merrymaking (n.) Look up merrymaking at Dictionary.com
also merry-making, 1714; see merry + make (v.). Related: Merry-maker (1827).
merrythought (n.) Look up merrythought at Dictionary.com
"wishbone," c.1600, from merry (adj.) + thought. Also see wishbone.
mesa (n.) Look up mesa at Dictionary.com
"high table land," 1759, from Spanish mesa "plateau," literally "table," from Latin mensa "table" (source of Rumanian masa, Old French moise "table").
mesalliance (n.) Look up mesalliance at Dictionary.com
"marriage with a person of lower social position," 1782, from French mésalliance, from pejorative prefix mes- (from Latin mis-; see mis-) + alliance (see alliance).
mescal (n.) Look up mescal at Dictionary.com
"plant of the genus Agave," found in deserts of Mexico and southwestern U.S., especially the American aloe, or maguey plant, 1702, from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) mexcalli "fermented drink made from agave," from metl "agave" + ixcalli "stew." Meaning "intoxicating liquor from fermented juice of the agave" is attested in English from 1828. Also the name of a small desert cactus (peyote) found in northern Mexico and southern Texas (1885).
mescaline (n.) Look up mescaline at Dictionary.com
crystalline alkaloid, 1896, from German mezcalin (1896), so called because it originally was found in the buttons that grow atop the mescal cacti (see mescal). With chemical suffix -ine (2).
mesdames Look up mesdames at Dictionary.com
plural of French madame (see madam).
meseems (v.) Look up meseems at Dictionary.com
late 14c., me semeth, from me (pron.) + seem (v.).
mesel Look up mesel at Dictionary.com
"leprous" (adj.); "a leper" (n.); both c.1300, from Old French mesel "wretched, leprous; a wretch," from Latin misellus "wretched, unfortunate," as a noun, "a wretch," in Medieval Latin, "a leper," diminutive of miser "wretched, unfortunate, miserable" (see miser). Also from Latin misellus are Old Italian misello "sick, leprous," Catalan mesell "sick."
mesenteritis (n.) Look up mesenteritis at Dictionary.com
"inflammation of the mesentery," 1802; see mesentery + -itis.
mesentery (n.) Look up mesentery at Dictionary.com
fold of the peritoneum, early 15c., from medical Latin mesenterium "middle of the intestine," from medical Greek mesenterion, from mesos "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + enteron "intestine" (see enteric). Related: Mesenteric.
mesh (n.) Look up mesh at Dictionary.com
late 14c., mesche, "open space in a net," probably from late Old English max "net," earlier mæscre, from Proto-Germanic *mask- (cognates: Old Norse möskvi, Danish maske, Swedish maska, Old Saxon masca, Middle Dutch maessce, Dutch maas "mesh," Old High German masca, German Masche "mesh"), from PIE root *mezg- "to knit, plait, twist" (cognates: Lithuanian mezgu "to knit," mazgas "knot").
mesh (v.) Look up mesh at Dictionary.com
1530s, originally in the figurative sense of "entangle, involve," from mesh (n.). Literal sense "to become enmeshed" is from 1580s. Meaning "to fit in, combine" is from 1944. Related: Meshed; meshing.
meshuga (adj.) Look up meshuga at Dictionary.com
"mad, crazy, stupid," 1892, from Hebrew meshugga, part. of shagag "to go astray, wander." The adjective has forms meshugener, meshugenah before a noun.
mesial (adj.) Look up mesial at Dictionary.com
"middle, median," 1803, an irregular formation from Greek mesos "middle" (see meso-) + -al (1). Related: Mesially.
mesic (adj.) Look up mesic at Dictionary.com
1926, in ecology sense, from Greek mesos "middle" (see meso-) + -ic. From 1939 in physics (from meson).
mesmeric (adj.) Look up mesmeric at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to mesmerism," 1829; see mesmerism + -ic.
mesmerise (v.) Look up mesmerise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of mesmerize (v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Mesmerised; mesmerising.
mesmerism (n.) Look up mesmerism at Dictionary.com
"hypnotism," 1802, from French mesmérisme, named for Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), Austrian physician who developed a theory of animal magnetism and a mysterious body fluid which allows one person to hypnotize another. Related: Mesmerist.
