Other Word Forms
Origin of mastiff
- Middle English mastif alteration (perhaps influenced by Old French mestif mongrel) of Old French mastin from Vulgar Latin (canis) mānsuētīnus tame (dog) from Latin mānsuētus past participle of mānsuēscere to tame manus hand man-2 in Indo-European roots suēscere to accustom s(w)e- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- An aberrant derivation from Old French mastin (modern French mâtin), from Vulgar Latin *mansuetÄ«nus (“tamed (animal)"), from Latin mansuetus (“tamed").