Dictionary: MASK – MAS'SA-CER, or MAS'SA-CRE

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MASK, n. [Fr. masque; It. maschera. Sp. and Port. mascara; Arm. masel; D. masker; G. maske.]

  1. A cover for the face; that which conceals the face, especially a cover with apertures for the eyes and mouth; a visor. A mask is designed to conceal the face from beholders, or to preserve the complexion from injury by exposure to the weather and the rays of the sun. Encyc.
  2. That which disguises; any pretense or subterfuge. Prior
  3. A festive entertainment of dancing or other diversions, in which the company all wear masks; a masquerade. Shak.
  4. A revel; a bustle; a piece of mummery. This thought might lead through this world's vain mask. Milton
  5. A dramatic performance written in a tragic style, without attention to rules or probability. Peacham.
  6. In architecture, a piece of sculpture representing some grotesque form, to fill and adorn vacant places, as in friezes, panels of doors, keys of arches, &c. Encyc.

MASK, v.i.

  1. To revel; to play the fool in masquerade.
  2. To be disguised in any way. Shak.

MASK, v.t.

  1. To cover the face for concealment or defense against injury; to conceal with a mask or visor. Addison.
  2. To disguise; to cover; to hide. Masking the business from the common eye. Shak.

MASK'ED, pp.

  1. Having the face covered; concealed; disguised.
  2. adj. In botany, personate, or having the anterior or lower and posterior or upper side of a labiate corol pressed together just below the border so as to close the opening into the tube.


One that wears a mask; one that plays the fool at a masquerade.


The dress or disguise of a masker. Marston.


A place for masquerades. Bp. Hall.

MASK-ING, ppr.

Covering with a mask; concealing.


MA'SON, n. [ma'sn; Fr. maçon; Arm. maçzonn; D. metselaar. In Sp. mazoneria is masonry, as if from mazo, a mallet, maza, a club, a mace. It is probably from the root of mix or mash, or moe probably of mass, and denotes one that works in mortar. See Mass.]

  1. A man whose occupation is to lay bricks and stones, or to construct the walls of buildings, chimneys and the like, which consist of bricks or stones.
  2. A member of the fraternity of free-masons.


Pertaining to the craft or mysteries of free-masons.

MA'SON-RY, n. [Fr. maçonnerie; Sp. mazoneria.]

  1. The art or occupation of a mason.
  2. The work or performance of a mason; as, when we say, the wall is good masonry.
  3. The craft of free-masons.

MAS'O-RA, n. [Heb.]

A Hebrew work on the Bible, by several Rabbins.

MAS-O-RET'IC, a. [Heb. מסר, to deliver, whence masora, tradition, whence the Masorites, the adherents to the traditionary readings of the Scriptures.]

Relating to the Masorites, who interpreted the Scriptures by tradition, and invented the Hebrew points to fix the true reading and pronunciation. Whence the vowel-points are denominated masoretic.


One of the writers of the Masora.

MAS-QUER-ADE, n. [It. mascherata. See Mask.]

  1. A nocturnal assembly of persons wearing masks, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation and other diversions. In courtly balls and midnight masquerades. Pope.
  2. Disguise. I came to visit thee in masquerade. Dryden.
  3. A Spanish diversion on horseback. Clarendon.


  1. To go in disguise.
  2. To assemble in masks. Swift.


To put in disguise. Killingbeck.


A person wearing a mask; one disguised. L'Estrange.


Assembling in masks for diversion.

MASS, n.1 [Fr. masse, a mass, a heap, a mace, or club; Port. maça, dough, and a mace; Sp. masa, dough, mortar, a mass, and maza, a club, a mace; mazo, a mallet; It. massa, a heap, and mazza, a maze; G. masse; L. massa, a mass. These words seem to belong to the root of the Greek μασσω, to beat or pound, the root of which is μαγ; hence the connection between mass, and mace, a club. If any of these words are of a different origin, they may belong to the root of mix.]

  1. A lump; a body of matter concreted, collected or formed into a lump; applied to any solid body; as, a mass of iron or lead; a mass of flesh; a mass of ice; a mass of dough.
  2. A collective body of fluid matter. The ocean is a mass of water.
  3. A heap; as, a mass of earth.
  4. A great quantity collected; as, a mass of treasure.
  5. Bulk; magnitude. This army of such mass and charge. Shak.
  6. An assemblage; a collection of particulars blended, confused or indistinct; as, a mass of colors. Addison. They lose their forms, and make a mass / Confused and black, if brought too near. Prior.
  7. Gross body of things considered collectively; the body; the bulk; as, the mass of people in a nation. A small portion of morbid matter may infect the whole mass of fluids in the body. Comets have power over the mass of things. Bacon.

MASS, n.2 [Sax. mæsa, mæsse; Fr. masse; It. messa; Sp. misa; D. misse; G. and Dan. messe; Sw. messa; Low L. missa. The word signifies primarily leisure, cessation from labor, from the L. missus, remissus, like the L. feriæ; hence a feast or holiday. Laws of Alfred, 39. “Be mæsse dæge freolse.” De festivitate diei festi. See also Laws of Cnute, Lib. 1, 14, and 2, 42. Hence Sax. hlafmæsse, lemmas, bread-feast, and Martin-mas, Michael-mas, Candlemas, Christmas.]

The service of the Romish church; the office or prayers used at the celebration of the eucharist; the consecration of the bread and wine. Lye. Encyc. Wilkins.

MASS, v.i.

To celebrate mass. [Not used.] Hooker.

MASS, v.t.

To fill; to stuff; to strengthen. [Not used.] Hayward.

MAS'SA-CER, or MAS'SA-CRE, n. [massaker; Fr. massacre; Arm. maçzaer; It. mazzicare, to beat, from mazza, a club, a mace. So smite in English signifies to kill, as well as to beat.]

  1. The murder of an individual, or the slaughter of numbers of human beings, with circumstances of cruelty; the indiscriminate killing of human beings, without authority or necessity, and without forms civil or military. It differs from assassination, which is a private killing. It differs from carnage, which is rather the effect of slaughter than slaughter itself, and is applied to the authorized destruction of men in battle, or other great destruction of lives by violence. Massacre is sometimes called butchery, from its resemblance to the killing of cattle. If a soldier kills a man in battle in his own defense, it is a lawful act; it is killing, and it is slaughter, but it is not a massacre. Whereas, if a soldier kills an enemy after he has surrendered, it is massacre, a killing without necessity, often without authority, contrary to the usages of nations, and of course with cruelty. The practice of killing prisoners, even when authorized by the commander, is properly massacre; as the authority given proceeds from cruelty. We have all heard of the massacre of the Protestants in France, in the reign of Charles IX.; and frequent instances of barbarous massacre occur in the war between the Turks and Greeks.
  2. Murder. Shak.