Definition of crossword in English:


(also crossword puzzle)


  • A puzzle consisting of a grid of squares and blanks into which words crossing vertically and horizontally are written according to clues.

    ‘she settled down to do the crossword’
    • ‘The events, such as word games and crosswords will be organised by resource persons throughout the day.’
    • ‘Work your mind with brain-teasers, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords or quiz books.’
    • ‘He ran the words through his mind, almost like a crossword clue.’
    • ‘Watching this is like doing a crossword puzzle written by a dyslexic lunatic.’
    • ‘I couldn't answer one of the clues in my crossword.’
    • ‘Similarly, I could get into crosswords but not jigsaws.’
    • ‘The Evening Advertiser has great things such as competitions, word searches and crosswords.’
    • ‘He would even interrupt classes to ask teachers to solve the crossword clues that he could not solve.’
    • ‘In 1924, Simon and Schuster took a chance on publishing a book devoted to crosswords, and the crossword craze started.’
    • ‘I chose to ignore him and concentrate on a crossword clue, which I really couldn't get.’
    • ‘It was the only word I needed to complete the crossword.’
    • ‘The games include crosswords, hangman and cryptogram.’
    • ‘It's not even a good pun, which, like a good crossword clue, should work on both the superficial and the cryptic levels.’
    • ‘They dig for juicy details as adroitly as they do the crossword and jigsaw puzzles that they plug away at.’
    • ‘The other magazine in the seat pocket on the airplane had a crossword puzzle with about 100 clues.’
    • ‘There's something anodyne about even his best work; it has the cerebral coldness of a crossword or mathematical puzzle.’
    • ‘Jack scribed the word beings into the appropriate boxes on the crossword.’
    • ‘He left his cryptic crossword on the desk, with two clues still unanswered.’
    • ‘He said: ‘Laurie is amazing for her age, she does crosswords, puzzles, teasers and she plays Scrabble.’’
    • ‘Learning is re-enforced and encouraged through the use of crosswords, word searches, memory skills, word wheels, numeracy and other activities.’


Said to have been invented by the journalist Arthur Wynne, whose puzzle (called a ‘word-cross’) appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World, on 21 December 1913.