mast

1 [mast, mahst]
noun
1.
Nautical.
a.
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.
b.
any of a number of individual spars composing such a structure, as a topmast supported on trestletrees at the head of a lower mast.
c.
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.
2.
Also called pillar. the upright support of a jib crane.
3.
any upright pole, as a support for an aerial, a post in certain cranes, etc.
verb (used with object)
4.
to provide with a mast or masts.
Idioms
5.
before the mast, Nautical. as an unlicensed sailor: He served several years before the mast.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English mæst; cognate with German Mast; akin to Latin mālus pole

mastless, adjective
mastlike, adjective
undermasted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

mast

2 [mast, mahst]
noun
the fruit of the oak and beech or other forest trees, used as food for hogs and other animals.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English mæst; cognate with German Mast; akin to meat

mast-

variant of masto- before a vowel: mastectomy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
mast1 (mɑːst)
 
n
1.  nautical any vertical spar for supporting sails, rigging, flags, etc, above the deck of a vessel or any components of such a composite spar
2.  any sturdy upright pole used as a support
3.  nautical Also called: captain's mast a hearing conducted by the captain of a vessel into minor offences of the crew
4.  nautical before the mast as an apprentice seaman
 
vb
5.  (tr) nautical to equip with a mast or masts
 
[Old English mæst; related to Middle Dutch mast and Latin mālus pole]
 
'mastless1
 
adj
 
'mastlike1
 
adj

mast2 (mɑːst)
 
n
the fruit of forest trees, such as beech, oak, etc, used as food for pigs
 
[Old English mæst; related to Old High German mast food, and perhaps to meat]

mast-
 
combining form
a variant of masto-

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mast
"long pole on a ship to support the sail," O.E. mæst, from P.Gmc. *mastaz (cf. O.N. mastr, Du., Ger. mast), from PIE *mazdos "a pole, rod" (cf. L. malus "mast," O.Ir. matan "club," Ir. maide "a stick," O.C.S. 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.

mast
"fallen nuts; food for swine," O.E. mæst, from P.Gmc. *mastaz (cf. Du., Ger. mast "mast," O.E. verb mæsten "to fatten, feed"), perhaps from PIE *mazdo-/*maddo- "to be fat, to flow" (cf. Skt. meda "fat," Goth. mats "food," see meat).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mast- pref.
Variant of masto-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
MAST
military antishock trousers
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

mast

see at half-mast.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

mast

in botany, nuts or fruits of trees and shrubs, such as beechnuts, acorns, and berries, that accumulate on the forest floor, providing forage for game animals and swine. Mast has also been used as human food and to fatten poultry. The phrase "a good mast year" refers to a period in which there is a heavy crop of wild nuts

Learn more about mast with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
His circular sail is attached to a mast that rises above a bridge between two
  pontoons.
The insurmountable problem in each case proved to be the mast.
The fore-mast is the second tallest mast of the ship.
When the large ship is raised, sea gulls can be seen to fly through the mast.
Idioms & Phrases
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