American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A person with whom one eats regularly, as in a military mess.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An associate in a mess, especially in a ship's mess; one who eats ordinarily at the same table with another.
- n. In zoology, a commensal.
- n. In botany, same as messmate-tree.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An associate in a mess.
- n. (nautical) an associate with whom you share meals in the same mess (as on a ship)
“Ado!" cried Rodney angrily, "is it not bad enough to be called messmate by _you_, and not be able to deny it?”
“A letter, written by him in 1841 to his old "messmate," Commodore”
“One authority asserts that the bird and the snake are nearly always found together, and seems to imply that a friendship exists between them, for the bird is referred to as a "messmate" of the snake.”
“But I say, messmate, that is no reason why we should not believe that all these things are; but, on the contrary, that God, who creates and cares for the smallest birds, watches over us also. ”
“an officers 'mess;" i.e. a meal taken in common at the same table; and so, "to mess together," "messmate," and so on.”
“Over large areas, either of two eucalypts, messmate stringybark Eucalyptus obliqua and Smithton peppermint Eucalyptus nitida, is found emergent from rain forest, the former species on the better soils in the east and the latter on the poorer soils mainly in the west.”
“He reminded Olmos of his old messmate, Hopi, back in the war.”
“Dominant species include brown stringybark (Eucalyptus baxteri), manna gum (E. viminalis), messmate stringybark (E. obliqua), and mountain grey gum (E. cypellocarpa).”
“Brown stringybark is restricted to soils of low fertility, whereas messmate stringybark becomes more frequent as soil quality improves.”
“I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground”
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A list of favorite nautical words to be sprinkled liberally throughout speech for piratical or Melvillian effect.
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