American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. In Christianity, a sign made by tracing the outline of a cross with the right hand as a devotional act or to invoke a blessing.
- n. Christianity A gesture of the hand moving over the front of one's body in the shape of a cross made as part of ritual or to invoke divine protection.
- n. a gesture with the right hand moving to form a cross; used by Catholics as a profession of faith
- A calque translation of Latin signum crucis (Wiktionary)
“Considine made the sign of the cross on his vestfront.”
“All bow at the holy name (it occurs twice) and at the words: "Adoramus te", "Gratias agimus tibi", "Suscipe deprecationem nostram" and make the sign of the cross at the last clause.”
“The boy made the sign of the cross (as all men in danger did then) and struggled on valiantly a full mile through the sea, like a brave lad never loosening his hold of his precious porpoise-meat till he reached the shore at the very spot from which he had set out.”
“Christians of the beginning of the third century making the sign of the cross on taking their places at table (De cor. milit., iii).”
“MacAuley made the sign of the cross on his blood-soaked chest.”
“The saint made the sign of the cross over the vessels, and at the same moment the water, losing its natural saltness, became so good, that they all protested it was better than that of Bangar, of which the seamen make their ordinary provision, and which is esteemed the best water in all the Indies.”
“Involuntarily, as she always did when she was startled awake by the dream, she made the sign of the cross over her chest and gathered in several deep breaths.”
“She made the sign of the cross over her chest and looked up to the cruciï¬x hanging at an angle over the bed.”
“She had a wonderful faith in the efficacy of that ancient practice of the early Christians -- the sign of the cross, and it is recorded, that on one occasion, in 676, during the episcopacy of St. Mommelinus, when the town was threatened with total destruction by fire, she made the sign of the cross over the flames, and the conflagration was forthwith extinguished.”
“The wife of Ekandono being in the convulsions of death, was instantly restored to health, after they had made the sign of the cross over her, with the discipline of the saint.”
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