1. An outdoor fair in the Low Countries.
2. A fundraising fair or carnival.
Middle Dutch kercmisse
, Mass on the anniversary of a church dedication (on which day was held a yearly fair) : kerc
, church (ultimately from
Late Greek kūriakon, kūrikon (dōma)
, (house) of the lord; see CHURCH
) + misse
, Mass (from
Late Latin missa
; see MASS
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.