/mas"tif, mah"stif/, n.
one of a breed of large, powerful, short-haired dogs having an apricot, fawn, or brindled coat.
[1300-50; ME mastif, perh. extracted from AF masti(n)s (taken as *mastifs), pl. of OF mastin < VL (canis) *ma(n)suetinus, deriv. of L mansuetus tame, mild (see MANSUETUDE)]

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Breed of powerful but gentle dog of Europe and Asia dating to 3000 BC.

Mastiffs fought bears, lions, tigers, bulls, and gladiators in Roman arenas and were used in English bull-and bear-baiting rings. The mastiff stands 28–30 in. (70–75 cm) tall and weighs 165–185 lbs (75–85 kg). It has a broad head, short dark muzzle, and dark drooping ears. Its short coat is apricot, silver fawn, or brindled. The bullmastiff, a bulldog-mastiff crossbreed standing 24–27 in. (61–69 cm) tall and weighing 100–130 lbs (45–59 kg), is used as a police and guard dog.

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▪ breed of dog
      breed of large working dog used as a guard and fighting dog in England for more than 2,000 years. Dogs of this type are found in European and Asian records dating back to 3000 BC. Sometimes called the Molossian breeds for a common ancestor, numerous large, heavily built dog breeds incorporate the name mastiff. They often function as war dogs or guardians. The Roman invaders of England sent the English mastiff to compete in the arenas of ancient Rome, where the dog was pitted against bears, lions, tigers, bulls, other dogs, and human gladiators. The breed also fought in the later bullbaiting and bearbaiting (bearbaiting) rings of England.

      A powerful but characteristically gentle dog, the mastiff has a broad head, drooping ears, a broad, short muzzle, and a short, coarse coat. Colour, as specified by the breed standard, is apricot, silver fawn, or brindled fawn and black. Ears and muzzle are dark. According to the American Kennel Club, male mastiffs must stand at least 30 inches (76 cm) and females at least 27.5 inches (70 cm). The breed weighs 165 to 185 pounds (75 to 84 kg).

 The bullmastiff, a cross between the mastiff and the bulldog, was developed in 19th-century England; it was used chiefly to discourage poaching on estates and game preserves and was known as the “gamekeeper's night-dog.” The bullmastiff is a tan, reddish brown, or brindled dog, with black on the face and ears. It stands 24 to 27 inches (61 to 69 cm) and weighs 100 to 130 pounds (45 to 59 kg). It is frequently used as a police and guard dog.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mastiff — Mastiff …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mastiff — bezeichnet einen (historischen) Hundetyp, siehe Molosser (Hund) gepanzerte Patrouillefahrzeuge Verschiedene molossoide Hunderassen: Mastiff (Ursprung Großbritannien). Alangu Mastiff Alentejo Mastiff Bakharwal Mastiff Brasilianischer Mastiff… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mastiff — [ mastif ] n. m. • mestif 1611; mot angl., de l a. fr. mastin → mâtin ♦ Chien de garde d une race anglaise, voisin des dogues. Des mastiffs. ● mastiff nom masculin (anglais mastiff) Excellent chien de garde de grande taille appelé aussi dogue… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mastiff — Mas tiff, n.; pl. {Mastiffs}. [{Mastives} is irregular and unusual.] [Prob. fr. Prov. E. masty, adj., large, n., a great dog, prob. fr. mast fruit, and hence, lit., fattened with mast. There is perh. confusion with OF. mestif mongrel; cf. also F …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mastiff — [mas′tif] n. [ME mastif < OFr mastin < VL * mansuetinus < L mansuetus, tame; ME form infl. by OFr mestif, a mongrel < L mixtus, mixed: see MIX] any of a breed of large, powerful dog with hanging lips and drooping ears and having a… …   English World dictionary

  • Mastiff — Mastiff, eine englische Dogge, s. Hund, S. 647 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mastiff — Mastiff, engl. Dogge von schwerem, plumpem Bau …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • mastiff — large, powerful breed of dog, early 14c., from O.Fr. mastin (Mod.Fr. mátin) or Prov. mastis, both from V.L. *mansuetinus domesticated, tame, from L. mansuetus tame, gentle (see MANSUETUDE (Cf. mansuetude)). Probably originally meaning a dog that… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mastiff — ► NOUN ▪ a dog of a large, strong breed with drooping ears and pendulous lips. ORIGIN Old French mastin, from Latin mansuetus tame …   English terms dictionary

  • Mastiff — A mastiff is a type of large dog often used as guard dogs. Mastiff breeds include: English Mastiff, or mastiff, the largest breed of dog in the world, bred as a Roman war dog. Alpine Mastiff, an extinct breed originating in Switzerland American… …   Wikipedia

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