[ mas-ting, mah-sting ]
/ ˈmæs tɪŋ, ˈmɑ stɪŋ /

noun Nautical.

the masts of a ship, taken as a whole.
the technique, act, or process of placing masts in sailing ships.


Can You Remember Your Favorite Words Of The Day From March?
Even if you’re a habitué of Word of the Day, you haven’t seen our March words in these ways! Challenge yourself to our comprehensive quiz!
Question 1 of 15
What does "habitué" mean?

Origin of masting

First recorded in 1620–30; mast1 + -ing1

Definition for masting (2 of 2)

[ mast, mahst ]
/ mæst, mɑst /


  1. a spar or structure rising above the hull and upper portions of a ship or boat to hold sails, spars, rigging, booms, signals, etc., at some point on the fore-and-aft line, as a foremast or mainmast.
  2. any of a number of individual spars composing such a structure, as a topmast supported on trestletrees at the head of a lower mast.
  3. any of various portions of a single spar that are beside particular sails, as a top-gallant mast and royal mast formed as a single spar.
Also called pillar. the upright support of a jib crane.
any upright pole, as a support for an aerial, a post in certain cranes, etc.

verb (used with object)

to provide with a mast or masts.

Origin of mast

before 900; Middle English; Old English mæst; cognate with German Mast; akin to Latin mālus pole


mast·less, adjectivemast·like, adjectiveun·der·mast·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for masting

British Dictionary definitions for masting (1 of 2)

/ (mɑːst) /


nautical any vertical spar for supporting sails, rigging, flags, etc, above the deck of a vessel or any components of such a composite spar
any sturdy upright pole used as a support
Also called: captain's mast nautical a hearing conducted by the captain of a vessel into minor offences of the crew
before the mast nautical as an apprentice seaman


(tr) nautical to equip with a mast or masts

Derived forms of mast

mastless, adjectivemastlike, adjective

Word Origin for mast

Old English mæst; related to Middle Dutch mast and Latin mālus pole

British Dictionary definitions for masting (2 of 2)

/ (mɑːst) /


the fruit of forest trees, such as beech, oak, etc, used as food for pigs

Word Origin for mast

Old English mæst; related to Old High German mast food, and perhaps to meat
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

Idioms and Phrases with masting


see at half-mast.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.