One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tumour composed of mast cells, occurring most frequently in the skin and subcutaneous tissue, and particularly common in certain breeds of dog.
1920s; earliest use found in Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus. From German Mast mast + -o- + -cyte + -oma, after Italian mastocitoma; compare French mastocytome, and earlier mastocyte.
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