Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The basic, central, or critical point or feature: the crux of the matter; the crux of an argument.
  • n. A puzzling or apparently insoluble problem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The basic, central, or essential point or feature.
  • n. The critical or transitional moment or issue, a turning point.
  • n. A puzzle or difficulty.
  • n. The hardest point of a climb.
  • n. A cross on a coat of arms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Anything that is very puzzling or difficult to explain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cross. See phrases below. Specifically
  • n. The Southern Cross, the most celebrated constellation of the southern heavens.
  • n. The cross as an instrument of torture; hence, anything that puzzles or vexes in a high degree; a conundrum.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the most important point
  • n. a small conspicuous constellation in the southern hemisphere in the Milky Way near Centaurus

Etymologies

Probably short for Medieval Latin crux (interpretum), torment (of interpreters), from Latin crux, cross.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin crux ("cross, wooden frame for execution") (English cross), from the Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to turn, to bend”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Nor does the Latin word crux automatically refer to a cross while patibulum refer to the cross-beam.

    Signs of the Times

  • As for the main crux of your question I view commenting on blogs as inherently different from writing a blog.

    Matthew Yglesias » Journalists, Bloggers, and Status Anxiety

  • The crux is that few banks have been incentivised to voluntarily contribute comprehensive, high-quality information, limiting the scale of such efforts.

    Rating Agencies Should Get A Death Sentence

  • The main crux of our authors argument seems to be in this passage: To kill a reader of this newspaper would be to kill a creature richly aware of its environment and full of beliefs and desires, including the desire to continue living.

    ProWomanProLife » Bring out the philosophy profs!

  • The delicious dramatic crux is that the more precarious Mary's prospects for survival become, the more unnerved Elizabeth appears.

    Theater review of 'Mary Stuart' by the Washington Shakespeare Company

  • The crux is that people are paid, mostly, to do difficult and unpleasant things which they wouldn't otherwise do.

    Simply Wonderful, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • While the main crux of the discussion was about the abysmal treatment received, mention was made of computers, and that they are subject to search and seizure, as are jump drives, external harddrives, and all other electronic data storage devices, and they need virtually zero reason or cause to do it.

    lonely

  • But what's the crux is what's considered "difficult".

    My Prerogative

  • Updates, 5/16: "It seems silly and grandiose to lavish praise on a movie whose dramatic crux is the recording of a demo tape, and there is some danger that the critical love showered on Once will come to seem a bit disproportionate," warns AO Scott.

    GreenCine Daily: Once.

  • No ..... the main crux of my original question was, to see if any of you were taking advantage of the seemingly better opportunities in the Mexican markets.

    Investments in Mexico

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