 tr. thwart or frustrate (crossed in love). 9 tr. sl. cheat. --adj. 1 (often foll. by with) peevish, angry. 2 (usu. attrib.) transverse; reaching from side to side. 3 (usu. attrib.) intersecting. 4 (usu. attrib.) contrary, opposed, reciprocal. °as cross as two sticks extremely angry or peevish. at cross purposes misunderstanding or conflicting with one another. cross one's fingers (or keep one's fingers crossed) 1 put one finger across another as a sign of hoping for good luck. 2 trust in good luck. cross the floor join the opposing side in a debating-assembly. cross one's heart make a solemn pledge, esp. by crossing one's front. cross one's mind (of a thought etc.) occur to one, esp. transiently. cross a person's palm (usu. foll. by with) pay a person for a favour. cross the path of 1 meet with (a person). 2 thwart. cross swords (often foll. by with) encounter in opposition; have an argument or dispute. cross wires (or get one's wires crossed) 1 become wrongly connected by telephone. 2 have a misunderstanding. on the cross 1 diagonally. 2 sl. fraudulently, dishonestly. °°crossly adv. crossness n. [OE cros f. ON kross f. OIr. cros f. L crux cruc-]

Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30