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To murder human beings with circumstances of cruelty; to kill men with indiscriminate violence, without authority or necessity, and contrary to the usages of nations; to butcher human beings. Nymphidicus endeavored to save himself in a tent, but was pursued and massacred on the spot. Murphy's Tacitus.


One who massacres. [A very bad word.] Burke.


A priest who celebrates mass.

MASS-E'TER, n. [Gr. from μασσαομαι, to chew.]

A muscle which raises the under jaw.

MAS'SI-COT, or MAS'TI-COT, n. [Fr. massicot.]

Protoxyd of lead or yellow oxyd of lead, composed of one equivalent of lead and one equivalent of oxygen. Lead exposed to the air while melting, is covered with a gray, dusky pellicle. This pellicle carefully taken off, is reduced by exposure to the joint action of heat and air, to a greenish gray powder, inclining to yellow. This oxyd separated from the grains of lead by sifting, and exposed to a more intense heat sufficient to make it red hot, assumes a deep yellow color. In this state it is called massicot. Massicot, slowly heated by a moderate fire, takes a beautiful red color, becomes a salt composed of two equivalents protoxyd of lead and one equivalent deutoxyd, and obtains the name of minium. Fourcroy. Massicot is sometimes used by painters, and it is used as drier in the composition of ointments and plasters. Encyc.

MASS'I-NESS, or MASS'IVE-NESS, n. [See Massy, Massive.]

The state of being massy; great weight, or weight with bulk; ponderousness.

MASS'IVE, or MASS'Y, a. [Fr. massif, from mass.]

Heavy; weighty; ponderous; bulky and heavy; as, a massy shield; a massy rock. The yawning rocks in massy fragments fly. Pope.


In mineralogy, in mass; having a crystaline structure, but not a regular form. We say, a mineral occurs massive.


In a mass.

MAST, n.1 [Sax. st; D. G. Sw. and Dan. mast; Fr. mât, for mast; Port. masto or mastro; Sp. mastiles, masts; masteleros, top-masts; masto, a trunk, a stock in which any cion is ingrafted.]

A long, round piece of timber, elevated or designed to raised perpendicularly or nearly so, on the keel of a ship or other vessel, to which the yards, sails and rigging are attached, and by which they are supported. A mast is a single stick, formed from the trunk of a tree, or it consists of many pieces of timber united by iron bands. Masts are of several kinds, as the main-mast, fore-mast, mizzen-mast, top-mast, top-gallant-mast, &c.

MAST, n.2 [Sax. mæste, acorns, food; Goth. mats, food, meat; Ir. mais, meas, an acorn; maise, food; W. mes, acorns, a portion, a meal; mesen, an acorn. This may be the American maiz, and signify food in general, from eating, chewing, masticating, or primarily a nut kernel, or acorn, the food of the primitive tribes of men. It seems to be radically the same word as meat.]

The fruit of the oak and beech, or other forest trees; nuts; acorns. [It has no plural.]


Furnished with a mast or masts.

MAS'TER, n. [Fr. maître, for maister; Russ. master; D. meester; G. meister; Sw. mästare; Dan. mester; Arm. meastr; It. and Sp. maestro; L. magister, compounded of the root of magis, major, greater, and the Teutonic ster, Sax. steoran, to steer. See Steer. The word then signifies a chief director. See Minister.]

  1. A man who rules, governs or directs either men or business. A man who owns slaves is their master; he who has servants is their master; he who has apprentices is their master, as he has the government and direction of them. The man who superintends and directs any business, is master, or master workman. O thou my friend, my genius, come along, / Thou master of the poet and the song. Pope. Nations that want protectors, will have master. Ames.
  2. A director, head, or chief manager; as, the master of a feast.
  3. The owner; proprietor; with the idea of governing. The master of a house may be the owner, or the occupant, who has a temporary right of governing it. It would be believed that he rather took the horse for his subject, than his master. Dryden.
  4. A lord; a ruler; one who has supreme dominion. Caesar, the world's great master and his own. Pope.
  5. A chief; a principal; as, the master root of a plant. Mortimer. One master passion swallows up the rest. Pope.
  6. One who has possession, and the power of controlling or using at pleasure. When I have made myself master of a hundred thousand drachmas. Addison.
  7. The commander of a merchant ship.
  8. In ships of war, an officer who takes rank immediately after the lieutenants, and navigates the ship under the direction of the captain.
  9. The director of a school; a teacher; an instructor. In this sense the word is giving place to the more appropriate words, teacher, instructor, and preceptor; at least it is so in the United States.
  10. One uncontrolled. Let every man be master of his time. Shak.
  11. An appellation of respect. Master doctor, you have brought those drugs. Shak.
  12. An appellation given to young men. Where there are little masters and misses in a house. Swift.
  13. A man eminently or perfectly skilled in any occupation, art or science. We say, a man is master of his business; a great master of music, of the flute or violin; a master of his subject, &c.
  14. A title of dignity in colleges and universities; as, Master of Arts.
  15. The chief of a society; as, the Grand Master of Malta, of free-masons, &c.
  16. The director of ceremonies at public places, or on public occasions.
  17. The president of a college. England. Master in chancery, an assistant of the lord chancellor, chosen from among the barristers to sit in chancery, or at the rolls. Encyc. Master of the rolls, an officer who has charge of the rolls and patents that pass the great seal, and of the records of the chancery. Encyc. To be master of one's self, to have the command or control of one's own passions. The word master has numerous applications, in all of which it has the sense of director, chief, or superintendent. As a title of respect given to adult persons, it is pronounced mister; a pronunciation which seems to have been derived from some of the Northern dialects. [supra.]

MAS'TER, v.i.

To be skillful; to excel. [Obs.] Spenser.

MAS'TER, v.t.

  1. To conquer; to overpower; to subdue; to bring under control. Obstinacy and willful neglect must be mastered, even though it costs blows. Locke. Evil customs must he mastered by degrees. Calamy.
  2. To execute with skill. I will not offer that which I can not master. Bacon.
  3. To rule; to govern. And rather father thee than master thee. [Not used.] Shak.


The chief builder. Bible.


The chief chord. Moore.


Dominion; rule. [Not used.] Shak.


Overpowered; subdued.


Having the skill of a master; also, imperious; arbitrary. [Obs.]


The hand of a man eminently skillful. Pope.


Conquering; overcoming.


Principal jest. Hudibras.


The key that opens many locks, the subordinate keys of which open only one each. Dryden.


  1. Destitute of a master or owner. Spenser.
  2. Ungoverned; unsubdued.