Definition of mosque
: a building used for public worship by Muslims
mosque was our Word of the Day on 06/26/2011. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Mosques were known to the English-speaking world long before we called them mosques. In the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, we used many different variations of the word - moseak, muskey, moschy, mos’keh, among others - until we finally hit on mosquee, emulating Middle French. The Middle French word had come by way of Italian and Old Spanish from the Arabic word for "temple," which is masjid. In the early 1700s, we settled on the present spelling, and mosque thus joined other English words related to Muslim worship: mihrab, for the special niche in a mosque that points towards Mecca; minaret, for the tall slender tower of a mosque; and muezzin, for the crier who, standing in the minaret, calls the hour of daily prayers.
Origin and Etymology of mosque
earlier mosquee, from Middle French, from Old Italian moschea, from Old Spanish mezquita, from Arabic masjid temple, from sajada to prostrate oneself, worship
First Known Use: 1585
MOSQUE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mosque for English Language Learners
: a building that is used for Muslim religious services
MOSQUE Defined for Kids
Definition of mosque for Students
: a building in which Muslims worship
Seen and Heard
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