- The definition of a mascot is a good luck symbol, especially for a team.
An example of a mascot is Mr. Met for the New York Mets.
- any person, animal, or thing supposed to bring good luck
- any person, animal, or thing adopted by a group, esp. a sports team as a symbol or for good luck: the team's mascot is a bear
Origin: Fr mascotte from ProvenÃ§al mascot, diminutive of masco, sorcerer (from uncertain or unknown; perhaps ): inch(es) popular; population use, after La Mascotte (1880), operetta by E. Audran (1840-1901), French composer
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: French mascotte, sorcerer's charm, mascot, from Provençal mascoto, sorcery, fetish, from masco, witch, ultimately from Medieval Latin masca, mask, specter, witch.Word History: A giant strutting bird leading a cheer at the homecoming game may seem a far cry from a witch fashioning a charm or spell, but these two figures are related historically in the development of the word mascot. Mascot came into English as a borrowing of the French word mascotte, meaning “mascot, charm.” The English word is first recorded in 1881 shortly after the French word, itself first recorded in 1867, was popularized by the opera La Mascotte, performed in December 1880. The French word in turn came from the Provençal word mascoto, “piece of witchcraft, charm, amulet,” a feminine diminutive of masco, “witch.” This word can probably be traced back to Medieval Latin masca, “witch, specter.” Thus for all their apparent differences, yesterday's witches and today's cuddly mascots can be seen in the same light, as agents working their respective magic to bring about a desired outcome.