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Via Middle English from Middle Dutch malemeseye, from Italian via Old French, ultimately from Ancient Greek Μονεμβασία (Monembasía, Monemvasia, a city on the Peloponnese), from μόνος (mónos, only one) + ἔμβασις (émbasis, entering into, ἐν + βάσις).


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malmsey (countable and uncountable, plural malmseys)

  1. A sweet, fortified wine made in Madeira, originally from the malvasia grape.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , New York, published 2001, page 223:
      All black wines, over-hot, compound, strong, thick drinks, as muscadine, malmsey, alicant, rumney, brown bastard, metheglin, and the like []
    Synonym: malvoisie