Main definitions of mast in English

: mast1mast2

mast1

noun

  • 1A tall upright post, spar, or other structure on a ship or boat, in sailing vessels generally carrying a sail or sails.

    • ‘I knew it was coming to rescue us so I took down the sail and mast, took up the centerboard and brought in the rudder and lashed it all secure.’
    • ‘Also in the water were strange vessels, with no masts or sails, built of gunmetal-gray metals that seemed impervious to the rust that had afflicted the dock facilities.’
    • ‘The captain's pride for his gloriously immense ship was evident as his deep, brown eyes observed the tall, ornate masts and large white sails.’
    • ‘As he drew closer he saw the different parts of the ship: the bulkhead, the mast, and the tattered remains of a sail.’
    • ‘The introduction of heavy guns for naval warfare and the need to transport larger cargoes faster led to stouter hulls and more masts for more sails.’
    • ‘There were no masts or sails for catching wind and the bottoms were completely flat.’
    • ‘If you're really lucky, you'll get to climb one of the masts to set the sail while dangling 120 ft above the water.’
    • ‘The harbour was full of the delicate clink of masts against sails.’
    • ‘They cut the mast and sails loose and watched as it vanished into the depths below.’
    • ‘In the distance she could see a couple of boats heading into the village, a power boat and a sailboat with two masts, which reminded her of David's yawl.’
    • ‘Before the battle was over the Téméraire was virtually impossible to sail, her masts and rigging having been all but wrecked, but she still managed to keep firing on the enemy.’
    • ‘The crew stood on deck and stared in astonishment at the sight of this phantom sailing ship, with its black masts and blood-red sails.’
    • ‘The ship had no sails or masts yet it moved at great speed through the water.’
    • ‘The 95m iron hull was constructed along traditional clipper lines with masts and sails to supplement a steam engine driving a single propeller.’
    • ‘The introduction of compound engines in the 1870s made it possible for seagoing warships to dispense with masts and sails.’
    • ‘She gestured at the masts and sails billowing overhead.’
    • ‘Luckily, the mast of the sinking boat was spotted and the team immediately responded.’
    • ‘She had two masts and carried fore-and-aft auxiliary sails.’
    • ‘The narrow trunk cabin terminates just aft of the main mast and provides wide side decks for sure footing.’
    • ‘The billowing white sail on the mast seemed to blend in with the far off clouds that covered the horizon.’
    spar, boom, yard, gaff, foremast, mainmast, topmast, mizzenmast, mizzen, royal mast
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A tall upright post on land, especially a flagpole or a television or radio transmitter.
      • ‘A row has broken out between a village church and its neighbours after plans to put a phone mast disguised as a flagpole in its belltower were revealed.’
      • ‘Soot and smoke rose to meet the falling building and the television mast disappeared.’
      • ‘In a trailer for the feature-length documentary the men, who are not identified, are seen leaping from radio masts.’
      • ‘A similar application for the installation of a temporary mast on the same land was rejected in October.’
      • ‘The march of phone transmitter masts is proving unstoppable.’
      • ‘The island receives broadband internet via large masts which transmit to special receivers mounted on homes, similar in principle to TV aerials.’
      • ‘One of the last battles against police radio masts being put up in the North York Moors national park looks likely to be lost despite continued concerns about the impact on health and the landscape.’
      • ‘The nature of the masts and the land means they are within permitted development rights.’
      • ‘Railway stations and tracks across the area look set to become homes for controversial new 100 ft radio masts.’
      • ‘It concluded that there was no evidence showing transmitter masts threatened people's health - but no evidence that they didn't.’
      • ‘It is understood the difficulties centre on problems caused by the built-up nature of Greater Manchester and the fact that many masts and transmitters operate at once.’
      • ‘He added that while phone and radio masts are subject to strict controls to ensure that they do not interfere with TV reception, there are no such checks on buildings.’
      • ‘This leaves any local authority as its own judge and jury with regard to physical harm from pulsing radiation emissions from mobile phone transmitter masts.’
      • ‘Pass a radio mast and follow the track that services it back to the lighthouse car park.’
      • ‘I have been approached by a company that wants to erect a telecommunications mast on my land.’
      • ‘At one point on the drive up, a lightning bolt hit a radio mast 100m away from us.’
      • ‘He has the same level of concern about the health implications of radio waves from phone masts as he does about passive smoking, he says.’
      • ‘The spokeswoman said there was no conclusive evidence that made a link between exposure to radio waves, transmitter masts and long-term public health risks.’
      • ‘Previously, radar needed massive fixed equipment to work and transmissions from mobile phone masts were thought too weak to be useful.’
      • ‘Work has begun on the transmission masts which will relay the new Broadband signals to the area.’
      flagpole, flagstaff, pole, post, rod, support, upright
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • before the mast

