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Mary1 British & World English

Mother of Jesus; known as the (Blessed) Virgin Mary, or St Mary, or Our Lady. According to the Gospels she was a virgin betrothed to Joseph and conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. She has been venerated by Catholic and Orthodox Churches from the earliest Christian times. Feast days, 1 January (Roman Catholic Church), 25 March (Annunciation), 15 August (Assumption), 8 September (Nativity), 8 December (Immaculate Conception)

Mary2 British & World English

The name of two queens of England:

Mary3 British & World English

An Aboriginal woman

Mary, Queen of Scots British & World English

(1542–87), daughter of James V, queen of Scotland 1542–67; known as Mary Stuart. A devout Catholic, she was unable to control her Protestant lords, and fled to England in 1567. She became the focus of several Catholic plots against Elizabeth I and was eventually beheaded

Mary in Lamb, Charles British & World English

(1775–1834), English essayist and critic. Together with his sister Mary he wrote Tales from Shakespeare (1807). Other notable works: Essays of Elia (1823)

Mary in Typhoid Mary British & World English

A transmitter of undesirable opinions or attitudes

Mary Ann British & World English

Derogatory. An effeminate man, or one who takes a female role; a male homosexual.

Mary blue British & World English

A light or medium blue colour.

Mary bud British & World English

(Now only in echoes of Shakespeare) the bud of a marigold.

Mary fist British & World English

(The hand as used in) male masturbation.

Mary sole British & World English

The megrim, Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis.

Hail Mary British & World English

A prayer to the Virgin Mary used chiefly by Roman Catholics, beginning with part of Luke 1:28. Also called Ave Maria

Mary Jane British & World English

A flat, round-toed shoe for women and girls, with a single strap across the top

Mary Rose British & World English

A heavily armed ship, built for Henry VIII, that in 1545 sank with the loss of nearly all her company when going out to engage the French fleet off Portsmouth. The hull was raised in 1982

Webb, Mary British & World English

(1881–1927), English novelist; full name Gladys Mary Webb. Her novels, such as Gone to Earth (1917) and Precious Bane (1924), are representative of much regional English fiction popular at the beginning of the century

Mary Ellen British & World English

In Liverpool: a working-class woman, especially a fruit-seller or market trader.

Mary Tudor British & World English

, Mary I of England (see Mary).

Queen Mary British & World English

A type of long low-loading road trailer originally used to transport tanks, aircraft, etc., during the Second World War (1939–45). Now chiefly historical.

Bloody Mary1 British & World English

The nickname of Mary I of England (see Mary)

Bloody Mary2 British & World English

A drink consisting of vodka and tomato juice

Mallon, Mary British & World English

(C.1870–1938) US cook; born in Ireland; known as Typhoid Mary. Immune to typhoid herself, she spread the disease while working in New York City. She was institutionalized for life from 1914 to protect others

Martin, Mary British & World English

(1913–90), US actress and singer; full name Mary Virginia Martin. She starred in the Broadway musicals South Pacific (1949), Peter Pan (1954), and The Sound of Music (1959)

muscle Mary British & World English

A homosexual man who has prominent, well-developed muscles

Quant, Mary British & World English

(B.1934), English fashion designer. She was a principal creator of the ‘1960s look’, launching the miniskirt in 1966 and promoting bold colours and geometric designs. She was also one of the first to design for the ready-to-wear market

Stuart, Mary British & World English

See Mary, Queen of Scots.

Virgin Mary British & World English

The mother of Jesus (see Mary).

Mary Gregory British & World English

A type of decorative glassware manufactured in the United States towards the end of the 19th cent., which is typically tinted and painted with designs, especially figures of children, in white enamel. Frequently attributive, especially in Mary Gregory glass.

Mournful Mary British & World English

The siren used at Dunkirk during the First World War (1914–18).

blue-eyed Mary British & World English

A low-growing southern European plant of the borage family, which bears bright blue flowers and spreads by means of runners

Cassatt, Mary British & World English

(1844–1926), American painter, who worked mostly in Paris. Her paintings display a close interest in everyday subject matter

McAleese, Mary British & World English

(B.1951), Irish stateswoman, President 1997–2011; full name Mary Patricia McAleese

McCarthy, Mary British & World English

(1912–89), American novelist and critic; full name Mary Therese McCarthy. Notable novels: The Groves of Academe (1952) and The Group (1963)

Mary Celeste British & World English

An American cargo ship that was found afloat in the North Atlantic in December 1872 in perfect condition but abandoned. The fate of the crew and the reason for the abandonment of the ship remain a mystery

Pickford, Mary British & World English

(1893–1979), Canadian-born American actress; born Gladys Mary Smith. She was a star of silent films such as Pollyanna (1920). She also co-founded United Artists (1919)

Renault, Mary British & World English

(1905–83), British novelist, resident in South Africa from 1948; pseudonym of Mary Challans. She wrote historical novels set in the ancient world, notably a trilogy dealing with Alexander the Great (1970–81)

Robinson, Mary British & World English

(B.1944), Irish Labour stateswoman, President 1990-7; full name Mary Terese Winifred Robinson. Ireland’s first woman President, she was noted for her platform of religious toleration and her liberal attitude. She served as UN Commissioner for Human Rights 1997–2002

Shelley, Mary British & World English

(1797–1851), English writer, daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft; full name Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814 and married him in 1816. She is chiefly remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818)

Typhoid Mary British & World English

A transmitter of undesirable opinions or attitudes

Queen Mary hat British & World English

A type of small hat or toque popularized by Queen Mary, who favoured it because it allowed the public a clear view of her face.

Mary Bell order British & World English

A court order prohibiting the publication of information which might lead to the identification of a child who is a ward of court or otherwise involved in legal proceedings.

Buss, Frances Mary British & World English

(1827–94), English educationist. She was in charge of the North London Collegiate School for Ladies (1850–94) and campaigned for higher education for women with her friend Dorothea Beale

Eddy, Mary Baker British & World English

(1821–1910), American religious leader and founder of the Christian Science movement. Long a victim to various ailments, she believed herself cured by a faith healer, Phineas Quimby, and later evolved her own system of spiritual healing

Lyon, Mary Mason British & World English

(1797–1849), US educator. She founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (later Mount Holyoke College) in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1837 and served as its first president 1837–49

Mary Magdalene, St British & World English

(In the New Testament) a woman of Magdala in Galilee. She was a follower of Jesus, who cured her of evil spirits (Luke 8:2); she is also traditionally identified with the ‘sinner’ of Luke 7:37. Feast day, 22 July

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