Middle English, from Anglo-Norman mace, mache, from Late Latin mattia or *mattea (compare Italian mazza, Spanish maza), from Proto-Indo-European *mat (“hoe, plow”) (compare Latin mateola (“hoe”), Old High German medela (“plow”), Russian мотыга (motýga, “hoe, mattock”), Persian آماج (āmāǰ) ‘plow’, Sanskrit (matyá, “harrow”)).
Sense of tear gas, from the trade name Mace.
mace (plural maces)
- A heavy fighting club.
- 1786, The Mace is an ancient weapon, formerly much used by cavalry of all nations, and likewise by ecclesiastics, who in consequence of their tenures, frequently took the field, but were by a canon of the church forbidden to wield the sword. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 51.
- A ceremonial form of this weapon.
- 1598, I am a king that find thee; and I know 'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball, The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, The intertissued robe of gold and pearl... — William Shakespeare, Henvry V, Act IV, Scene I, line 259.
- A spice obtained from the outer layer of the kernel of the fruit of the nutmeg.
- 1610, I must have saffron to color the warden pies; mace; dates, none -- that's out of my note; nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I may beg; four pounds of prunes, and as many of raisins o' th' sun. — William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act IV, Scene III, line 45.
- A common name for some types of tear gas and pepper spray.
- A long baton used by some drum majors to keep time and lead a marching band. If this baton is referred to as a mace, by convention it has a ceremonial often decorative head, which, if of metal, usually is hollow and sometimes intricately worked.
See also 
- To spray in defense or attack with mace (pepper spray, or, formerly, tear gas) using a hand-held device.
- (informal) To spray a similar noxious chemical in defense or attack using an available hand-held device such as an aerosol spray can.
- 1989 Hiaasen, Carl, Skin Tight, Ballantine Books, New York, ch.22:
- When Reynaldo and Willie had burst into Larkey's drug store to confront him, the old man had maced Willie square in the eyes with an aerosol can of spermicidal birth-control foam.
- To hit someone or something with a mace.
- Get over here! I'll mace you good!
- IPA: /matsɛ/
- This Albanian noun needs an inflection-table template.