M

Maa-her --A term in Egyptian archaeology; see un-her.

Macaronic --A mixture of two or more languages in a poem, or the verse thus formed; esp. a combination of Latin and a modern tongue, used for humorous purposes. The vernacular words are often given Latin endings. Folengo, OPUS MACARONICUM ( 1520); Brunet, LIT. MACARONIQUE ( 1879). See fatrasie.

Machalath --An ancient Hebrew word used as the title of certain of the PSALMS; traced by some authorities to a root meaning 'pierced' or 'bored,' it is therefore thought that these PSALMS were accompanied by flutes. The term is considered by others to indicate any familiar airs or melodies to which the PSALMS were sung.

Machête --A small guitar-shaped musical instrument used chiefly in Spain and Portugal. It has a shallow sound box and four strings, and has a total compass of one octave. It is a pastoral instrument, and a large number of them are often played together.

Machicolation --In the architecture of medieval castles, a projecting parapet supported by corbels and having openings between the corbels through which the defenders could drop missiles upon assailants.

Machine head --A rack-and-pinion device used instead of pegs in tuning certain musical instruments, esp. in the guitar class.

Machol --A word occurring frequently in the OLD TESTAMENT, associated with toph, meaning timbrel (q.v.). In the English versions it has been translated as 'dances' or 'dancing,' and hence, the expression 'with timbrels and dancing.' This interpretation appears to have been disproved at the end of the 19th century, some researchers having traced the root of the word to 'pierced' or 'bored' (see machalath), concluding that the true meaning is flute.

Mackintosh --In fabrics, a variety of waterproofed cloth first processed by Charles Mackintosh in 1823. The name is popularly applied to any cloak or raincoat made of this material.

Macrologia --In literature, "long language." Unnecessary repetition in lengthy phrases and clauses. See periphrasis.

Macula lutea --The yellow spot on the retina, which is the point of clearest visual acuity.

Madagascar rice dance --See rice dance (Madagascar).

Madagasies dance --Strange, symbolic dance of Madagascar, commonly known as bird dance (q.v.).

Madame Veto --See carmagnole.

Mad dance --A round dance of Switzerland; see feulatare.

Madder --One of the lake, or dye pigments; it was as well known as any of the red coloring materials used by painters since classical times. It is believed to be the rubia mentioned by Pliny, and specimens of it have been found on paintings of Egyptian and Greco-Roman times. It is a natural dye extracted from the root of the RUBIA TINCTORIUM. Synthetic dyes such as alizarin have totally displaced it. See alizarin.

-411-

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Dictionary of the Arts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • A 1
  • B 62
  • C 119
  • D 203
  • E 236
  • F 260
  • G 290
  • H 318
  • I 343
  • J 359
  • K 368
  • L 385
  • M 411
  • N 455
  • O 471
  • P 490
  • Q 562
  • R 567
  • S 605
  • T 692
  • U 744
  • V 751
  • W 767
  • X 782
  • Y 785
  • Z 792
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