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mensa

[men-suh] /ˈmɛn sə/
noun, plural mensas, mensae
[men-see] /ˈmɛn si/ (Show IPA),
for 1, genitive mensae for 2.
1.
Also called altar slab, altar stone. the flat stone forming the top of the altar in a Roman Catholic church.
2.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Table, a southern constellation near Octans.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; < Latin mēnsa table

altar stone

noun
1.
Also called altar slab.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English awterston
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for altar slab

Mensa1

/ˈmɛnsə/
noun (Latin genitive) Mensae (ˈmɛnsiː)
1.
a faint constellation in the S hemisphere lying between Hydrus and Volans and containing part of the Large Magellanic Cloud
Word Origin
Latin, literally: the table

Mensa2

/ˈmɛnsə/
noun
1.
an international society, membership of which is restricted to people whose intelligence test scores exceed those expected of 98 per cent of the population
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for altar slab
mensa
"altar top," 1848, from L., lit. "table," hence used in Church L. for "upper slab of an altar." With a capital M-, the name of an organization for people of IQs of 148 or more founded in England in 1946, the name chosen, according to the organization, to suggest a "round table" type group.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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5
6
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