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[mas-tif, mah-stif] /ˈmæs tɪf, ˈmɑ stɪf/

one of a breed of large, powerful, short-haired dogs having an apricot, fawn, or brindled coat.
an old breed of large powerful short-haired dog, usually fawn or brindle with a dark mask

large, powerful breed of dog, early 14c., from Old French mastin (Modern French mâtin) or Provençal mastis, both from Vulgar Latin *mansuetinus “domesticated, tame,” from Latin mansuetus “tame, gentle” (see mansuetude). Probably originally meaning a dog that stays in the house, thus a guard-dog. Form in English perhaps influenced by Old French mestif “mongrel.”


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