[ muh-sahzh, -sahj or, especially British, mas-ahzh ]
See synonyms for massage on
  1. the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness, relieve tension, etc.

  2. Slang. attentive or indulgent treatment; pampering: ego massage.

verb (used with object),mas·saged, mas·sag·ing.
  1. to treat by massage.

  2. Slang. to treat with special care and attention; coddle or pamper: The store massages its regular customers with gifts and private sales.

  1. 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; <French, equivalent to mass(er) to massage (<Arabic massa to handle) + -age-age

Other words from massage

  • mas·sag·er, mas·sag·ist, noun

Words that may be confused with massage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use massage in a sentence

  • It massages the weak ruptured parts as well as a skilled hand-massager could, as well as could be done at a hospital.

    Cluthe's Advice to the Ruptured | Chas. Cluthe &amp; Sons

British Dictionary definitions for massage


/ (ˈmæsɑːʒ, -sɑːdʒ) /

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

  1. to give a massage to

  2. to treat (stiffness, aches, etc) by a massage

  1. to manipulate (statistics, data, etc) so that they appear to support a particular interpretation or to be better than they are; doctor

  2. massage someone's ego to boost someone's sense of self-esteem by flattery

Origin of massage

C19: from French, from masser to rub; see mass

Derived forms of massage

  • massager or massagist, noun

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