American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A member of the Free and Accepted Masons, an international fraternal and charitable organization with secret rites and signs.
- n. A member of a guild of skilled itinerant masons during the Middle Ages.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A member of an order, fraternity, or brotherhood forming a secret society, or series of affiliated secret societies called lodges, now existing in all the countries of Europe, in many parts of America, and in other parts of the world where Europeans have settled in larger or smaller communities. This society is founded on and professes the practice of social and moral virtue; truth, charity in its most extended sense, brotherly love, and mutual assistance being inculcated in it. It possesses an elaborate ritual, numerous grades of officers, and many secret signs and passwords, by which members may make themselves known to other members of the craft in any part of the world. Secret organizations of free or enfranchised operative masons, with similar rituals, were formed in the middle ages, when skilled workmen moved from place to place to assist in building the magnificent sacred structures—cathedrals, abbeys, etc.—which had their origin in those times, and it was essential for them to have some signs by which, on coming to a strange place, they could be recognized as real craftsmen and not impostors. There was such a society of actual masons and builders in England in the seventeenth century, and some persons not belonging to the craft had been accepted as members of it; hence the full name of the present fraternity, “Free and Accepted Masons” (abbreviated F. and A. M.). Modern freemasonry dates from the organization in 1717 of the four lodges then existing in London, on a new basis, into a grand lodge, by which other grand lodges were chartered. To mark its departure from the limited scope of the original society, the principles and methods of the order are called
speculative masonry, the terms and insignia of operative masonry being retained. Fable, though absolutely without any historical basis, takes the history of the order back to the Roman empire, to the Pharaohs, to the building of Solomon's temple or the tower of Babel, or even to the building of Noah's ark.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One of an ancient and secret association or fraternity, said to have been at first composed of masons or builders in stone, but now consisting of persons who are united for social enjoyment and mutual assistance.
- n. a member of a widespread secret fraternal order pledged to mutual assistance and brotherly love
“Quite recently W. Begemann  combats the opinion of Speth  as purely hypothetical, stating that the name freemason originally designated particularly skilled freestone-masons, needed at the time of the most magnificent evolution of Gothic architecture, and nothing else.”
“In English law the word freemason is first mentioned in 1495, while frank-mason occurs already in an Act of 1444-1445.”
“In Mesbah Yazdi's vernacular, a "freemason" is an anti-clerical person.”
“October 30, 2009 12:49pm the freemason is a moron sarah”
“freemason" is a misnomer, the word's an oxymoron or whatever.”
“As early as April 4, 2011, Mesbah Yazdi referred to Ahmadinejad and his team as the gravest threat to Islam and intimated that they were "freemason" infiltrators.”
“Honestly, it wasn't like, back in 1964, everybody remembers when Fred MacMurray went batsh-- and started talking about freemason ninjas... and Vivian Vance started urinating on the set of Here's Lucy.”
“The official drink of New Orleans literally--legislation passed in June 2008 naming it so, the Sazerac can trace its origins back to early 19th-century druggist and freemason, Antoine Peychaud, who would host freemason meetings at his pharmacy and serve a mix of Sazerac de Forge Cognac, absinthe and his proprietary bitters.”
“Or maybe Obama the 33rd degree freemason …. .33rd St. gangsta?”
“He blended in with the Protestant elite in Belfast to the extent that he became a freemason.”
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