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

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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 The mosaic of treated and untreated land at once preserves biodiversity and reduces the amount of natural debris that feeds wildfires. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Oct. 2021 The picture that emerges is a continual reassortment of genes leading to a mosaic of viruses. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 In 2006, a team of developers at Facebook rolled out the News Feed, which made a mosaic of content out of your friends’ profile pages. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, 22 Sep. 2021 At Patterson Park, a group of Latina girls gathered this summer to construct a mosaic for the Esperanza Center, an immigrant resource center for health care, education and legal services that first opened in 1963. Stephanie García,, 21 Sep. 2021 Using the round Diva case with fluted lugs, the Divina watches are a mesmerizing mosaic of diamonds and gemstones. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 The best reporting about vaccine and mask skepticism has taken into account the mosaic of experiences that form the American attitude toward the expertise of public-health authorities. Joseph Bernstein, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 The Medusa mosaic was crafted in Versace's home town, Reggio Calabria, Italy, and then taken apart and shipped to Miami Beach in pieces, where it was painstakingly reassembled. Rebecca Wallwork, CNN, 18 Aug. 2017 The second, Robin’s Song Embrace, is a large-scale mosaic on a 16-foot-by-10-foot wall at 630 W. 173rd Street. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ben Benson’s costumes, a mosaic of colorful practice clothes and space-age unitards, felt the most modern, too. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 The neutral tones are punctuated with flashes of color, including a mosaic of green tropical foliage on the dining room bulkhead that slides open to reveal the flat-screen TV. Richard Alban, Robb Report, 17 Sep. 2021 Folks can get a glimpse of the process along with a mosaic by renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Amy Drew Thompson,, 23 Aug. 2021 With the flood of arrivals, Kabul’s few green spaces have been transformed into a mosaic of colorful patterned fabric hung from tree branches, clasped with bands normally used to secure men’s trousers. Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2021 Trillions, baguettes, and cushion cut shapes are also part of the collection and in certain silhouettes in earrings and pendants are mixed together for a mosaic like effect. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 21 June 2021 In Washington Heights, long home to a mosaic of ethnic groups, some people have recoiled from human differences and huddled up in tight but exclusionary enclaves – ignorant of their neighbors at best, nasty toward them at worst. Robert W. Snyder, The Conversation, 11 June 2021 The mosaic pieces were imported from Mexico, and the bold red, blue, green and yellow colors were inspired by Peruvian and Guatemalan textiles. Stephanie García,, 21 Sep. 2021 The front entryway is a large area that has mosaic tile created as a map of the Filipino archipelago. J. Kyle Foster,, 15 Sep. 2021 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

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


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

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mosaic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for mosaic



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


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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