General English


  • adverb (of the ball) moving away from the batsman at a considerable angle to the line of the wickets
    Citation ‘Gooch and Gatting had both played against him [Whitney], and they reported that he … only slanted the ball across; they had not seen him swing it in’ (Brearley 1982)
    Compare away, back(adv)(2)
  • adverb (of a batsman) striking or attempting to strike the ball with the bat held horizontally or at an angle, so that the bat intersects the ball’s line of flight
    Citation ‘Ganguly …fell immediately after tea to Razzaq, playing across to a delivery that held its line to be trapped in front’ (S. Dinakar, The Hindu 2 February 2006)
    See cross bat

Origin & History of “across”

English originally borrowed across, or the idea for it, from Old French. French had the phrase à croix or en croix, literally ‘at or in cross’, that is, ‘in the form of a cross’ or ‘transversely’. this was borrowed into middle English as a creoix or o(n) croice, and it was not until the 15th century that versions based on the native English form of the word cross began to appear: in cross, on cross, and the eventual winner, across.