mesmerize (v.) Look up mesmerize at Dictionary.com
1829, back-formation from mesmerism. Transferred sense of "enthrall" is first attested 1862. Related: Mesmerized; mesmerizing.
mesne (adj.) Look up mesne at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "mean;" altered spelling (by French influence) of Anglo-French meen "mean" (Old French meien "middle;" see mean (adj.); also see demesne).
meso- Look up meso- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "middle, intermediate, halfway," sometimes mes- before vowels, comb. form of Greek mesos "middle, in the middle; middling, moderate; between" (see medial (adj.)).
Mesoamerica (n.) Look up Mesoamerica at Dictionary.com
1948, from meso- + America.
mesocracy (n.) Look up mesocracy at Dictionary.com
"government by the middle classes," 1858, from meso- + -cracy. Related: Mesocratic (1857).
mesoderm (n.) Look up mesoderm at Dictionary.com
1858, from French mésoderme or German Mesoderm, literally "middle skin," coined by German physician Robert Remak (1815-1865) from meso- + Greek derma (see -derm).
mesolithic (adj.) Look up mesolithic at Dictionary.com
1866 in archaeology (somewhat earlier in geology); see meso- + lithic.
mesomorph (n.) Look up mesomorph at Dictionary.com
1940, from meso- + Greek morphe "form" (see Morpheus). Coined by W.H. Shelton; the reference is to the mesodermal layer of the embryo. Related: Mesomorphic (attested from 1923 in chemistry).
meson (n.) Look up meson at Dictionary.com
subatomic particle, 1939, from Greek mesos "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + subatomic particle suffix -on. Earlier mesotron (1938). So called for being intermediate in mass between protons and electrons.
Mesopotamia Look up Mesopotamia at Dictionary.com
ancient name for the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in modern Iraq), from Greek mesopotamia (khora), literally "a country between two rivers," from fem. of mesopotamos, from mesos "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + potamos "river" (see potamo-).

In 19c. the word sometimes was used in the sense of "anything which gives irrational or inexplicable comfort to the hearer," based on the story of the old woman who told her pastor that she "found great support in that comfortable word Mesopotamia" ["Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable," 1870]. The place was called Mespot (1917) by British soldiers serving there in World War I. Related: Mesopotamian.
mesosphere (n.) Look up mesosphere at Dictionary.com
1950, from meso- + second element in atmosphere.
Mesozoic (adj.) Look up Mesozoic at Dictionary.com
1840, from Greek mesos "middle" (see meso-) + zoe "life" (see zoo) + -ic. Name coined by British geologist John Phillips for the fossil era "between" the Paleozoic and the Cenozoic.
mesquite (n.) Look up mesquite at Dictionary.com
type of North American shrub of the pea family, 1759, from Mexican Spanish mezquite, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) mizquitl "mesquite."
mess (n.) Look up mess at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "food for one meal, pottage," from Old French mes "portion of food, course at dinner," from Late Latin missus "course at dinner," literally "a placing, a putting (on a table, etc.)," from past participle of mittere "to put, place," in classical Latin "to send, let go" (see mission).

Meaning "communal eating place" (especially a military one) is first attested 1530s, from earlier sense of "company of persons eating together" (early 15c.), originally a group of four. Sense of "mixed food," especially for animals, (1738) led to contemptuous use for "jumble, mixed mass" (1828) and figurative sense of "state of confusion" (1834), as well as "condition of untidiness" (1851). General use for "a quantity" of anything is attested by 1830. Meaning "excrement" (of animals) is from 1903.
mess (v.) Look up mess at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "serve up in portions," from mess (n.). Meaning "take one's meals" is from 1701; that of "make a mess" is from 1853. Related: Messed; messing. To mess with "interfere, get involved" is from 1903; mess up "make a mistake, get in trouble" is from 1933 (earlier" make a mess of," 1909), both originally American English colloquial.
message (n.) Look up message at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "communication transmitted via a messenger," from Old French message "message, news, tidings, embassy" (11c.), from Medieval Latin missaticum, from Latin missus "a sending away, sending, despatching; a throwing, hurling," noun use of past participle of mittere "to send" (see mission). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by ærende. Specific religious sense of "divinely inspired communication via a prophet" (1540s) led to transferred sense of "the broad meaning (of something)," first attested 1828. To get the message "understand" is from 1960.
message (v.) Look up message at Dictionary.com
"to send messages," 1580s, from message (n.). Related: Messaged; messaging.
messaging (n.) Look up messaging at Dictionary.com
1865, verbal noun from message (v.).
