Definition of cresset in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkresət/ /ˈkrɛsət/


  • A metal container of oil, grease, wood, or coal burned as a torch and typically mounted on a pole.

    ‘He arose and went to her as I lit the cresset from the brazier coals.’
    • ‘In addition to these fires, the streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another.’
    • ‘Fire baskets or cressets mounted at the prows of the fishing barges seem to attract prey for the cormorants.’
    firebrand, brand


Late Middle English from Old French, from craisse, variant of graisse ‘oil, grease’.