Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Ecclesiastical The top surface of an altar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In planetary geology, a large mesa-like area of raised land.

Etymologies

Latin mēnsa, table.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • By the way . . . "mensa" is Latin for "table," so it's not an acronym and doesn't need to be in all caps.

    Can You Top This

  • The curial mensa, which is of later origin, is of the same nature: the property reserved for the personal maintenance of the parish priest, as distinct from that applied to the expenses of worship or to the support of other clergy, has been regarded as curial mensa.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • The Latin word mensa has for its primitive signification "a table for meals"; it designates by extension the expenses, or better, the necessary resources of sustenance, and generally, all the resources for personal support.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • On it was placed horizontally a slab of marble, called the mensa, on which Mass was celebrated.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • The altar itself, called mensa (table), was generally made of wood, but sometimes of stone, and was covered over with linen cloths.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • (for in that case every benefice would be a mensa, which is untrue); it is necessary that there be a partition made in the property of one particular church so as to appropriate certain property to the maintenance of the prelate or rector, or of the clergy subject to him; it follows, therefore, that the administration of this property belongs to those who enjoy it.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • This is where the city's Youth Hostel is located, but it is doubtful if even the most ardent traveller gets to discover the quirky Food & Art. This is officially a "mensa", a canteen, catering for workmen at the Giudecca's boatyards.

    Travel news, travel guides and reviews | guardian.co.uk

  • Edoceri, 21, De rescriptis), the abbatial mensa, which the abbot enjoys, is distinct from the conventual mensa, which is applied to the maintenance of the religious community.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • supposedmensaman - Besides you being the most ignorant "mensa" ive seen here, your comment "People will start to dislike them." was the funniest thing I've seen in a while, and not for it's hate oriented speech, but if you meant it as a joke, its really really funny.

    CNN.com

  • Maybe you should scoot on over to the mensa site, they could do with a deep surging intelect such as yours.

    Police Complaints; How Soon Is Now? « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • *blush*
    I made this mistake when I was Italy.

    April 18, 2009

  • Mensa, in Italian, means refectory.
    Therefore, "ci vediamo in mensa" ("see you in mensa") doesn't imply you're talking to a self-styled genius.

    April 18, 2009