a. Any of the open spaces in a net or network; an interstice.
b. often meshes The cords, threads, or wires surrounding these spaces.
2. An openwork fabric or structure; a net or network: a screen made of wire mesh.
3. often meshes Something that snares or entraps: "Arabia had become entangled in the meshes of ... politics" (W. Montgomery Watt).
a. The engagement of gear teeth.
b. The state of being so engaged: gear teeth in mesh.
v. meshed, mesh·ing, mesh·es
1. To catch in or as if in a net; ensnare.
2. To cause (gear teeth) to become engaged.
3. To cause to work closely together; coordinate.
1. To become entangled.
2. To become engaged or interlocked: gears that are not meshing properly.
a. To fit together effectively; be coordinated.
b. To accord with another or each other; harmonize.
[Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch maesche; akin to Old English max, net, and German Masche, mesh, loop, both from Germanic *maskwōn; akin to Lithuanian megzti, to knit, knot.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.