mas·​cot ˈma-ˌskät How to pronounce mascot (audio)
 also  -skət
: a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck
the team had a mountain lion as their mascot

Examples of mascot in a Sentence

The team had a mountain lion as their mascot. she wears a mascot made of ebony and silver on a chain around her neck
Recent Examples on the Web Even the Buc-ee’s beaver, the mascot of the beloved Texas convenience-store chain, made an appearance, sidling up next to Keith Urban during a goofy segment about reading artists’ minds. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2024 Feeding the business mascot People try to claim the darnedest deductions to reduce their tax bills, especially for business expenses. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Read Next National Rare, lungless ‘mascot of the mountains’ is in danger, scientists say. Julia Marnin, Sacramento Bee, 27 Mar. 2024 Dinger, of course, is the team’s personable mascot. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 Block, featuring appearances from each college’s band, cheerleaders, mascots and more, according to Visit KC. Joseph Hernandez, Kansas City Star, 7 Mar. 2024 The mom of three — she and Jason share daughters Wyatt, 4, Elliotte, 3, and Bennett, 1, — even posed for a fun photo alongside a fluffy green Phillies mascot at the game. Es, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2024 Yes, the anxiety is real, even for the most seasoned mascot. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 28 Mar. 2024 The museum is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has licensed and produced mascot bobbleheads for other major Arizona colleges as well, including Arizona State University. Coleby Phillips, The Arizona Republic, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mascot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French mascotte, from Occitan mascoto, from masco witch, from Medieval Latin masca

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mascot was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near mascot

Cite this Entry

“Mascot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mas·​cot ˈmas-ˌkät How to pronounce mascot (audio)
 also  -kət
: a person, animal, or object supposed to bring good luck

from French mascotte "mascot," from a Romance word mascoto "charm," literally "little witch," from masco "witch," from Latin masca "witch"

Word Origin
The word mascot is an example of words that come to have a more pleasant meaning as they develop through the years and through many languages. The ancestor of mascot is the Latin word masca, used in the Middle Ages to mean "witch." Masca passed into the Romance speech of southern France as masco. Later it developed a derivative mascoto, literally meaning "little witch" but actually used to mean "charm" or "magic spell." A magic spell can be used for good as well as bad. Already, then, we have the beginnings of a change to a nicer idea in the basic use of the word. The word mascoto came to be mascotte in modern French, meaning a "good luck charm." It was made popular by the operetta La Mascotte in 1880. In this operetta "la mascotte" is the lovely young woman Bettina, whose influence brings victories to the army of the prince of Pisa. English later borrowed the word as mascot, with the meaning "a person or thing thought to bring good luck." Today the word is often used to refer to an animal chosen by a school or college as a good luck symbol for its sports teams.

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