    • historical Serving as an ordinary seaman in a sailing ship (quartered in the forecastle)

      ‘he had sailed before the mast in a windjammer’
      • ‘I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.’
      • ‘It is surprising how many men who come from the inland counties have sailed before the mast.’
      • ‘A day to celebrate a great Victory so slipping back to my youthful days before the mast as a boy sailor I will be happy to join in the traditional Naval celebrations.’
      • ‘The drama unfolds on the very day he and the other Tyrones learn the physical price of the young man's slumming excursion before the mast, the ‘stunt’ of ‘working his way all over the maps as a sailor… living in filthy dives, drinking rotgut’.’
      • ‘Such is our time before the mast in Tahiti - until departure becomes as inevitable as work and taxes.’
  • nail (or pin) one's colours to the mast

    • Declare one's beliefs or intentions openly.

      ‘they nailed their colours to the mast of youth revolt’
      • ‘It might have been better if we hadn't nailed our colours to the mast without being completely happy with them.’
      • ‘If he comes back before the courts for breaching his referral order or committing another offence, he will have nailed his colours to the mast.’
      • ‘I have some new business ideas and I want to play around with them for a bit, before I nail their colors to the mast.’
      • ‘I have the chance, finally, to come off the fence and out of the closet, stretch my philosophical wings, nail my colours to the mast, and proudly declare: I am a relativist; je suis un relativiste; ich bin ein Relativist.’
      • ‘Having well and truly nailed her colours to the mast by leaving home, Christine had a hard act to follow in Nancy, the apple of her dad's eye, who had wanted nothing else but to work the land.’
      • ‘I think the price probably is a bit of a gamble, but they must be confident because they have nailed their colours to the mast.’
      • ‘Such a book may seem a strange choice for one who has so firmly nailed her colours to the mast of comedy - indeed, it may seem a strange choice full stop.’
      • ‘Is it any surprise that ruthless people would nail their colours to the mast of the what they considered was the winning side?’
      • ‘Few companies nail their colours to the mast on some new technique or format without getting the support of at least a handful of other companies and possibly a committee.’
      • ‘Although tongues are wagging in every pub, shop and café it's only the bravest souls who will nail their colours to the mast in public.’

Origin

Old English mæst, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch mast and German Mast.

Pronunciation

mast

/mɑːst/

Main definitions of mast in English

: mast1mast2

mast2

noun

mass noun
  • The fruit of beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, especially as food for pigs.

    • ‘At each mast episode the numbers rose, then fell sharply as the young seedlings died.’
    • ‘Regional synchrony for mast crops has been postulated by previous authors.’
    • ‘Thus once a patch appeared,, dense recruitment usually continued there in succeeding mast years.’
    • ‘Seedlings became established in patches in new locations in each successive mast year for several reasons.’
    • ‘However, red chokeberry might contribute more soft mast for wildlife consumption.’
    • ‘The first assumption is that mast crops and small mammal populations are synchronized across a wide range.’
    • ‘All sites experienced at least one mast failure, and mast failure years were generally consistent across sites.’
    • ‘Once a new patch became established, seedlings recruited there in each succeeding mast episode.’
    • ‘He explains that the native rats ate many kinds of berries, beech mast, and other wholesome foods of the forest.’
    • ‘For each tree we calculated the proportion of seedlings in each year out of the total number recorded in the five largest mast years.’

Origin

Old English mæst, of West Germanic origin; probably related to meat.

Pronunciation

mast

/mɑːst/