massage [m uh- sahzh, - sahj , or, esp. British mas-ahzh] WORD ORIGIN noun 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. . Informal to manipulate, maneuver, or handle skillfully: to massage a bill through the Senate. 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. Origin of massage 1875–80;
) to massage (<
to handle) +
-age -age Related forms mas·sag·er, mas·sag·ist, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for massager noun 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 Derived Forms massager or massagist, noun Word Origin for massage
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
Word Origin and History for massager v.
massage (n.). Related: Massaged; massaging. n.
1874, from French
massage "friction of kneading," from masser "to massage," possibly from Arabic massa "to touch, feel, handle;" if so, probably picked up in Egypt during the Napoleonic campaign there. Other possibility is that French got it in colonial India from Portuguese amassar "knead," a verb from Latin massa "mass, dough" (see mass (n.1)). Massage parlor first attested 1894, from the start a euphemism for "house of prostitution."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
n. 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. v. 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.