One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A native or inhabitant of (especially ancient) Messenia, a region in the south-west Peloponnese in Greece, bordered to the east by Laconia.
2The dialect of ancient Greek spoken in Messenia.
Of or relating to Messenia, the ancient Messenians, or their dialect.
Early 16th century. From classical Latin Messēnius and ancient Greek Μεσσήνιος of or belonging to Messenia, a native of Messenia (from classical Latin Messēnia, ancient Greek Μεσσηνία, the name of a region in the south-west Peloponnese) + -an.
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