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 Patterned tiles create a stunning mosaic that is bordered by warm sunshine-yellow cabinetry with stainless steel appliances and polished chrome hardware. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, 11 July 2022 Society is in the process of being reshaped – from starting out as a melting pot to becoming an iconic cultural mosaic. Avi Dan, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Kachina Peaks Wilderness is an 18,720-acre mosaic of colorful forests and colossal peaks, all built through a history of violent volcanic eruptions. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 26 July 2021 The day before, bakery team members will cut, fry and package more than 14,000 doughnuts to make a 900-square-foot mosaic of the Bashas’ 90th-anniversary logo. Jonmaesha Beltran, The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2022 Loren and Daniel, the Israeli chef duo behind LEV, masterminded a menu that included fresh pitas baked in a pizza oven, a crudo bar served in clamshells, lambs roasted under a fire on the beach, a shawarma station, and a mosaic of vegetables. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 23 June 2022 This week, Riley is also debuting a mosaic in Boston’s central library. New York Times, 16 June 2022 Porada’s Callisto marble nesting tables, which resemble a stone mosaic when styled together. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 14 June 2022 Even the sunset creates a light show, with a mosaic of colors reflected from Gehry's angled hotel windows. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 14 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Another mosaic even shows the Nashville — the ship that the duo traveled on — complete with sails and a vast ocean. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Aug. 2022 But unlike the eight-RBD mosaic nanoparticle from the Caltech team, this version relies on just one RBD type from the original Covid virus. Wired, 28 July 2022 The project comprises a new concrete wall and bench with 30 concrete spheres and domes of various sizes that are covered with stained glass, plus inset waves of vertical glass mosaic pieces in the bench. Sofia Krusmark, The Arizona Republic, 20 July 2022 Fichter, a mosaic and mural artist based in Cambridge, has worked on murals with students for years, including at schools in Braintree, Hull, and Marshfield. Johanna Seltz,, 13 July 2022 Located on a high plateau, the park is a mosaic of open grasslands and savanna, the latter a tangle of brushy plants and compact, leathery trees that offer little shade. New York Times, 13 July 2022 The enormous mosaic, characterized by intense starburst regions and delicate-looking wisps of gas and dust, will help scientists study how galaxies interact and merge with one another. Denise Chow, NBC News, 12 July 2022 The image is a mosaic of 1,231 separate images of the near side of the Moon taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Jamie Carter, Forbes, 17 June 2022 There aren’t many prints that capture the feeling of summer travel quite like blue mosaic tiles, banana leaf fronds, and citrus fruits. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 23 June 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

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mosaic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 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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