n. [OE. cressent, cressaunt,
crescent (in sense 1), OF. creissant increasing, F.
croissant, p. pr. of croître, OF.
creistre, fr. L. crescere to increase, v. incho.;
akin to creare to create. See Create, and cf.
Accrue, Increase, Crescendo.]
1. The increasing moon; the moon in her
first quarter, or when defined by a concave and a convex edge;
also, applied improperly to the old or decreasing moon in a like
2. Anything having the shape of a
crescent or new moon.
3. A representation of the increasing
moon, often used as an emblem or badge; as:
(a) A symbol of Artemis, or Diana.
(b) The ancient symbol of Byzantium or
Constantinople. Hence: (c) The emblem
of the Turkish Empire, adopted after the taking of
The cross of our faith is replanted,
The pale, dying crescent is daunted.
4. Any one of three orders of knighthood;
the first instituted by Charles I., king of Naples and Sicily, in
1268; the second by René of Anjou, in 1448; and the third
by the Sultan Selim III., in 1801, to be conferred upon
foreigners to whom Turkey might be indebted for valuable
services. Brande & C.
5. (Her.) The emblem of the
increasing moon with horns directed upward, when used in a coat
of arms; -- often used as a mark of cadency to distinguish a
second son and his descendants.
a. 1. Shaped like a
Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent
2. Increasing; growing.
O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit
hath not set.
Cres"cent, v. t. 1.
To form into a crescent, or something resembling a
crescent. [R.] Anna Seward.
2. To adorn with crescents.