Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fermentable starchy mixture from which alcohol or spirits can be distilled.
  • noun A mixture of ground grain and nutrients fed to livestock and fowl.
  • noun A soft pulpy mixture or mass.
  • noun Chiefly British Mashed potatoes.
  • noun A crushing or grinding.
  • noun Slang An infatuation or act of flirtation.
  • transitive verb To convert (malt or grain) into mash.
  • transitive verb To convert into a soft pulpy mass by pounding or crushing: synonym: crush.
  • transitive verb Chiefly Southern & South Midland US To apply pressure to; press.
  • transitive verb Slang To flirt with or make sexual advances to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make a mash of by infusing or steeping in water, as malt in brewing.
  • To press or beat into a confused mass; crush by beating or pressure: as, to mash apples in a mill.
  • To gain the affection or sentimental admiration of (one of the opposite sex). See masher, 3.
  • Synonyms Crush, etc. See dash.
  • To act furiously; be violent: as, to go mashing around.
  • noun A dialectal form of marsh.
  • noun In India, a kind of bean, Phaseolus radiatus.
  • noun A mixture or mass of ingredients beaten or stirred together in a promiscuous manner; especially, a mess of bran and grain, or of meal, stirred with boiling water, or a mixture of boiled turnips and bran, etc., for feeding farm stock.
  • noun Softness produced by beating or bruising; a pulpy state or condition: in the phrase all to mash, or all to a mash.
  • noun In brewing and distilling, a mixture of ground grain, malted or otherwise prepared, and water.
  • noun A mess, mixture, or jumble; confusion; disorder; trouble.
  • noun A double-headed hammer for breaking coals.
  • noun [⟨ mash, transitive verb, 3.] One who gains the affection or sentimental admiration of another: as, he is evidently her mash.
  • noun An obsolete form of mesh.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A mass of mixed ingredients reduced to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure; a mass of anything in a soft pulpy state. Specifically (Brewing), ground or bruised malt, or meal of rye, wheat, corn, or other grain (or a mixture of malt and meal) steeped and stirred in hot water for making the wort.
  • noun A mixture of meal or bran and water fed to animals.
  • noun obsolete A mess; trouble.
  • noun a large tub used in making mash and wort.
  • noun obsolete A mesh.
  • noun (Mil.) An abbreviation for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, consisting of the equipment and personnel required to perform emergency operations on injured soldiers, located in tents near the front lines of combat.
  • transitive verb (Brewing) To convert into a mash; to reduce to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure; to bruise; to crush.
  • transitive verb a tub for making the mash in breweries and distilleries; -- called also mash tun, and mash vat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable A mass of mixed ingredients reduced to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure; a mass of anything in a soft pulpy state.
  • noun In brewing, ground or bruised malt, or meal of rye, wheat, corn, or other grain (or a mixture of malt and meal) steeped and stirred in hot water for making the wort.
  • noun Mashed potatoes.
  • noun A mixture of meal or bran and water fed to animals.
  • noun obsolete : A mess; trouble — Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher
  • verb transitive To convert into a mash; to reduce to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure; to bruise; to crush; as, to mash apples in a mill, or potatoes with a pestle. Specifically (Brewing), to convert, as malt, or malt and meal, into the mash which makes wort.
  • verb transitive To press down hard (on).
  • verb transitive, southern US, informal to press.
  • verb transitive, UK To prepare a cup of tea (in a teapot), alternative to brew
  • verb to flirt, to make eyes, to make romantic advances
  • noun obsolete an infatuation, a crush, a fancy
  • noun obsolete a dandy, a masher
  • noun obsolete the object of one’s affections (either sex)
  • noun obsolete A mesh

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
  • noun a mixture of mashed malt grains and hot water; used in brewing
  • verb to compress with violence, out of natural shape or condition

Etymologies

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

[Middle English mash- (as in mashfat, mash tub), from Old English *māsc, *mǣsc, māx- (in māxwyrt, wort); see meik- in Indo-European roots. V., sense 4, perhaps from Romani mash, to entice.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mash, mash-, from Old English mǣsc-, māsc-, māx-, from Proto-Germanic *maiskaz, *maiskō (“mixture, mash”), from Proto-Indo-European *meiǵ-, *meiḱ- (“to mix”). Akin to German Meisch, Maische ("mash"), (compare meischen, maischen ("to mash, wash")), Swedish mäsk ("mash"), and to Old English miscian ("to mix"). See mix.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Either by analogy with mash ("to press, to soften"), or more likely from Romani masha ("a fascinator, an enticer"), mashdva ("fascination, enticement"). Originally used in theater, and recorded in US in 1870s. Either originally used as mash, or a backformation from masher, from masha. Leland writes of the etymology:

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See mesh

Examples

Comments

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  • Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

    June 22, 2008

  • Come along now – I just put the tea to mash.

    —Joan Aiken, 1980, The Shadow Guests

    OED sense 7. trans. Brit. regional. To infuse or brew (tea). Also intr.: (of tea) to draw, brew.

    August 7, 2008

  • Mash potato, mash potato...

    August 2, 2009

  • an interesting mash of people.

    June 19, 2014