One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small container or set of containers for salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar for use at a dining table.
- ‘George lunged for the cruet set; Melanie for the butter dish; Nat was frantically hoarding toothpicks.’
- ‘‘I've got my eye on a salt and pepper cruet set - they're only £18,’ she said.’
- ‘It's the reverse of birthdays, this laying out outside the meats and cheese, cruets of oil standing sentry at the table and each guest barely able to breathe in the funerary wreaths of citronella haze.’
- ‘Competition will be for the prettiest cruet set.’
- ‘Illustrated in the book is a table with a flower arrangement, special breakfast cruets, small linen napkins, and a porcelain breakfast service.’
- ‘Of the four, cruets provide the most accurate stylistic guide to date attribution, notably when fitted into hallmarked silver stands or frames.’
- ‘He also worked on virtually every form of vessel, large and small, from salts and cruets to beakers to candelabra, and from tureens to rose water sprinklers.’
- ‘Glass flower vases, cruets, or carafes used to hold water, wine, oil or other liquids may develop stains in the bottom when allowed to set for a long time.’
- ‘The maker's mark is that of Samuel Wood, a caster and cruet frame maker who rarely employed chased decoration.’
- ‘In this case too, it is difficult to find early cruets with all of the glass components intact.’
- ‘These items included decanters, beakers, essence-bottles, cruets, wash-hand bowls, sweetmeat saucers, epergnes, vases, lemonade cups, ‘gugglets’, and ‘four elegant cut candlesticks enamel'd mosaik work very rich’.’
- ‘The cruet set is marked, and an inventory of 1799 lists a vinagrera de gallos (rooster cruet set).’
- ‘Haven't got a cruet set, mind, but then again I'm not sure I'd know what to do with one if I did.’
2(in church use) a small container for the wine or water to be used in the celebration of the Eucharist.
- ‘It stands about a foot and a half off the ground, and there are miniature implements to go with it - a chalice, a paten, cruets, candles, and an altar cloth.’
- ‘The sacristians were in the sacristy to see all was in order, vestments laid out, candles lit, cruets filled with water and wine.’
- ‘I took the finger towel and glass cruets of water and wine to the credence table at the right of the altar and put out the bell on the step where I would be kneeling at the consecration.’
- ‘A table by the bedside, covered in a clean white cloth, held two lighted blessed candles, a crucifix, a cruet of holy water and a sprinkler.’
Middle English (in cruet (sense 2)): from Anglo-Norman French, diminutive of Old French crue ‘pot’, from Old Saxon krūka; related to crock.
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