Definition of noughts and crosses in English:

noughts and crosses

plural noun

  • [treated as singular] A game in which two players seek to complete a row of either three noughts or three crosses drawn alternately in the spaces of a grid of nine squares.

    • ‘Anyway I took this class with A and we spent most of our time playing noughts and crosses and writing letters to his girlfriend.’
    • ‘Cut the remaining anchovies in half and place them, like noughts and crosses, on top of the tuna sauce.’
    • ‘We then continued our party at a bookshop near All Nations where we drank red wine and played 3D noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘Spain, by contrast, enjoyed what amounted to a solo game of noughts and crosses, constructing pretty, match-winning patterns without any impediment whatsoever.’
    • ‘My first angle is that games, even a game of noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) doesn't have all the rules written down.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, while Si dozed during the sermon; Lara and Ben had been up to something much more constructive: noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘Everybody was absorbed with doodling on their paper or playing noughts and crosses with the person beside them.’
    • ‘Perhaps he was playing himself at noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘People had scrawled their initials all over it and there was even what looked to be a noughts and crosses board scratched into the stonework.’
    • ‘They took up whole warehouses just to create a game of noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘This computer, apparently, could play a mean game of noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘Some people say it's nothing more than noughts and crosses, and you can learn the rules in five minutes, but to be great at it, it can take you a lifetime.’
    • ‘Throughout both days the divers would speak to the public via underwater communications, play noughts and crosses with the children and generally entertain the crowd.’
    • ‘To someone whose pinnacle of visual creativity was a game of noughts and crosses in 1983, such a concise summary of different types of art was a valuable advance in my knowledge, to say the least.’
    • ‘After the onslaught of my all-singing, all-dancing ‘entertainment’, playing I Spy and noughts and crosses and eating her ‘cheese dreams’ (you don't hear of them in these diet-conscious days), Auntie May was exhausted.’
    • ‘By this we mean that its structure is not so complex that our study of it is a doomed and hopeless task, nor is it so simple that it is rapidly completed and found trivial, like a game of noughts and crosses.’
    • ‘Children can now play on a train, run round giant pencils, play human noughts and crosses or sail on the HMS Friendship.’
    • ‘Will and I talked most of the day and played noughts and crosses and I spy when we weren't talking.’
    • ‘‘He invented all sorts of things, he once offered a prize of £50 to anybody who could beat his computer at noughts and crosses, but nobody ever did,’ she said.’
    • ‘He starts out with fairly ordinary things, and then moves on to signing with noughts and crosses boards, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and you name it, really.’


noughts and crosses