English Words in Action, Group M

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

maestoso (adjective), more maestoso, most maestoso
Playing music with beauty and quality: The conductor of the orchestra raised her baton and indicated to the players to perform in a maestoso manner.
maggot (s) (noun), maggots (pl)
1. The larva of a fly, of the order Diptera, during a wormlike feeding period: Blowfly maggots develop in carrion; flesh-fly maggots, in necrotic or normal tissues of living hosts; and filth-fly maggots live on excrement and decaying organic matter.
2. Etymology: from Middle English maddock, magotte, mathek, "grub, worm, maggot".

From ancient times until the introduction of antibiotics, physicians used maggots to help clean injuries and prevent infections.

Because the maggots feed solely on dead flesh, doctors did not have to worry about them eating healthy tissue.

The arrival of antibiotics replaced medical maggots; then when widespread resistance to antibiotics evolved, there was a new interest in the use of medical maggots.

Maggot therapy may sound medieval, but modern medicine seems to guarantee that it works even now in our modern age.

—Compiled from an article titled
"New studies show how maggots clean wounds and help them heal"
in the Scientific American magazine
by Carrie Arnold; April, 2013; page 9.
maim (verb), maims; maimed; maiming
1. To inflict a severe and permanent injury on a person or animal; especially, one that renders a limb useless: One young man was killed and two others were mauled and maimed by a lion at the San Francisco zoo in December, 2007.

Originally, in law, it was a crime if people maimed others to make them less able to defend themselves.

2. Etymology: to cripple, to disable, to mutilate; from Middle English, maymen, mahaymen; from Old French, mehagnier, mahaignier, mayner; which is of Teutonic origin.
malarkey (s) (noun) (no plural)
Nonsense, rubbish, foolish words or ideas: There are some people who think that what most politicians say is just a lot of malarkey.
Meaningless talk.
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mammonism (s) (noun), mammonisms (pl)
A devotion and dedication to striving for wealth or riches: Jody had a very good and lucrative job and soon developed mammonism, or an excessive and greedy pursuit of material possessions, and often went shopping at expensive stores.
The greedy objective to be rich.
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mannequin (s) (noun), mannequins (pl)
A person who performs as a model to display fashionable clothing, especially for fashion photographs or in fashion shows: Mildred's sister is a mannequin whose profession is to wear and show various kinds of women's clothes for a department store.
A female who models women's clothing.
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mantra (MAN truh, MUN truh) (s) (noun), mantras (pl)
1. A holy sound, a sacred word or a phrase which is repeated to aid in concentrating by those who are praying or meditating: When attending the church service, there were mantras being spoken several times by the minister and his congregation because they were expressing their thanks to God for his blessings and asking for His guidance.
2. A slogan or a statement that is repeated often: Carol's current mantra is to work s-l-o-w-l-y.

Some people in businesses use the mantra, "Bigger is better"; however, it isn't necessarily true.

The use of the mantra sounds of om mani padme hum is an aspect of Tibetan Buddhism.

3. Etymology: from the 18th century; Sanskrit, literally, "an instrument of thought" from man, "think".
marauder (s) (noun), marauders (pl)
Someone or a group that travels from one place to another place to attack or to pillage the people who are there: The marauders raided several towns before they were caught.
A rover in quest of booty or valuable goods.
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marl (s) (noun), marls (pl)
A crumbly mixture of clays, calcium, magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells that are sometimes found under desert sands and used as fertilizer for soils that are lacking in lime: Marl is a part of the earth's surface that contains humus and disintegrated rock which is used to increase the necessary lime content in some farmland areas.

There are soil experts who believe that marl is a valuable fertilizing material for various kinds of soils depending on their compositions.

marl (verb), marls; marled; marling
To overspread or to fertilize soil with a mixture of clay, sand, and limestone in varying amounts: The farmers were marling their farmland with the soft and crumbly earth deposits so they could improve the acidity of their soils.
marly (adjective), more marly, most marly
Relating to, consisting of, resembling, or having a large quantity of loose and crumbling earthy deposits: The marly fertilizers that the farmers were spreading in the fields consisted of sand, silt, or clay and a substantial amount of calcium carbonate.
martial (adjective), more martial, most martial
1. Characteristic of war, soldiers, and aggressive warlike behavior: The town was under martial law.
2. Associated with the military or armed forces: The country maintains a martial or warlike attitude toward its neighbors.
3. Soldier-like in behavior, bearing, etc.: The old veteran had a martial attitude.

Mr. Brown's martial uniform makes him look older than he really is.

4. Etymology: Martial literally means "pertaining to Mars", the Roman god of war.

Martial may refer to anything related to a soldier, like a military uniform, or it can refer to someone who is antagonistic and warlike.

If Martial Law is declared in a country, it means that the military has taken control of that country.

Martial Arts refers to any of several fighting styles that include specified methods of training for combat, armed and unarmed; and it is performed as a sport, including boxing, karate, judo, etc.

martinet (s) (noun), martinets (pl)
1. A harsh and rigid disciplinarian: Lester's boss is such a martinet that he penalizes his employees for coming to work two minutes late.
2. A person who lays stress on a strict adherence to the technicalities of rules and forms and of set methods: The teacher, Mrs. Hinds, was quite a martinet because she only accepted homework which was handwritten in blue ink and in notebooks of a certain size with lined pages.
A strict military type of disciplinarian.
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Someone who enforces strict obedience to details
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Someone who insists that others follow the rules.
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massive (adjective), more massive, most massive
1. Pertaining to a large mass; bulky, heavy, and solid: Kay bought a massive piece of furniture for her apartment.
2. A reference something which is large or imposing, as in quantity, scope, degree, intensity, or scale: The military unit must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power.
3. Relating to something which is considerably large in comparison with the usual amount: The doctor gave Sharon a massive dose of medication as a painkiller for the injury she suffered when she fell on the slippery steps.
Something that is immense, huge, or gigantic in size or quantity.
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maudlin (adjective), more maudlin, most maudlin
1. Relating to a condition of being overly tearful or effusively sentimental; especially, because of drinking alcohol: Manual was expressing an excessive maudlin emotion in a foolish and annoying way when he met his former girl friend at Jim's birthday party.
2. Etymology: Maudlin is the English development of an alteration of the second name of Mary Magdalene, who was often shown in medieval art as a tearful repentant sinner, or reformed prostitute, who was forgiven by Jesus as indicated in the Bible at Luke vii:37-38.

Pertaining to being easily moved to tears and drunk enough to cause his silly emotions.
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Descriptive of being emotionally silly and sentimental.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.