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mas·sage (mə-säzh, -säj)
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n.
1.
a. The therapeutic manipulation of body tissues by a trained practitioner, as by systematic stroking, kneading, or application of pressure, to effect a beneficial physiological response such as pain reduction or improved circulation.
b. An act or instance of the therapeutic manipulation of body tissues. Also called therapeutic massage.
2.
a. The rubbing or kneading of parts of the body to relax the muscles, aid circulation, or provide sensual pleasure.
b. An act or instance of such rubbing or kneading.
3.
a. The manipulation of the genitals or other body tissues for sexual arousal; erotic massage.
b. An act or instance of erotic massage.
c. Illicit sexual services provided under the guise of therapeutic massage.
tr.v. mas·saged, mas·sag·ing, mas·sag·es
1. To give a massage to.
2. To treat by means of a massage.
3. To coddle or cajole.
4. To manipulate (data, for example): Pollsters massaged the numbers to favor their candidate.

[French, from masser, to massage, from Arabic masaa, to stroke, anoint; see mš in the Appendix of Semitic roots or massa, to touch; see mšš in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]

mas·sager n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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