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


adjective (1)

Definition of mosaic (Entry 2 of 4)

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


mosaicked; mosaicking

Definition of mosaic (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

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

Other Words from mosaic


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

Adjective (1)

mosaically \ mō-​ˈzā-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce Mosaic (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 Gender is even more confusing — a mosaic of body parts, beliefs and behaviors that don’t separate neatly into two happy summer camps across the lake. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Two people paging through the volume had spotted a photo of a Roman mosaic that disappeared toward the end of World War II. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2021 Temporary life cycle switching has formed a complex mosaic of broods. The Conversation, oregonlive, 13 Mar. 2021 The antiwar mosaic was created from about 5,000 cartridge casings from different weapons. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 The mosaic of 18 dots is the result of Webb capturing 1,560 images over the course of 25 hours, although the observatory was able to find the star during the first six hours and using just 16 images. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 11 Feb. 2022 More:Oak Creek wants residents to create original art for a community mosaic. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Mar. 2022 During a 25-hour-long calibration process on February 2, the telescope collected more than 1,000 images to produce a huge mosaic with more than two billion pixels, per NASA. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Feb. 2022 While developers and testers tend to use best-of-breed tools in their respective domains, this mosaic of tools does not talk to each other. Uday Birajdar, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Or the exquisite mosaic marquetry, or wafer-thin aluminum or bronze inlays in the center-console wood? Howard Walker, Robb Report, 26 Apr. 2022 For the shower, a lively Montpelier mosaic tile in black-and-white marble sits on the floor, with the walls lined vertically in a clean Boston Arctic ceramic tile. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 The timbers come from Montana’s reclaimed timber specialist Big Timberworks, and the art-glass windows were designed by Katherine E. Bash and generated at Germany’s glass and mosaic studio Mayer of Munich. Chris Willman, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 In the statement, archaeologist and Roman mosaic expert David Neal notes that these designs are characteristic of the Acanthus group—local mosaicists who developed a unique artistic style in Roman London, then known as Londinium. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Mar. 2022 There’s a mosaic passage each for curiosity, an open mind, and an appreciation of a sixth sense helping us decipher mysteries or parse dilemmas. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 For everyone on board, a new bar called The Vue will offer panoramic vistas from above the pool deck, and at night feature a colorful mosaic canopy. Richard Tribou,, 21 Jan. 2022 In Asia, the beachfront Halekulani Okinawa, featuring a showstopping pool lined with nearly 1.5 million mosaic tiles shaped like a Cattleya orchid, garnered the Japanese island’s premier prize. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 In its 130 guest rooms and suites, there are motifs of delicate Hungarian embroidery and mosaic tiles that recall the Gellért thermal baths, one of the city's most famous examples of the Art Nouveau style. Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Through every discovery of a birth or census record, the story of Roy McQueen and Flossie Burgess started to mosaic together. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, 26 Sep. 2020 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,, 25 May 2018 The park’s most famous feature is the Life of Christ mosaic. Vincent Crampton,, 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,, 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, 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 |,, 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, 14 Apr. 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of mosaic


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (1)

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mosaic


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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Time Traveler for mosaic

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mosaic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for mosaic


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


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



Medical Definition of mosaic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting mosaicism

Other Words from mosaic

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


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