- an Indo-European language that was spoken in what is now SE Italy and written with an alphabet derived from that of Greek.
Also Mes·sa·pi·an [muh-sey-pee-uh n] /məˈseɪ pi ən/.
Origin of Messapic
1765–75; < Latin Mesāp(ius) pertaining to Messāpia the Calabrian peninsula + -ic
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Examples from the Web for messapian
The name is said to mean "stag's head" in the Messapian dialect, in allusion to the shape of the harbour.
Messapic (məˈseɪpɪk, -ˈsæpɪk)
- a scantily recorded language of an ancient people of Calabria (the Messapii), thought by some to be related to ancient Illyrian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012