1 of 3

noun (1)

: a long pole or spar rising from the keel or deck of a ship and supporting the yards, booms, and rigging
: a slender vertical or nearly vertical structure (such as an upright post in various cranes)
: a disciplinary proceeding at which the commanding officer of a naval unit hears and disposes of cases against enlisted men

called also captain's mast

masted adjective


2 of 3


masted; masting; masts

transitive verb

: to furnish with a mast


3 of 3

noun (2)

: nuts (such as acorns) accumulated on the forest floor and often serving as food for animals
before the mast
: forward of the foremast
: as a common sailor

Examples of mast in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The majority, however, were minor – a ship’s antenna or mast hitting a bridge, or a barge clipping a bridge’s protective fender. USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2024 Oncor told the Towne family in an email that an overhead service mast the electric company believes was installed by the owner or builder of the home did not have the proper clearance and did not meet the requirements of all applicable codes and local ordinances. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 25 Jan. 2024 But this is all happening at, or around, the best deer feed in the area, whether that’s big-woods browse or mast, ag fields, or the best late-season food plots. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 4 Jan. 2024 Oaks and other trees don’t mast at entirely predictable intervals. Beth Botts,, 28 Nov. 2020 The Orcas lack a sail, giving them more of a torpedo-like appearance, but can raise a sensor and communications mast from a position flush with the hull. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 2 June 2022 All or most of the oaks in a region tend to mast in the same year, spreading a fire-hose supply of acorns over the whole area. Beth Botts,, 28 Nov. 2020
Delivered in 2017, the futuristic look of sailing yacht A includes smooth, silver-metallic surfaces and windows that look nearly invisible, three composite masts that bend slightly, and a deck hidden by high bulwarks. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 8 Apr. 2024 Our experimental demonstration mimicking antenna/cable-car mast installations showcases Geranos ability in stacking poles (3 kilograms, 2 meters long) with remarkable sub-5 centimeter placement accuracy, without the need of human manual intervention. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Mar. 2024 The $500 million sailing vessel features very tall masts, a swimming pool, a helipad and room for a second, smaller yacht. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 21 Mar. 2024 The mast nut had separated and was located in the debris field. CBS News, 5 Feb. 2024 Elements of a ship were also unearthed, including part of a keel, two masts and a series of wooden stakes. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 4 Mar. 2024 The attack, however, severed the lines between the mast and the substation situated an hour’s drive east of downtown Berlin, causing backup systems to fail. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2024 The tower in question, a 499-foot mast in the middle of a field in Hugo, Oklahoma, was almost as tall as the UN building in New York. Chris Baraniuk, WIRED, 20 Feb. 2024 The motor is mounted on a mast below the water and has fins attached to its sides. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 25 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English mæst; akin to Old High German mast mast, Latin malus

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old English mæst; akin to Old High German mast food, mast, and probably to Old English mete food — more at meat

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1513, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mast was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mast

Cite this Entry

“Mast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a long pole that rises from the bottom of a ship or boat and supports the sails and rigging
: an upright tall pole (as on a crane)

Medical Definition



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