the crux of the matter

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the crux of the matter

The focal, central, or most important element of a topic, problem, or issue. Over the course of this trial, the prosecution intends to get to the crux of the matter regarding this company's shady financial dealings.
See also: crux, matter, of

*the crux of the matter

 and *the root of the matter;
See also: crux, matter, of

crux of the matter

Also, heart of the matter. The basic, central or critical point of an issue. For example, In this trial the bloodstains represent the crux of the matter, or We think the second clause is the heart of the matter. Although crux is Latin for "cross," in English it means "difficulty" or "puzzle," and it is from the latter that this expression is thought to be derived. The variant employs heart in the sense of "a vital part" (as it is in the body). The first term dates from the late 1800s, the variant from the early 1500s.
See also: crux, matter, of