AskDefine | Define cruciform

Dictionary Definition

cruciform adj : shaped like a cross [syn: cruciate]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Having the shape of a cross.

Extensive Definition

For the resurrection device/parasite at the Hyperion Cantos see Cruciform (Hyperion Cantos).
Cruciform means having the shape of a cross.

Cruciform Plan

It is a common description of Christian churches, which are usually, though not exclusively, built with a layout comprising:
  • An east end, containing an altar and often with an elaborate, decorated window, through which light will shine in the early part of the day.
  • A south end, which sometimes contains a baptismal font, being a large decorated bowl, in which water can be firstly, blessed (dedicated to the use and purposes of God) and then placed upon infant or older believers as a sign of their dedication.
  • North and south transepts, being "arms" of the cross and often containing rooms for gathering, small side chapels, or in many cases other necessities such as an organ and toilets.

Cruciform Sword

The plain sword used by knights, distinctive due to the flat bar used as a guard. The overall shape of the sword when held point down is that of a cross. It is believed this shape was encouraged by the church to remind Knights of their religion. It was however very popular due to the protection it offered to the hand and certain attacks that rely on the cross to trap the blade of the enemy. See sword.

Cruciform manuscript

A cruciform manuscript was a form of Anglo-Saxon / Insular manuscript written with the words in a block shaped like a cross.

Cruciform melody

In music, a melody of four pitches that descends by step, skips above the first pitch, then returns to the first pitch by step. Often representative of the Christian cross, such melodies are yet considered to be cruciform in their retrogrades or inversions. Johann Sebastian Bach, whose name in tones is a cruciform melody, employed the device extensively. The subject of the fugue in c-sharp minor (External Shockwave movie) from the Well-Tempered Clavier Book I is cruciform.

Cruciform tail

Some airplanes use a cruciform tail design, wherein the horizontal stabilizer is positioned mid-way up the vertical stabilizer, forming a cruciform shape when viewed from the front or rear. Some examples are the F-9 Cougar and the F-10 Skyknight.

The Cruciform

In the episode "The Sound of Drums" of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, an object or location called "the Cruciform" is mentioned, as having been captured from the Time Lords by the Dalek Emperor. It is presumed to be something of great importance, since the Master considered losing it tantamount to defeat in the Time War, but no specific information other than that name has been given.
cruciform in Spanish: Cruciforme
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