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MERISTEM, mer'is-tem, _n._ the formative tissue of plants, distinguished from the permanent tissues by the power its cells have of dividing and forming new cells.--_adj._ MERISTEMAT'IC. [Gr. _meristos_, verbal adj. of _merizein_, to divide--_meros_, a part.]

MERIT, mer'it, _n._ excellence that deserves honour or reward: worth: value: that which one has earned.--_v.t._ to earn: to have a right to claim as a reward: to deserve: (_pl._, _in law_) the right or wrong of a case, apart from questions of procedure.--_adj._ MERIT[=O]'RIOUS, possessing merit or desert: deserving of reward, honour, or praise.--_adv._ MERIT[=O]'RIOUSLY.--_n._ MERIT[=O]'RIOUSNESS.--ORDER FOR MERIT, a Prussian order, the military class founded by Frederick the Great in 1740--the civil class, by Frederick William IV. in 1842 for eminence in science and art; ORDER OF MERIT, place in a class or list in which the best is placed first, the next best second, and so on. [Fr.,--L. _meritum_--_mer[=e]re_, _-[)i]tum_, to obtain as a lot, to deserve.]

MERK, m[.e]rk, _n._ an old Scotch silver coin, worth 13s. 4d. Scots, or 13-1/3d. sterling. [_Mark_.]

MERLE, m[.e]rl, _n._ the blackbird. [Fr.,--L. _merula_.]

MERLIN, m[.e]r'lin, _n._ a species of small hawk. [Fr. _emerillon_, prob.

from L. _merula_.]

MERLING, mer'ling, _n._ a small gadoid fish, the whiting.

MERLON, m[.e]r'lon, _n._ (_fort._) the part of a wall with battlements which lies between two openings. [Fr., prob. through Low L. forms from L.

_murus_, a wall.]

MERMAID, m[.e]r'm[=a]d, _n._ a sea-woman, having the head and body of a lovely woman to the waist, ending in the tail of a fish.--_ns._ MER'MAIDEN (_Tenn._):--_masc._ MER'MAN; MER'MAID'S-GLOVE, the largest kind of British sponge. [A.S. _mere_, a lake (influenced by Fr. _mer_, the sea), _maegden_, maid.]

MEROBLAST, mer'[=o]-blast, _n._ a meroblastic ovum.--_adj._ MEROBLAST'IC, undergoing segmentation only in the germinal disc, as the eggs of birds.

MEROGNOSTIC, mer-og-nos'tik, _n._ one who claims to know in part.--_n._ MEROGNOS'TICISM.

MEROPIDAN, me-rop'i-dan, _n._ a bird of the family of bee-eaters. [L.

_merops_, the bee-eater--Gr.]

MEROSOME, mer'[=o]-s[=o]m, _n._ one of the serial segments of which a body is composed, as the ring of a worm, a metamere, a somite.

MEROVINGIAN, mer-o-vin'ji-an, _adj._ pertaining to the first dynasty of Frankish kings in Gaul, named from _Merwig_, king of the western or Salian Franks (448-457), grandfather of Clovis.

MERRY, mer'i, _adj._ sportive: cheerful: noisily gay: causing laughter: lively.--_adv._ MERR'ILY.--_ns._ MERR'IMAKE, MERR'Y-MAKE (_Spens._), a meeting for making merry, a festival, mirth.--_v.i._ to make merry, to feast.--_ns._ MERR'IMENT, MERR'INESS, gaiety with laughter and noise: mirth: hilarity; MERR'Y-AN'DREW, one who makes sport for others: a buffoon: one who goes round with a mountebank or a quack doctor--also MERR'YMAN; MERR'Y-GO-ROUND, a revolving ring of hobby-horses, &c., on which children ride round at fairs, &c.; MERR'Y-MAK'ING, a merry entertainment, a festival; MERR'Y-THOUGHT, the forked bone of a fowl's breast, which two persons pull at in play, the one who breaks off the longer part being thought likely to be first married. [A.S. _merg_, from the Celtic, as in Gael. and Ir. _mear_, _merry_, Gael. _mir_, to sport.]

MERRY, mer'i, _n._ an English wild-cherry. [Fr. _merise_.]

MERSION, m[.e]r'shun, _n._ Same as IMMERSION.

MERULIDAN, me-r[=oo]'li-dan, _n._ a bird of the thrush family (_Turdidae_), the typical genus of which is the MER'ULA. [_Merle_.]

MERYCISM, mer'i-sizm, _n._ rumination in the human species. [Gr., _m[=e]rykizein_, to chew the cud.]

MESAIL, mes'[=a]l, _n._ the vizor of a helmet, esp. when made in two parts.

MESAL, mes'al, _adj._ See MESIAL.

MeSALLIANCE, m[=a]-zal-l[=e]-an(g)s', _n._ a marriage with a person of lower rank or social condition. [Fr.]

MESARAIC, mes-a-r[=a]'ik, _adj._ mesenteric. [Gr. _mesos_, middle, _araia_, the belly.]

MESEEMS, me-s[=e]mz', _v.impers._ it seems to me (used only in poetry).

[_Me_, the dative of _I_, and _seems_ used impersonally.]

MESEMBRYANTHEMUM, me-zem-bri-an'the-mum, _n._ a genus of succulent plants, mostly belonging to South Africa. [Gr. _mes[=e]mbria_, midday--_mesos_, middle, _h[=e]mera_, day, _anthemon_, a flower.]

