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See also: Musk and MuSK


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From Middle English muske, borrowed from Old French musc, from Late Latin muscus, from Ancient Greek μόσχος (móskhos), from Middle Persian [script needed] (mwšk' /mušk/) whence Persian مشک(mošk). 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). Cognate with mouse.



musk (countable and uncountable, plural musks)

  1. A greasy secretion with a powerful odour, produced in a glandular sac of the male musk deer and used in the manufacture of perfumes.
  2. A similar secretion produced by the otter and the civet.
  3. A synthetic organic compound used as a substitute for the above.
  4. The odour of musk.
  5. The musk deer (genus Moschus).
  6. The musk plant (Mimulus moschatus).
  7. A plant of the genus Erodium (Erodium moschatum); the musky heronsbill.
  8. A plant of the genus Muscari; grape hyacinth.
  9. (slang, colloquial, vulgar) The scent of human genitalia when aroused or unwashed.
    I was so excited I could smell my own musk.

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musk (third-person singular simple present musks, present participle musking, simple past and past participle musked)

  1. (transitive) To perfume with musk.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of muske