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[moh-zey-ik] /moʊˈzeɪ ɪk/
a picture or decoration made of small, usually colored pieces of inlaid stone, glass, etc.
the process of producing such a picture or decoration.
something resembling such a picture or decoration in composition, especially in being made up of diverse elements:
a mosaic of borrowed ideas.
Also called aerial mosaic, photomosaic. an assembly of aerial photographs matched in such a way as to show a continuous photographic representation of an area (mosaic map)
Architecture. (in an architectural plan) a system of patterns for differentiating the areas of a building or the like, sometimes consisting of purely arbitrary patterns used to separate areas according to function but often consisting of plans of flooring, reflected ceiling plans, overhead views of furnishings and equipment, or other items really included in the building or building plan.
Also called mosaic disease. Plant Pathology. any of several diseases of plants, characterized by mottled green or green and yellow areas on the leaves, caused by certain viruses.
Biology. an organism exhibiting mosaicism.
Television. a light-sensitive surface in a television camera tube, consisting of a thin mica sheet coated on one side with a large number of small globules of silver and cesium insulated from each other. The image to be televised is focused on this surface and the resulting charges on the globules are scanned by an electron beam.
pertaining to, resembling, or used for making a mosaic or mosaic work:
a mosaic tile.
composed of a combination of diverse elements.
verb (used with object), mosaicked, mosaicking.
to make a mosaic of or from.
to decorate with mosaic.
Origin of mosaic
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French mosaïque < Italian mosaico < Medieval Latin musaicum, re-formation of Late Latin musīvum (opus), Latin musēum, musaeum mosaic work (quantity of u uncertain), of obscure origin; variants may show an assumed relationship with Greek mouseîon shrine of the Muses, museum, by analogy with archī(v)um (see archive), though classical Gk word is not attested in sense “mosaic”
Related forms
mosaically, adverb
premosaic, adjective


or Mosaical

[moh-zey-ik] /moʊˈzeɪ ɪk/
of or relating to Moses or the writings, laws, and principles attributed to him:
Mosaic ethics.
1655-65; < New Latin Mosaicus, equivalent to Late Latin Mōs(ēs) Moses + -aicus, on the model of Hebraicus Hebraic
Related forms
post-Mosaic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for mosaic


a design or decoration made up of small pieces of coloured glass, stone, etc
the process of making a mosaic
  1. a mottled yellowing that occurs in the leaves of plants affected with any of various virus diseases
  2. Also called mosaic disease. any of the diseases, such as tobacco mosaic, that produce this discoloration
(genetics) another name for chimera (sense 4)
an assembly of aerial photographs forming a composite picture of a large area on the ground
a light-sensitive surface on a television camera tube, consisting of a large number of granules of photoemissive material deposited on an insulating medium
Derived Forms
mosaicist (məˈzeɪɪsɪst) noun
Word Origin
C16: via French and Italian from Medieval Latin mōsaicus, from Late Greek mouseion mosaic work, from Greek mouseios of the Muses, from mousaMuse


of or relating to Moses or the laws and traditions ascribed to him
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 mosaic

c.1400, from Old French mosaicq "mosaic work," from Italian mosaico, from Medieval Latin musaicum "mosaic work, work of the Muses," noun use of neuter of musaicus "of the Muses," from Latin Musa (see muse). Medieval mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The word formed in Medieval Latin as though from Greek, but the (late) Greek word for "mosaic work" was mouseion (Klein says this sense was borrowed from Latin). Figurative use is from 1640s. As an adjective in English from 1580s. Related: Mosaicist.



"pertaining to Moses," 1660s (earlier Mosaical, 1560s), from Modern Latin Mosaicus, from Moses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mosaic in Medicine

mosaic mo·sa·ic (mō-zā'ĭk)
Patterned in small squares; tesselated. n.
An organism exhibiting mosaicism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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mosaic in Science
Any of various viral diseases of plants, resulting in light and dark areas in the leaves, which often become shriveled and dwarfed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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mosaic in Culture

mosaic definition

A picture or design made from small pieces of colored tile, glass, or other material set in mortar. Mosaics have been widely used in Christian churches to decorate walls and ceilings.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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mosaic in Technology
World-Wide Web, tool
NCSA's browser (client) for the World-Wide Web.
Mosaic has been described as "the killer application of the 1990s" because it was the first program to provide a slick multimedia graphical user interface to the Internet's burgeoning wealth of distributed information services (formerly mostly limited to FTP and Gopher) at a time when access to the Internet was expanding rapidly outside its previous domain of academia and large industrial research institutions.
NCSA Mosaic was originally designed and programmed for the X Window System by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina at NCSA. Version 1.0 was released in April 1993, followed by two maintenance releases during summer 1993. Version 2.0 was released in December 1993, along with version 1.0 releases for both the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. An Acorn Archimedes port is underway (May 1994).
Marc Andreessen, who created the NCSA Mosaic research prototype as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois left to start Mosaic Communications Corporation along with five other former students and staff of the university who were instrumental in NCSA Mosaic's design and development.
E-mail: (X version), (Macintosh), (Windows version), (general help).
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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