Definition of crucifixion in US English:



  • 1The execution of a person by nailing or binding them to a cross.

    • ‘The Romans designed the act of crucifixion to slowly execute a person through torture while humiliating him.’
    • ‘The usual crucifixion began with the victim being flogged and severely beaten.’
    • ‘In real life crucifixions, the nail was placed between the radius and ulna bones of the forearm, with a plate of wood set between the head of the nail and the flesh to secure it further.’
    1. 1.1 The killing of Jesus Christ by crucifixion.
    2. 1.2in singular An artistic representation or musical composition based on the Crucifixion.
      • ‘The variety of Pino's responses to Michelangelo is seen in his later Crucifixion of 1577 in SS Severino e Sossio, where Christ's lithe body is seen above a commotion of figures below.’
      • ‘Each of the three movements ‘depicts’ an episode in the life of Christ: Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection.’
      • ‘As one sees from his Crucifixion and his Battle of Poitiers, hung alongside, Delacroix was rapacious for colour; especially, in picture after picture, for the cruel colour of blood.’
      • ‘The Grünewald altarpiece had also been a favourite of the German expressionists, being the starting point for Emil Nolde's famous Crucifixion of 1912.’
      • ‘The Crucifixion series, he says, ‘will go on forever, because every time I start one I never know what's going to go into it.’’
      • ‘The Crucifixion was delivered, and therefore reckoned to be finished, but it is also strikingly economical and bold in its details.’
      • ‘Sutherland gracefully found a way back to nature studies while painting the crown of thorns in his Crucifixion.’
      • ‘Next, on the liturgical left, is Filippino's Crucifixion of Peter, where the original subject is at question.’
      • ‘Grunewald's Crucifixion becomes a symbol of Germany's agony, the Passion it suffered as a consequence of its defeat in World War I.’
      • ‘The choir will be singing Crucifixion, by Stainer, and anybody interested in joining in can go along to the rehearsal at 2pm on the same day.’
      • ‘While anatomical and spatial description is often minimal, the overall narrative organization and pace of the scenes is dramatic, culminating in the powerful Crucifixion which takes up the main space of an entire bay.’
      • ‘His 1912 Calvary is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his White Crucifixion hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.’
      • ‘The composition of a Crucifixion cameo of similar date, here tentatively associated with Venice, may in theory have been borrowed from a mosaic or manuscript source, but not from a classical cameo.’
      • ‘It will feature John Stainer's Crucifixion, a well-known and loved piece.’
      • ‘He has a new play, Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams, running in New York, and an even newer work, Crucifixion, receiving its world premiere in San Francisco in October.’
      • ‘Augustus III was of a religious turn of mind, and he had Meissen produce sacred art like Kandler's Crucifixion, one of the largest porcelain groups.’
      • ‘I would like to think people come to the Met to see the David Lavoisier, the Van Eyck diptych of the Crucifixion and Last Judgement, and the Velazquez Juan de Pareja.’


Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin crucifixio(n-), from the verb crucifigere (see crucify).