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From crusade +‎ -er, from French croisade, introduced in English (in the French spelling) by 1575. The modern spelling emerges c. 1760,. Middle French croisade is introduced in the 15th century, based on Spanish cruzada (late 14th century) and Old Occitan crozada (early 13th century), both reflecting Medieval Latin cruciātacruxiata, the feminine singular of the adjective cruciātus used as an abstract noun. Adjectival cruciātus originally meant “tormented; crucified”, but from the 12th century was also used for “marked with a cross; making the sign of the cross” and eventually “taking the cross” in the sense of “going on a crusade”. Old Occitan crozada is used in the sense “[the Albigensian] crusade” in the Song of the Albigensian crusade, written c. 1213. From vernacular usage, Middle Latin cruciāta also comes to be used in the sense “crusade” from about 1270.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /kɹuːˈseɪdə/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /kɹuˈseɪdɚ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪdə(r)


crusader (plural crusaders)

  1. (historical) A fighter in the medieval Crusades. the CRUSADERS of the Middle Ages
  2. (figuratively) A person engaged in a crusade.

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