Definition of massage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmasɑː(d)ʒ/
Pronunciation: /məˈsɑː(d)ʒ/


[mass noun]
The rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain: massage can ease tiredness [count noun]: a massage will help loosen you up
More example sentences
  • This plant will keep insects away when used in oil burners and in massage will relieve muscle tension.
  • You could learn massage to ease pain, for example, and support your partner in the different positions she may want to use during labour.
  • I'm not sure that massage would actually relieve the pain, but it would certainly make me feel better!
rub-down, rubbing, rub, kneading, palpation, manipulation, pummelling
technical shiatsu, reflexology, acupressure, hydromassage, Swedish massage, osteopathy, chiropractic treatment, effleurage, tapotement, Rolfing


[with object]
1Rub and knead (a person or part of the body) with the hands: she massaged his tired muscles
More example sentences
  • You step into the specially designed bath and hundreds of revolving jets or water from nozzles massages the entire body from the feet to the neck.
  • No oils or lotions are used and the session usually lasts about 20 minutes as only the upper body is massaged.
  • Spend at least 5-10 minutes massaging the entire body and then relax for 5 minutes.
rub, rub down, knead, palpate, manipulate, pummel, work
rare embrocate
1.1 (massage something in/into/on to) Rub a substance into (the skin or hair): gently massage the cream on to your face
More example sentences
  • Spitting a bit into his palm, he grabbed gently at his hair massaging the gel-like substance into his sensitive scalp.
  • She kept the grey hair covered, massaged age-defying moisturizers into her skin, and met with her personal fitness trainer twice a week.
  • They began to massage scented oils into his skin while another worked on cutting all his hair.
2Manipulate (facts or figures) to give a more acceptable result: the accounts had been massaged to suit the government
More example sentences
  • Jones, who massaged facts and refused to face questions, dodged responsibility to the last.
  • In order to massage the statistics the definition of extremist criminal offences was changed.
  • I mean, how many people know that examinations have never been an exact science, and that results have always been massaged and fiddled to fit?
alter, tamper with, manipulate, doctor, falsify, juggle, fiddle with, tinker with, distort, change, rig, interfere with, misrepresent
informal fix, cook, fiddle


massage someone's ego

Flatter someone: I chose a man who massaged my bruised ego
More example sentences
  • But his logic dissolves any sense that he is just massaging his ego.
  • If that massages your ego, think on this: on average, fifty percent of those other versions of you will be better than you.
  • The weights are there to help you sculpt your body, not to massage your ego.



Example sentences
  • I guess you've tried painkillers, foot massagers and so on.
  • These massagers are hard plastic squares with indents at each corner, into which you insert your fingers.
  • The massager, especially when set on high, hits all the right spots, just on the bottom of the arch and that sore spot beneath the toes.


Late 19th century: from French, from masser 'knead, treat with massage', probably from Portuguese amassar 'knead', from massa 'dough'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mas|sage

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