\ ˈmäsk How to pronounce mosque (audio) \

Definition of mosque

: a building used for public worship by Muslims

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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.

Examples of mosque in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Collected below are historical photos of how Ramadan has been celebrated in different countries over the years, capturing the lively gatherings in homes, markets, and mosques that Muslims will not be able to experience under lockdown this year. Arsh Raziuddin And Nesima Aberra, The Atlantic, "Celebrating Ramadan Before the Pandemic," 4 May 2020 Photos in newspapers showed large numbers of the faithful at Pakistani mosques and only some following social distancing rules. Joseph Wilson, Time, "Western Europe Relaxes Coronavirus Measures as Cases Spike in Russia," 2 May 2020 Newspaper photos showed large numbers of the faithful at Pakistani mosques and only some practicing social distancing. David Porter, Jeffrey Collins And Joseph Wilson,, "Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow," 2 May 2020 In North America, mosques have been shut down for weeks and no longer offer fast-breaking community dinners or night time tarawih prayers. Ahmed Ali Akbar, SELF, "Here's How to Stay Centered and Healthy During a Shelter-in-Place Ramadan," 30 Apr. 2020 The nation has evacuated many of them to various mosques, but the risk of the spread of the virus has intensified. Arun Devnath,, "Millions Face Virus Contagion Risk in Cyclone-Hit South Asia," 22 May 2020 This year, the kingdom took the decision to close off the religious sites, with stark images of empty mosques and sacred sites circulating online. NBC News, "Feds charge Chinese national in $20 million PPP fraud scheme," 22 May 2020 They were given hand sanitizer at the entrances to mosques., "UK’s COVID-19 study aims to vaccinate more than 10,000," 22 May 2020 But this Ramadan, mosques stand eerily empty, and there are no carefree late-night strolls with friends. Sarah Khan, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lockdown Ramadan: One globe-trotter’s homebound holy month," 21 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mosque.' 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 mosque

1585, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mosque

earlier mosquee, from Middle French, from Old Italian moschea, from Old Spanish mezquita, from Arabic masjid temple, from sajada to prostrate oneself, worship

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Time Traveler for mosque

Time Traveler

The first known use of mosque was in 1585

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Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mosque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for mosque


How to pronounce mosque (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mosque

: a building that is used for Muslim religious services


\ ˈmäsk How to pronounce mosque (audio) \

Kids Definition of mosque

: a building in which Muslims worship

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