an Indo-European language that was spoken in what is now SE Italy and written with an alphabet derived from that of Greek.
Also Mes·sa·pi·an [muh-sey-pee-uh n] /məˈseɪ pi ən/.
Origin of Messapic
1765–75; < Latin Mesāp(ius) pertaining to Messāpia the Calabrian peninsula + -ic
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Examples from the Web for messapian
Historical Examples of messapian
The name is said to mean "stag's head" in the Messapian dialect, in allusion to the shape of the harbour.
Messapic (məˈseɪpɪk, -ˈsæpɪk)
a scantily recorded language of an ancient people of Calabria (the Messapii), thought by some to be related to ancient Illyrian
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