We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

mesquita, n.


α. lME mesquitte, lME musket, lME musketh, 15 moschite, 15 muscot, 15–16 meskit, 16 machit, 16 meschit, 16 meschite, 16 mescuite, 16 mesked, 16 mesquit, 16 mesquite, 16 miskitt, 16 mosquit, 16 mosquite, 16–17 meskite.

β. 15 meschita, 15 mesquito, 15 moskyta, 15 mosquita, 15–16 18– mesquita, 15–16 18– mezquita, 16 mescheeto, 16 mescita, 16 meskeeto, 16 meskeito, 16 meskita, 16 misquita, 16 mosquetto, 16 mosquito, 18 mosketta.

(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymons: French musquette, mesquite, muscat, mosquet, Italian meschita, moscheta, Spanish mezquita, Latin meschita, muscheta, moscheta, meskita.
Etymology: In early use < Middle French musquette (1351), mesquite (c1380), muscat (1395), mosquet (1506) or Italian (arch.) meschita (a1321), moscheta (14th cent.), or their etymons, Spanish mezquita (1207) and post-classical Latin meschita, mezquita, mesquita (1098, 1115, 1126 in Spanish sources), muscheta (a1099 in an Italian source), moscheta (?12th cent. in an Italian source), meskita (early 13th cent. in an Italian source), themselves (probably borrowed at the time of the First Crusade, 1095–9) either < Armenian mzkiṭ   or < Byzantine Greek μασγίδιον   (9th or 10th cent. in form μαγίσδιον  ), both ultimately < Arabic masjid   (in colloquial Egyptian Arabic pronunciation masgid  ), noun of place < Arabic sajada   (in colloquial Egyptian Arabic pronunciation sagada  ): see masjid n.   In later use probably a reborrowing < Spanish. Forms in European languages with stem vowel u   or o   perhaps represent a reanalysis by folk etymology after words for ‘musk’ (see musk n.). Some of the α forms may come directly < Arabic. Compare masjid n., mosque n.

  A mosque.Now chiefly used (with capital initial) of the great mosque of Cordoba, Spain, which was converted into a Christian cathedral in the 13th cent.

?a1425  (▸c1400)    Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 26   And þere lith the body of hym [sc. Mahomet] full honourabely in here temple þat the Sarazines clepen Musketh [?a1425 Egerton Musket; F. Musket, v.r. Musquet].
1477   Earl Rivers tr. Dictes or Sayengis Philosophhres (Caxton) (1877) lf. 58v,   Somme men saye that legmon is buried in a toun called karaualle bitwene the mesquitte & the marche.
1589   A. Jenkinson in R. Hakluyt Princ. Navigations ii. 369   Prince Ismael, lieth buried in a faire Meskit.
1590   E. Webbe Rare & Wonderfull Things (new ed.) sig. B2,   In the said Cittie [sc. Cairo], there are twelue thousand churches which they terme Muskots.
1593   J. Donne Satires iv. 199   Would not Heraclitus laugh to see Macrine, From hat, to shooe, himselfe at doore refine, As if the Presence were a Moschite.
a1613   E. Brerewood Enq. Langs. & Relig. (1614) xxvi. 184   The publique seruice of the Iewes, and of the Mahumetans, in their Synagogues, and Meskeds.
1613   S. Purchas Pilgrimage 229   There is also a Meschit there for the Arabians and Turkes.
1613   S. Purchas Pilgrimage v. xvii. 538   They neuer goe to their Watches before they haue prayed in the Mesquit.
1658   E. Phillips New World Eng. Words   Meskite, a Church, or Synagogue among the Turks and Moors.
1665   T. Herbert Some Years Trav. (new ed.) 325   They..lodge the carcass not in the Machits or Churches but Church-yards.
a1576   R. Eden in R. Willes & R. Eden tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Hist. Trauayle W. & E. Indies (1577) f. 365v,   A Temple or Meschita.
1598   W. Phillip tr. J. H. van Linschoten Disc. Voy. E. & W. Indies i. xliii. 79/2   The Moores like wise haue their Mesquitos.
1599   in R. Hakluyt Princ. Navigations (new ed.) II. i. 208   This famous and sumptuous Mosquita hath 99. gates, and 5. steeples.
1627   R. Ashley tr. ‘A. Abencufian’ Almansor 9   The Friday..hee..went in solemnitie to the great Mesquita.
1657   J. Howell Londinopolis 384   The Gran Cairo in Egypt, a City..having five and thirty thousand Meskeetos.
1661   A. Cowley Vision Cromwell 64   They say he [sc. Cromwell]..would have sold..St. Peters (even at his own Westminster) to the Turks for a Mosquito.
1804   in Naval Documents U.S. Wars Barbary Powers (U.S. Office Naval Rec.) (1939) I. 582   The dey and Ministry..was at prayers in The Mosketta.
1857   O. W. Le Vert Souvenirs of Trav. 4   The great dome and the minarets of the Mezquita (the cathedral [of Cordova]) were distinctly visible.
1873   Appletons' Jrnl. 23 Aug. 236/1   Who could weary of admiring the Oriental Cordova, with its Mesquita, unique in Europe, where are heard the echoes of Moorish poetry?
1975   N. Luard Robespierre Serial xvii. 151   The man had just come out of the mesquita gateway behind him.
1995   Holiday Which? Mar. 115/3   The craftsmen embellished the buildings with foliage or geometric motifs and calligraphy, all of which are demonstrated in Córdoba's great Mezquita, or mosque.

?a1425—1995(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2001).

In other dictionaries: