"heavy metal weapon, often with a spiked head," late 13c., from Old French mace "a club, scepter" (Modern French masse), from Vulgar Latin *mattea (cf. Italian mazza, Spanish maza "mace"), from Latin mateola (in Late Latin also matteola) "a kind of mallet." The Latin word perhaps is cognate with Sanskrit matyam "harrow, club," Old Church Slavonic motyka "mattock," Old High German medela "plow" [Klein]. As a symbol of authority or office from mid-15c.
"spice made from dry outer husk of nutmeg," late 14c., from Old French macis (in English taken as a plural and stripped of its -s), of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be a scribal error for Latin macir, the name of a red spicy bark from India, but OED finds this etymology unlikely.
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 reference to mace (1). The verb is first attested 1968. Related: Maced; macing.
Mace or MACE (mās)
An alternate trademark used for Chemical Mace, an aerosol used to immobilize an attacker temporarily.
A trademark used for a temporarily disabling liquid packed in aerosol form and sprayed in self-defense into the face of an attacker, thereby causing dizziness, irritation of the eyes, and immobilization for a short period.