MESENCEPHALON, mes-en-sef'a-lon, _n._ the mid-brain.--_adj._ MESENCEPHAL'IC.

MESENTERY, mes'en-t[.e]r-i, or mez'-, _n._ a membrane in the cavity of the abdomen, attached to the backbone, and serving to keep the intestines in their place.--_adj._ MESENTER'IC.--_n._ MESENTER[=I]'TIS, inflammation of the mesentery. [L.,--Gr. _mesenterion_--_mesos_, middle, _enteron_, intestines.]

MESFAITH, mes'f[=a]th, _n._ (_Tenn._) wrong faith, error of belief. [Fr.

_mes_--L. _mis_, wrong, and _faith_.]

MESH, mesh, _n._ the opening between the threads of a net: the threads and knots which bound the opening: network.--_v.t._ to catch in a net: to engage or interlock, as gear-teeth.--_v.i._ to become engaged thus.--_n._ MESH'-WORK, a network, web.--_adj._ MESH'Y, formed like network. [A.S.

_max_, a net; Ger. _masche_.]

MESIAL, m[=e]'zi-al, _adj._ pertaining to the middle: median--also MES'AL, MES'IAN.--_advs._ MES'ALLY, MES'IALLY. [Gr. _mesos_, middle.]

MESMERISE, mez'm[.e]r-[=i]z, _v.t._ to induce an extraordinary state of the nervous system, in which the operator is supposed to control the actions and thoughts of the subject.--_n._ MESMEREE', one mesmerised.--_adjs._ MESMER'IC, -AL, of or relating to mesmerism.--_ns._ MESMERIS[=A]'TION; MES'MERISER, MES'MERIST, one who mesmerises: MES'MERISM, act of mesmerising. [From Friedrich Anton or Franz _Mesmer_, a German physician (1733-1815), who first published his discovery in 1775.]

MESNE, m[=e]n, _adj._ intermediate: applied to a writ issued between the beginning and end of a suit.--MESNE LORD, one who held land of a superior, but had granted part of it to another person. [Norm. Fr. _mesne_, middle.]

MESOBLAST, mes'o-blast, _n._ the middle one of the three germinal layers of any metazoic embryo between the epiblast and the hypoblast: the mesoderm.--_adj._ MESOBLAS'TIC.

MESOCARP, mes'o-karp, _n._ (_bot._) the middle one of the three layers of a seed-vessel.

MESOCEPHALIC, mes-[=o]-s[=e]-fal'ik, _adj._ of medium breadth or capacity--of the skull--also MESOCEPH'ALOUS.--_ns._ MESOCEPH'ALISM, MESOCEPH'ALY.

MESODERM, mes'o-derm, _n._ Same as MESOBLAST.

MESODIC, me-sod'ik, _adj._ (_pros._) pertaining to a system of different form intervening between a strophe and its antistrophe.

MESOGASTRIC, mes-o-gas'trik, _adj._ of or belonging to the middle of the stomach: denoting the membrane which sustains the stomach.

MESOPHLOEUM, mes-[=o]-fl[=e]'um, _n._ (_bot._) the middle or green layer of bark.

MESOTHORAX, mes-o-th[=o]'raks, _n._ the middle one of the three segments of an insect's thorax.--_adj._ MESOTHORAC'IC.

MESOZOIC, mes-o-z[=o]'ik, _adj._ of the _Secondary_ geological period, including the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous systems. [Gr. _mesos_, middle, _z[=o][=e]_, life.]

MESPRISE, mes-pr[=i]z', _n._ (_Spens._) contempt, scorn. [O. Fr.

_mespriser_, to despise--L. _minus_, less, _preti[=a]re_, to prize.]

MESQUITE, mes'k[=e]t, mes-k[=e]t', _n._ a leguminous tree or shrub of America, with nutritious pods. [Sp.]

MESS, mes, _n._ a mixture disagreeable to the sight or taste: a medley: disorder: confusion.--_v.t._ to make a mess of: to muddle.--_adj._ MESS'Y, confused, untidy. [A form of _mash_.]

MESS, mes, _n._ a dish or quantity of food served up at one time: a number of persons who take their meals together at the same table, esp. in the army and navy: the take of fish at one time.--_v.t._ to supply with a mess.--_v.i._ to eat of a mess: to eat at a common table. [O. Fr. _mes_ (Fr. _mets_), a dish--L. _mitt[)e]re_, _missum_, to send, in Low L. to place.]

MESS, mes, _n._=mass.--MESS JOHN, a domestic chaplain.

MESSAGE, mes'[=a]j, _n._ any communication sent from one person to another: an errand: an official communication, of advice, &c., as a President's Message in the United States.--_n._ MESS'ENGER, the bearer of a message: a forerunner: a light scudding cloud preceding a storm: a piece of paper, &c., blown up the string to the kite: the secretary-bird: a rope or chain by which cables were formerly connected to the capstan when heaving up the anchor: (_Scots law_) an officer who executes the summonses of the Court of Session, called a MESS'ENGER-AT-ARMS.--QUEEN'S, or KING'S, MESSENGER, an officer who carries official despatches whether at home or abroad.

[Fr.,--Low L. _missaticum_--L. _mitt[)e]re_, _missum_, to send.]

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