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mast

mast, large metal or timber pole secured vertically or nearly vertically in a ship, used primarily for supporting sails and rigging. The mast is as old as sailing vessels, and the oldest sailboats depicted (those of ancient Egypt) had a small mast placed forward and carrying a single sail. The Phoenician bireme had one mast, the Greek trireme had two. Viking ships had one central mast. In the Middle Ages, a topmast was added, fixed to the single mast, to carry more sail; after the 16th cent., topmasts were generally demountable. By that time the building of larger vessels and the desire for greater speed on longer journeys had already brought increase in sails and in the masts—a process that continued until the clipper ships of the middle of the 19th cent. were rushed forward by clouds of sails. Above the topmast was added the topgallant mast and above that the topgallant mast royal. In vessels having more than one mast, a small forward mast is called the foremast and a small mast abaft the mainmast is called the mizzenmast. A platform for lookout on a mast is called a crow's nest. The modern merchant ship often has a mast made of hollow steel tubes, which is used mainly for signaling and for supporting radio antennas and lifts or derricks for cargo. In some modern warships the mast has a steel platform on which are mounted instruments for controlling gunfire.

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mast

mast1 / mast/ • n. 1. a tall upright post, spar, or other structure on a ship or boat, in sailing vessels generally carrying a sail or sails. ∎  a similar structure on land, esp. a flagpole or a television or radio transmitter. 2. (in full captain's mast) (in the U.S. Navy) a session of court presided over by the captain of a ship, esp. to hear cases of minor offenses. PHRASES: before the mast hist. serving as an ordinary seaman in a sailing ship (quartered in the forecastle).DERIVATIVES: mast·ed adj. [in comb.] a single-masted fishing boat.

mast

mast2 • n. the fruit of beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, esp. as food for pigs and wild animals.

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mast

mast a tall upright post, spar, or other structure on a ship or boat, in sailing vessels generally carrying a sail or sails.
before the mast in historical usage, serving as an ordinary seaman in a sailing ship (quartered in the forecastle).

See also half mast, nail one's colours to the mast.

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mast

mast1 long pole set up on the keel of a ship to support the sails. OE. mæst = (M)LG., (M)Du., (O)HG. mast :- WGmc. *masta :- IE. *mazdos, whence poss. L. mālus mast, OIr. matan club.

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mast

mast A fruit, especially of beech but also of oak, elm, and other forest trees, formerly often used as food for pigs.

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mast

mast2 fruit of forest-trees, esp. as food for swine. OE. mæst = MDu., MLG., OHG. mast :- WGmc. *masta.

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mast

mast A fruit, especially of beech but also of oak and other forest trees, often used as a food for pigs.

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mast

mast See milk, fermented.

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mast

mastaghast, avast, Belfast, blast, cast, caste, contrast, fast, last, mast, miscast, outlast, past, rat-arsed, unsurpassed, vast •steadfast • lightfast • holdfast •sunfast • colourfast • flabbergast •simulcast • telecast • typecast •forecast • broadcast • sportscast •downcast •outcast, outcaste •newscast • roughcast • upcast •opencast • worm cast • sandblast •Elastoplast • counterblast • mainmast •mizzenmast • topmast • foremast •fly-past

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