noun (1)
men·​sa | \ ˈmen(t)sə \
plural mensas\ -​səz \ or mensae\ in sense 1 -​n(ˌ)sā , in sense 2 -​n(ˌ)sē , -​nˌsī sometimes -​n(ˌ)sā \

Definition of mensa

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 Roman Catholicism : the top of the altar especially : the top or central slab upon which the eucharistic elements are placed
2 [New Latin, from Latin] : the grinding surface of a tooth


noun (2)
Men·​sa | \ ˈmen-sə How to pronounce Mensa (audio) \

Definition of Mensa (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dim southern constellation that is visible near the south celestial pole between the constellations of Hydrus and Chamaeleon and that is held to be a representation of Table Mountain in South Africa Table Mountain is a South African icon and the only natural site on the planet to have a constellation of stars named after it — Mensa, meaning “the table.”Asia Pulse, 14 Nov. 2011 Mensa is one of the faintest constellations in the sky, with no stars brighter than magnitude 5.0.— Carole Stott and Giles Sparrow, Starfinder, 2010

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First Known Use of mensa

Noun (2)

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mensa

Noun (1)

Medieval Latin, from Latin, table, from Old Latin, flat cake offered to the gods, perhaps from feminine of mensus, past participle of metiri to measure

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Cite this Entry

“Mensa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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