Messalina Look up Messalina at Dictionary.com
"scheming and licentious woman," 1887, in reference to Valeria Messalina, notorious third wife of Roman emperor Claudius.
messenger (n.) Look up messenger at Dictionary.com
c.1200, messager, from Old French messagier "messenger, envoy, ambassador," from message (see message (n.)). With parasitic -n- inserted by c.1300 for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (compare passenger, harbinger, scavenger).
Messerschmitt (n.) Look up Messerschmitt at Dictionary.com
type of German warplane, 1940, from name of Willy Messerschmitt (1898-1978), German aircraft designer. The surname is literally "cutler, knife-maker."
messiah (n.) Look up messiah at Dictionary.com
c.1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation. The modern English form represents an attempt to make the word look more Hebrew, and dates from the Geneva Bible (1560). Transferred sense of "an expected liberator or savior of a captive people" is attested from 1660s.
messianic (adj.) Look up messianic at Dictionary.com
1831, from Modern Latin messianicus, from Messias (see messiah).
Messier Look up Messier at Dictionary.com
in reference to a catalogue of about 100 nebulae, star clusters and galaxies begun in 1758 by French astronomer and comet-hunter Charles Messier (1730-1817), who found his telescopic searches deceived by fuzzy objects that resembled distant comets but turned out to be fixed.
What caused me to undertake the catalog was the nebula I discovered above the southern horn of Taurus on September 12, 1758, whilst observing the comet of that year. This nebula had such a resemblance to a comet in its form and brightness that I endeavored to find others, so that astronomers would no more confuse these same nebulae with comets just beginning to appear. [Messier, 1800]
The first version of the catalogue was published 1771, and the fuller version in 1781.
messmate (n.) Look up messmate at Dictionary.com
1746, from mess (n.) + mate (n.). Etymologically pleonastic.
messrs Look up messrs at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of messieurs (1620s), which is the plural of French monsieur (see monsieur).
messuage (n.) Look up messuage at Dictionary.com
legal term for "dwelling," late 14c., (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Anglo-French messuage, which probably is a clerical error for mesnage (see menage). Originally the portion of land set aside for a dwelling-house and outbuildings, whether occupied by them or not; later chiefly in reference to the house and buildings and the attached land.
messy (adj.) Look up messy at Dictionary.com
1843, "untidy," from mess (n.) + -y (2). Figurative use ("unethical") by 1924. Related: Messily; messiness.
mestizo (adj.) Look up mestizo at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Spanish mestizo "of mixed European and Amerindian parentage," from Late Latin mixticius "mixed, mongrel," from Latin mixtus "mixed," past participle of miscere "to mix, mingle" (see mix (v.)). Fem. form mestiza is attested from 1580s.
Met (n.) Look up Met at Dictionary.com
1879 as colloquial shortening of Metropolitan (n.) "member of the New York Metropolitan Base-Ball Club."
THE baseball season has opened, and along with the twittering of the birds, the budding of the trees, and the clattering of the truck, comes the news that the "Mets were beaten yesterday 17 to 5." It is an infallible sign of spring when the Mets are beaten 17 to 5, and we invariably put on our thinner clothing when we read that refreshing, though perennial news in the papers. ["Life," May 12, 1887]
Used variously to abbreviate other proper names beginning with Metropolitan, such as "Metropolitan Museum of Art" (N.Y.), by 1919; "Metropolitan Railway" (stock), by 1890; "Metropolitan Opera Company (N.Y.), by 1922. Related: Mets.
met (v.) Look up met at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of meet (v.).