Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z



a spar or structure rising above the hull and upper portions of a ship or boat to hold sails, spars, rigging, booms, signals, etc., at some point on the fore-and-aft line, as a foremast or mainmast.
any of a number of individual spars composing such a structure, as a topmast supported on trestletrees at the head of a lower mast.
any of various portions of a single spar that are beside particular sails, as a top-gallant mast and royal mast formed as a single spar.

Also called pillar. the upright support of a jib crane.
any upright pole, as a support for an aerial, a post in certain cranes, etc.
to provide with a mast or masts.
before the mast, Nautical. as an unlicensed sailor:
He served several years before the mast.
the fruit of the oak and beech or other forest trees, used as food for hogs and other animals.
variant of masto- before a vowel:
Contemporary Examples

Both French commanders died: Quiéret was killed as his ship was boarded, and Béhuchet was hanged from the mast of his ship.
The Day the Sea Ran Red: The Battle of Sluys Dan Jones May 5, 2013

mast could not recall whom Bush defeated in 2000 or which party is currently in power in Canada, where he was born and raised.
McCain’s Last Hope: The Amish Vote Benjamin Sarlin October 27, 2008

“We just pray to God that he puts the right man in office for our own good,” mast told me.
McCain’s Last Hope: The Amish Vote Benjamin Sarlin October 27, 2008

When Odysseus journeyed back from Troy, his men tied him to the mast of his ship when the Sirens tempted him to leave it.
War Nostalgia Is Leading Veterans to Places Like Syria. One Went Missing There. Elliot Ackerman May 2, 2014

The result is what Two Years Before the mast would have been like if Richard Henry Dana Jr. had had a sense of humor.
P.J. O’Rourke Picks His Favorite Travel Books P. J. O’Rourke November 11, 2011

Historical Examples

Lash him to the mast and give him a taste of the cat-o’-nine-tails.
The Red Fairy Book Various

We have a mast and sail there, I see, and water in the beaker.
Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle

I’ll nail the colors to the mast, and see who will be the man who will haul them down.
Poor Jack Frederick Marryat

“Hand me the lead and line, that lie at the foot of the mast, it you please,” said Paul.
Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper

About noon the trees were visible from the mast, and in the afternoon from the main deck.
The Moravians in Georgia Adelaide L. Fries

(nautical) any vertical spar for supporting sails, rigging, flags, etc, above the deck of a vessel or any components of such a composite spar
any sturdy upright pole used as a support
(nautical) Also called captain’s mast. a hearing conducted by the captain of a vessel into minor offences of the crew
(nautical) before the mast, as an apprentice seaman
(transitive) (nautical) to equip with a mast or masts
the fruit of forest trees, such as beech, oak, etc, used as food for pigs
combining form
a variant of masto-

“long pole on a ship to support the sail,” Old English mæst, from Proto-Germanic *mastaz (cf. Old Norse mastr, Middle Dutch maste, Dutch, Danish mast, German Mast), from PIE *mazdo- “a pole, rod” (cf. Latin malus “mast,” Old Irish matan “club,” Irish maide “a stick,” Old Church Slavonic mostu “bridge”). The single mast of an old ship was the boundary between quarters of officers and crew, hence before the mast in the title of Dana’s book, etc.

“fallen nuts; food for swine,” Old English mæst, from Proto-Germanic *masto (cf. Dutch, Old High German, German mast “mast;” Old English verb mæsten “to fatten, feed”), perhaps from PIE *mad-sta-, from root *mad- “moist, wet,” also used of various qualities of food (cf. Sanskrit madati “it bubbles, gladdens,” medah “fat, marrow;” Latin madere “be sodden, be drunk;” Middle Persian mast “drunk;” Old English mete “food,” Old High German muos “meal, mushlike food,” Gothic mats “food”).

mast- pref.
Variant of masto-.
military antishock trousers
see: at half-mast


Read Also:

  • Before the wind

    Driven ahead, hurried, as in The bikers are moving before the wind, so it’s hard to tell who will come in first. The literal meaning of this term is nautical, referring to a ship sailing in the same direction as the wind and being propelled forward. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s.

  • Before you can say jack robinson

    Also, quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. Almost immediately, very soon, as in I’ll finish this book before you can say Jack Robinson. This expression originated in the 1700s, but the identity of Jack Robinson has been lost. Grose’s Classical Dictionary (1785) said he was a man who paid such brief visits to acquaintances […]

  • Before you know it

    see under before you can say Jack Robinson

  • Before-hand

    in anticipation; in advance; ahead of time: We should have made reservations beforehand. I hope to be beforehand with my report. Historical Examples I didn’t mean to let any one see it before-hand, but you are a dear old thing, and you shall. The Green Satin Gown Laura E. Richards He shows all to Forster […]

Disclaimer: Mast definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.