- one of a breed of large, powerful, short-haired dogs having an apricot, fawn, or brindled coat.
Origin of mastiff
Examples from the Web for mastiff
The piece which the mastiff had torn from his hose did not discourage Boxtel.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
She cared so little for him, by the way, that she called him her "mastiff."The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
Ramiro looked at his interlocutor, as the mastiff may look at the lap dog.The Shame of Motley
He was very wayward at times, but always faithful as a mastiff dog to me.The Shellback's Progress
The "mastiff" epithet stuck like a barb in my boyish chivalry.Lords of the North
A. C. Laut
- an old breed of large powerful short-haired dog, usually fawn or brindle with a dark mask
Word Origin and History for mastiff
large, powerful breed of dog, early 14c., from Old French mastin (Modern French mâtin) or Provençal mastis, both from Vulgar Latin *mansuetinus "domesticated, tame," from Latin mansuetus "tame, gentle" (see mansuetude). Probably originally meaning a dog that stays in the house, thus a guard-dog. Form in English perhaps influenced by Old French mestif "mongrel."