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Mensa

[men-suh]
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noun
  1. an international fellowship organization for people with IQ's in the top 2 percent of the general population.
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Origin of Mensa

From the Latin word mēnsa table, symbolizing the original conception of the society, “a round table where no one has precedence”
Related formsMen·san, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mensan

Historical Examples

  • Thanks also go to fellow Mensan William Wedgeworth for proof-reading.

    Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed.

    S. A. Reilly


British Dictionary definitions for mensan

Mensa1

noun Latin genitive Mensae (ˈmɛnsiː)
  1. a faint constellation in the S hemisphere lying between Hydrus and Volans and containing part of the Large Magellanic Cloud
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Word Origin

Latin, literally: the table

Mensa2

noun
  1. an international society, membership of which is restricted to people whose intelligence test scores exceed those expected of 98 per cent of the population
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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 mensan

mensa

n.

"altar top," 1848, Latin, literally "table," also "meal, supper," and "altar, sacrificial table," hence used in Church Latin for "upper slab of a church altar" (see mesa). With a capital M-, the name of an organization for people of IQs of 148 or more founded in England in 1946, the name chosen, according to the organization, to suggest a "round table" type group. The constellation was originally Mons Mensae "Table Mountain."

La Caille, who did so much for our knowledge of the southern heavens, formed the figure from stars under the Greater Cloud, between the poles of the equator and the ecliptic, just north of the polar Octans; the title being suggested by the fact that the Table Mountain, back of Cape Town, "which had witnessed his nightly vigils and daily toils," also was frequently capped by a cloud. [Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper