From Old French musc, from Late Latin muscus, from Ancient Greek μόσχος (móskhos), from Middle Persian *mušk; compare Persian مشک (mušk). Ultimately from Sanskrit मुष्क (muṣka, “testicle”), the shape of the gland of animals secreting the substance being compared to human testicles, a diminutive of मूष् (mūṣ, “mouse”), the shape of human testicles being compared to mice, from Proto-Indo-European *muh₂s (“mouse”).
musk (plural musks)
- A greasy secretion with a powerful odour, produced in a glandular sac of the male musk deer and used in the manufacture of perfumes.
- A similar secretion produced by the otter and the civet.
- A synthetic organic compound used as a substitute for the above.
- The odour of musk.
- The musk deer (genus Moschus).
- The musk plant (Mimulus moschatus).
- A plant of the genus Erodium (Erodium moschatum); the musky heronsbill.
- A plant of the genus Muscari; grape hyacinth.
- (slang, colloquial, vulgar) The scent of human genitalia when aroused or unwashed, especially that of a man.
- I was so excited I could smell my own musk.
- ^ Webster's New World College Dictionary, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.