Definition of Maltese cross in English:

Maltese cross


  • A cross with arms of equal length which broaden from the centre and have their ends indented in a shallow V-shape.

    • ‘The Prince of Scandanavia, a sleek 22,578-gross-register-ton ship with a white Maltese cross in a blue circle emblazoned on her impressive funnel, was ready for boarding both passengers and vehicles.’
    • ‘By 1924 he managed to transmit across a few feet the flickering image of a Maltese cross and on 26th January 1926 he gave the world's first demonstration of true television in his attic workshop before some fifty scientists.’
    • ‘Greg's got a really big Maltese cross tattoo on his back.’
    • ‘The upper left third was white with a red Maltese cross in it, the upper right third was blue, charged with a white paw print, and the bottom third was red and had a blue sword placed horizontally, pointing to the right.’
    • ‘In Allegory of the Faith alone, a pattern of what can be read as white Maltese crosses, each made from five tiles, is set on a black background.’
    • ‘The + signs in the decorative line below the title are Maltese crosses in the original.’


So named because the cross was formerly worn by the Knights Hospitaller, who were based in Malta 1530–1798.


Maltese cross