Definition of


  1. (noun, substance) (trademark) a liquid that temporarily disables a person; prepared as an aerosol and sprayed in the face, it irritates the eyes and causes dizziness and immobilization
  2. (noun, person) an official who carries a mace of office
  3. (noun, food) spice made from the dried fleshy covering of the nutmeg seed
  4. (noun, communication) a ceremonial staff carried as a symbol of office or authority

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Mace

chemical mace, macebearer, macer

Alternate forms of Mace

Hypernyms: chloroacetophenone, cn gas, functionary, official, spice, staff

Origin of the word Mace

  1. "heavy metal weapon with a spiked head," c.1300, from O.Fr. mace "a club, scepter," from V.L. *mattea (cf. It. mazza, Sp. maza "mace"), from L. mateola "a kind of mallet." The L. word probably is cognate with Skt. matyam "harrow, club," O.C.S. motyka "mattock," O.H.G. medela "plow." more
  2. "spice made from dry outer husk of nutmeg," late 14c., from O.Fr. macis (in Eng. taken as a plural), sometimes said to be a scribal error for L. macir, a red spicy bark from India, but OED finds this etymology unlikely. more
  3. chemical spray originally used in riot control, 1966, technically Chemical Mace, a proprietary name (General Ordnance Equipment Corp, Pittsburgh, Pa.), probably so called for its use as a weapon, in ref. to mace (1). The verb is first attested 1968. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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