musk

/musk/, n.
1. a substance secreted in a glandular sac under the skin of the abdomen of the male musk deer, having a strong odor, and used in perfumery.
2. an artificial imitation of the substance.
3. a similar secretion of other animals, as the civet, muskrat, and otter.
4. the odor of musk or some similar odor.
5. Bot. any of several plants, as the monkey flower, having a musky fragrance.
[1350-1400; ME musk(e) ( < MF musc) < LL muscus (ML moschus) < LGk móskos, móschos < Pers mushk]

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▪ biological substance
      substance obtained from the male musk deer and having a penetrating, persistent odour. It is used in the highest grades of perfume because of its odour characteristics, ability to remain in evidence for long periods of time, and ability to act as a fixative. Its quality varies according to the season and the age of the animal from which it is obtained. In India and parts of the Far East, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and antispasmodic effects have been attributed to musk.

      Musk is obtained from the musk pod, a preputial gland in a pouch, or sac, under the skin of the abdomen of the male musk deer. Fresh musk is semiliquid but dries to a grainy powder. It is usually prepared for use in perfumes by making a tincture in pure alcohol. After standing for several months, this solution imparts character, strength, and tenacity to perfume.

      The odorous principle of musk is muscone (muskone), or 3-methylcyclopentadecanone. Muscone and other compounds that produce musk odour have been synthesized and used in perfumes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Musk — (m[u^]sk), n. [F. musc, L. muscus, Per. musk, fr. Skr. mushka testicle, orig., a little mouse. See {Mouse}, and cd. {Abelmosk}, {Muscadel}, {Muscovy duck}, {Nutmeg}.] 1. A substance of a reddish brown color, and when fresh of the consistency of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Musk ox — Musk Musk (m[u^]sk), n. [F. musc, L. muscus, Per. musk, fr. Skr. mushka testicle, orig., a little mouse. See {Mouse}, and cd. {Abelmosk}, {Muscadel}, {Muscovy duck}, {Nutmeg}.] 1. A substance of a reddish brown color, and when fresh of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • musk ox — n. a hardy ox (Ovibos moschatus) of arctic America and Greenland, with a long, coarse, hairy coat, large, curved horns, and a musklike odor * * * Arctic ruminant (bovid species Ovibos moschatus) with a musky odour, large head, and small ears. The …   Universalium

  • musk — [musk] n. [OFr musc < LL muscus < Gr moschos < Pers mušk, musk < Sans muṣka, testicle, dim. of mus,MOUSE] 1. a substance with a strong, penetrating odor, obtained from a small sac (musk bag) under the skin of the abdomen in the male… …   English World dictionary

  • musk — ► NOUN 1) a strong smelling substance secreted by the male musk deer, used as an ingredient in perfumery. 2) (also musk plant) a musk scented plant related to the monkey flower. DERIVATIVES muskiness noun musky adjective (muskier, muskiest) …   English terms dictionary

  • musk — musk; musk·ish; musk·melon; musk·rat; abel·musk; …   English syllables

  • Musk — (m[u^]sk), v. t. To perfume with musk. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • musk — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. musc (13c.) and directly from L.L. muscus, from Late Gk. moskhos, from Pers. mushk, from Skt. muska s testicle, from mus mouse (so called, presumably, for resemblance; see MUSCLE (Cf. muscle)). The deer gland was… …   Etymology dictionary

  • musk ox — plural musk oxen n a large animal with long brown or black hair and curved horns, which lives in northern Canada and Greenland …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • musk — [mʌsk] n [U] [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: musc, from Late Latin muscus, from Greek moschos, from Persian mushk, from Sanskrit muska testicle ; because the substance comes from a part of a deer near its testicles] 1.) a substance with a… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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