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A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch.

[Middle English, from Old French, alteration of croisuel, probably from Vulgar Latin *croceolus, small lamp.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Historical Terms) history a metal basket mounted on a pole in which oil or pitch was burned for illumination
[C14: from Old French craisset, from craisse grease]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkrɛs ɪt)

a metal cup or basket mounted on a pole or hung from above, containing oil or other illuminant, and burned as a light or beacon.
[1325–75; < Anglo-French, Old French craisset=cras grease + -et -et]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Light this halt of the pilgrims by the wild red flames of cressets and torches, streaming up at intervals from every part of the innumerable throng.
Even at night, the river was specked with lanterns, and lurid with fires; far-off creeks, into which the tide washed as it changed, had their knots of watchers, listening to the lapping of the stream, and looking out for any burden it might bear; remote shingly causeways near the sea, and lonely points off which there was a race of water, had their unwonted flaring cressets and rough-coated figures when the next day dawned; but no trace of Edwin Drood revisited the light of the sun.
Th' ascending pile Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth And level pavement: from the arched roof Pendant by suttle Magic many a row Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed With Naphtha and ASPHALTUS yeilded light As from a sky.
And quite enchanted with his joke, the ferocious Orangeman took his cresset and his keys to conduct Cornelius to the cell, which on that very morning Cornelius de Witt had left to go into exile, or what in revolutionary times is meant instead by those sublime philosophers who lay it down as an axiom of high policy, "It is the dead only who do not return."
It would have made a fine picture, worthy of Rembrandt, the gloomy winding stairs illuminated by the reddish glare of the cresset of Gryphus, with his scowling jailer's countenance at the top, the melancholy figure of Cornelius bending over the banister to look down upon the sweet face of Rosa, standing, as it were, in the bright frame of the door of her chamber, with embarrassed mien at being thus seen by a stranger.
The apartment was lighted by a small cresset hanging from a rafter near the center of the room.
Until the era of Ghadjar, the sepulcher and its beautiful golden and silvery don cressets, and the beautiful candles would have made lighten the shrine and the number of the cressets was eighteen.
Shakespeare wrote of his vivid imagination thus, 'at my nativity, the front of heaven was full of fiery shapes, of burning cressets, and at my birth, the frame and huge foundation of the earth/Shaked like a coward.'' (Henry IV Part 1) 2.
Fire baskets or cressets mounted at the prows of the fishing barges seem to attract prey for the cormorants.
Overwhelming is my grief at the dawn farewell offerings - 16 Raising bright cressets, guiding the spirit carriage, Removing the chamber curtain, a mat is spread in the courtyard - 18 Offering a libation to bid her farewell on this eter- nal journey.
Immediately, candles come aglow from behind every window of the city as flames from tall cressets illuminate the weathered brick buildings and sidewalks.
Cressetter 1316, Cresseter 1341 (cresseter [from cresset; cp.