mast1 [mast, mahst] /mæst, mɑst/ Show IPA
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.
any of a number of individual spars composing such a structure, as a topmast supported on trestletrees at the head of a lower mast.
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.
Also called pillar
. the upright support of a jib crane.
any upright pole, as a support for an aerial, a post in certain cranes, etc.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a mast or masts.
before the mast, Nautical.
as an unlicensed sailor:
He served several years before the mast.
before 900; Middle English; Old English mæst; cognate with German Mast; akin to Latin mālus pole