[ muh-sahzh, -sahj or, especially British, mas-ahzh ]
/ məˈsɑʒ, -ˈsɑdʒ or, especially British, ˈmæs ɑʒ /
Save This Word!


the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness, relieve tension, etc.
Slang. attentive or indulgent treatment; pampering: ego massage.

verb (used with object), mas·saged, mas·sag·ing.

to treat by massage.
Slang. to treat with special care and attention; coddle or pamper: The store massages its regular customers with gifts and private sales.
  1. to manipulate, maneuver, or handle skillfully: to massage a bill through the Senate.
  2. to manipulate, organize, or rearrange (data, figures, or the like) to produce a specific result, especially a favorable one: The auditors discovered that the company had massaged the books.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of massage

1875–80; <French, equivalent to mass(er) to massage (<Arabic massa to handle) + -age-age
mas·sag·er, mas·sag·ist, noun
massage , message
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for massage

/ (ˈmæsɑːʒ, -sɑːdʒ) /


the act of kneading, rubbing, etc, parts of the body to promote circulation, suppleness, or relaxation

verb (tr)

to give a massage to
to treat (stiffness, aches, etc) by a massage
to manipulate (statistics, data, etc) so that they appear to support a particular interpretation or to be better than they are; doctor
massage someone's ego to boost someone's sense of self-esteem by flattery
massager or massagist, noun
C19: from French, from masser to rub; see mass
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

Medical definitions for massage

[ mə-säzh -säj ]


The rubbing or kneading of parts of the body especially to aid circulation, relax the muscles, or provide sensual stimulation.
An act or instance of such rubbing or kneading.


To give a massage to.
To treat by means of a massage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!