Definition: Mosaic

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From Middle French mosaïque, from Italian mosaico, from Medieval Latin musaicum, from Late Latin musivum (opus), from Latin museum, musaeum, probably from Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον or Mouseîon (shrine of the Muses (Μοῦσα or Moûsa)).


mosaic (countable and uncountable, plural mosaics)

  1. A piece of artwork created by placing colored squares (usually tiles) in a pattern so as to create a picture.
  2. Pixelization; a method of censorship in which part of a picture is obscured.
  3. (genetics) An individual composed of two or more cell lines of different genetic or chromosomal constitution, but from the same zygote.
  4. (phytopathology) Any of several viral diseases that cause mosaic-like patterns to appear on leaves.
  5. A composite picture made from overlapping photographs.

Derived terms

  • cultural mosaic
  • mosaicist
  • mosaic plot
  • mosaicry
  • mosaic virus
  • rugose mosaic


mosaic (not comparable)

  1. (of an individual) Containing cells of varying genetic constitution.


mosaic (third-person singular simple present mosaics, present participle mosaicing or mosaicking, simple past and past participle mosaiced or mosaicked)

  1. To arrange in a mosaic.

Related terms

  • alphamosaic
  • mosaicism
  • mosaicist
  • photomosaic

Etymology 2

From Middle French mosaïque, moysaique, and its source, post-classical Latin Mosaicus (fifth century), from Latin Moses.


Mosaic (not comparable)

  1. Pertaining to Moses, or the writings and traditions attributed to him.

Derived terms

  • Mosaic covenant


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