mosaic

noun
mo·​sa·​ic | \ mō-ˈzā-ik How to pronounce mosaic (audio) \

Definition of mosaic

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns also : the process of making it
2 : a picture or design made in mosaic
3 : something resembling a mosaic a mosaic of visions and daydreams and memories— Lawrence Shainberg
4 : an organism or one of its parts composed of cells of more than one genotype : chimera sense 3
5 : any of numerous virus diseases of plants characterized by diffuse light and dark green or yellow and green mottling of the foliage — compare tobacco mosaic virus
6 : a composite map made of photographs taken by an aircraft or spacecraft
7 : the part of a television camera tube consisting of many minute photoelectric particles that convert light to an electric charge

mosaic

adjective (1)

Definition of mosaic (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of, relating to, produced by, or resembling a mosaic
2 : exhibiting mosaicism

mosaic

verb
mosaicked; mosaicking

Definition of mosaic (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to decorate with mosaics
2 : to form into a mosaic

Mosaic

adjective (2)
Mo·​sa·​ic | \ mō-ˈzā-ik How to pronounce Mosaic (audio) \

Definition of Mosaic (Entry 4 of 4)

: of or relating to Moses or the institutions or writings attributed to him lived under the Mosaic Law

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Other Words from mosaic

Noun

mosaiclike \ mō-​ˈzā-​ik-​ˌlīk How to pronounce mosaiclike (audio) \ adjective

Adjective (1)

mosaically \ mō-​ˈzā-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mosaically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of mosaic in a Sentence

