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See also: Mease



Etymology 1Edit

The English Dialect Dictionary suggests Old Norse meiss (wooden box, as would be used for counting fish) as a source; The Century Dictionary suggests that the term comes via Old French from a Latin word *mesa (barrel). One can also compare German Mass (measure) and indeed measure itself.


mease (plural meases)

  1. (Britain, dialectal, dated) A measure of varying quantity, often five or six (long or short) hundred, used especially when counting herring.
    a mease of herrings
    • 1894, [British] Parliamentary Papers: 1850-1908, volume 24, page 70:
      The weekly returns will show a great falling off in the herring fishing which it may be said was a complete failure—and consequently caused a falling off of the revenues of the Harbour. There were only 521 mease of herrings sold at an average price of £1 2s 7¾d., or total £590.
    • 1895 November 23, Western Morning News:
      During the past few days large quantities of herrings have been caught at Clovelly. One fisherman, James Small, brought in about twenty mease (mease, 600). The prices realised have fallen so low as 5s. per mease.
    • 1905, Report on the Sea and Inland Fisheries of Ireland, page xviii:
      At Portavogie a few mease of herring were landed in June by some twenty-five boats.

Etymology 2Edit

Variant of mess / mese.


mease (plural meases)

  1. (obsolete) A mess, a mese: a meal.
    • 1590, Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene, A Looking Glass for London and England:
      I want my mease of milk when I go to my work.
    • 1779, Francis Peck, Desiderata Curiosa: Or, A Collection of Divers Scarce and Curious Pieces:
      they shal have [...] every mease of two dishes, one with pottage & boiled meate, the other roste (if it be no fasting day.) And if it be a fish daye, then they shal have two like meases of white meate & fish.

Etymology 3Edit

Presumably related to messuage.


mease (plural meases)

  1. (obsolete) A dwelling or messuage.
    • 1805, An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk:
      1628, July 15, was a Gild new erected by four young bachelors of the town, and kept at the college-house, of above twenty meases of persons, and the poor then well relieved.
    • c. 1541, William Ranshaw versus John Hayward and Others re Title to Goods and Chattels at Hulme, reported in the Pleadings and Depositions in the Duchy Court of Lancaster, time of Henry VIII (1897), volume 35, page 134:
      William Raynshaw, of Hulme, in the county of Lancaster, complains that whereas Hamnett Bent was seised in his demesne as of fee of certain meases of land, meadow, and pasture with appurtenances in Hulme []


  • mease in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • The English Dialect Dictionary (Joseph Wright)
  • The Open Court (1911), volume 25, page 416: The Glasgow Herald of Sept. 13, 1886, says: A mease [of herring] ... is five hundreds of 120 each.




From Old French ameiser.



mease (third-person singular present meases, present participle measin, past meased, past participle meased)

  1. to mitigate, alleviate, assuage
  2. to soothe, pacify




  1. First-person singular (yo) imperfect subjunctive form of mear.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperfect subjunctive form of mear.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) imperfect subjunctive form of mear.