Noun

a church decorated with old mosaics a picture done in mosaic

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lembo found his inspiration for these whimsical creations in Byzantine art, often using mosaics in his design. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "You Need to Know About Francois Lembo's Jeweled Mirrors," 12 Apr. 2019 Some of the first evidence of bras can even be found in wall paintings, including a Roman mosaic in the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily, dating back to the 4th century A.D., as well as in Crete, from the 1300s, of women wearing bandeau bras. Vogue, "The True History of the Ultimate Wardrobe Essential—Your Bra," 11 Mar. 2019 Dolce & Gabbana’s full-length dress shimmers with what looks like pieces of a religious mosaic. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Five museum fashion shows not to miss, with items from Britain's royals and Frida Kahlo's closet," 30 Mar. 2018 Libya, home to the largest oil reserves in Africa, is splintered among two rival governments and a complex mosaic of armed groups, and lacks a fully functioning state. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Islamic State’s Deadly Return in Libya Imperils Oil Output," 18 Sep. 2018 Fit for a caliph Glass inlays of clear and purple geometric shapes and multicolored millefiori tiles, along with elaborate mosaics, decorated the walls of the audience chamber at Dar al-Kilafa palace. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval artisans built a glass-walled palace in the desert," 31 Aug. 2018 Columbus’s East Side in the late 1960s was a mosaic of history and signs of social change. David M. Shribman, WSJ, "‘Tigerland’ Review: Playing the Game Their Way," 18 Jan. 2019 Royal gardens, peeling frescoes, and tiled mosaics are breathtaking in their beauty, but the zenith of any visit is a wander through the sultan’s harem, once home to hundreds of concubines and their eunuch guards. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 Ignoring this mosaic while working on genes could end up in any number of results, ranging from the neutral to the deeply harmful. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Infamous CRISPR Baby Scientist Is Missing," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Close your eyes, hear the mixers whirring and the staff running coffee to the guests sitting around the mosaic stone table, scraping bits of cake off plates as their tipsy conversations flowed into the night. The New York Times, New York Times, "The Museums Times Reporters Like to Visit on Their Days Off," 13 Mar. 2018 Cushions are scattered on soft seating and plain white and wooden tables have been replaced with attractive mosaic ones. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Tells the Women of the Hubb Community Kitchen She's So "Happy" to Be Pregnant," 21 Nov. 2018 The mosaic-like palette combines a dozen flattering hues; then sweep it over your makeup as a light-catching, lustrous finale. Hannah Morrill, Marie Claire, "These Are the Exact Products You Need for the Glowiest Skin of Your Life," 30 June 2016 Much of the money -- $155,467-- would go for the Encinitas Boulevard project, which consists of a 3-foot-wide decorative ribbon of mosaic work running along the walls approaching the underpass. Barbara Henry, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Encinitas agrees to continue funding for temporary restrooms," 18 June 2018 On view overall are silver statuettes, platters, offering bowls, drinking cups, cameos, jewelry and even a sumptuous mosaic fragment from Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli. Melik Kaylan, WSJ, "‘Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury From the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’ Review: Shining Silver From an Untarnished Trove," 31 Oct. 2018 In the master suite, there’s a walk-in closet and a rain shower with a floral design on mosaic tile. Jack Flemming, The Seattle Times, "Flashy Miami penthouse from ‘War Dogs’ aims for $4.5 million," 22 Oct. 2018 Ashkin kept experimenting with trapping ever-smaller particles with his optical tweezers, including samples of mosaic virus. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "2018 physics Nobel Prize honors 3, including first woman in 55 years," 2 Oct. 2018 Chivers throws mosaic pieces at his readers and forces them to examine the shapes to attempt some kind of construction that makes sense. Matt Young, Popular Mechanics, "In 'The Fighters,' A Pulitzer Prize–Winning War Reporter Strips Iraq and Afghanistan to the Bone," 9 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fifteen thousand dollars' worth of oil paintings of the owner and his family hung on the walls, and mosaic inlaid tile covered the floor from front to back. Charles J. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "The short, sad story of Cafe de Champion — Jack Johnson's mixed-race nightclub on Chicago's South Side," 25 May 2018 The park’s most famous feature is the Life of Christ mosaic. Vincent Crampton, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Orange County: Woodlawn Memorial Park’s happy little plot," 6 May 2018 Woodlawn Memorial Park east of Orlando is home to the Life of Christ mosaic, but also home to one of the most famous artists of all time. Vincent Crampton, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Orange County: Woodlawn Memorial Park’s happy little plot," 6 May 2018 After years of excavating, archaeologists in Cyprus have uncovered a rare, Roman-era floor mosaic almost 2,000 years old. Casey Smith, National Geographic, "This Ancient Mosaic Depicts a Thrilling Chariot Race," 3 Aug. 2017 A team of installers with Barsanti Marble Bronze Mosaic, 4th generation artisans from Pietrasanta, Italy began replacing the iconic Cosmic Christ mosaic at Huntsville's First Baptist Church Thursday morning May 18th. Bob Gathany | Bgathany@al.com, AL.com, "Work begins replacing First Baptist Church Cosmic Christ mosaic," 18 May 2017 Sturiale also commissioned local artists to work on everything from stained glass to mosaic tile to custom metal fabricating. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "The Sturiale Place, a relocated 1893 home, is a new Italian-inspired cafe in Boise," 14 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mosaic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mosaic

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (1)

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mosaic

Noun

Middle English musycke, from Medieval Latin musaicum, alteration of Late Latin musivum, from Latin museum, musaeum

Adjective (2)

New Latin Mosaicus, from Moses Moses

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Learn More about mosaic

Dictionary Entries near mosaic

morwong

MOS

mos

mosaic

Mosaic

mosaic binding

mosaic dwarf

Statistics for mosaic

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mosaic

The first known use of mosaic was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for mosaic

mosaic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mosaic

: a decoration on a surface made by pressing small pieces of colored glass or stone into a soft material that then hardens to make pictures or patterns
: something made up of different things that together form a pattern

mosaic

noun
mo·​sa·​ic | \ mō-ˈzā-ik How to pronounce mosaic (audio) \

Kids Definition of mosaic

: a decoration on a surface made by setting small pieces of glass, stone, or tile of different colors into another material to make patterns or pictures

mosaic

noun
mo·​sa·​ic | \ mō-ˈzā-ik How to pronounce mosaic (audio) \

Medical Definition of mosaic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an organism or one of its parts composed of cells of more than one genotype : chimera

mosaic

adjective

Medical Definition of mosaic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting mosaicism

Other Words from mosaic

mosaically \ -​ˈzā-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mosaically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on mosaic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mosaic

Spanish Central: Translation of mosaic

Nglish: Translation of mosaic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mosaic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mosaic

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