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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 Typhoid Mary British & World English

A transmitter of undesirable opinions or attitudes

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)

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

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

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)

Mary Tudor British & World English

, Mary I of England (see Mary).

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

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).

Cassatt, Mary British & World English

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

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

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

Typhoid Mary British & World English

A transmitter of undesirable opinions or attitudes

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

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

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

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

Moore, Mary Tyler British & World English

(1936-), US actress. She starred in the television series The Dick Van Dyke Show 1961–66 and in The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970–77. She also acted on Broadway and in movies such as Ordinary People (1980)

Wollstonecraft, Mary British & World English

(1759–97), English writer and feminist, of Irish descent. Her best-known work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), defied assumptions about male supremacy and championed educational equality for women. In 1797 she married William Godwin and died shortly after giving birth to their daughter Mary Shelley

Blessed Virgin Mary British & World English

A title given to Mary, the mother of Jesus (see Mary)

Baylis, Lilian Mary British & World English

(1874–1937), English theatre manager, noted for her management of the Old Vic and for her initiative in reopening the old Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 1931

Beeton, Mrs Isabella Mary British & World English

(1836–65), English writer on cookery, famous for her bestselling Book of Cookery and Household Management (1861)

Holy Mary in Holy Joe British & World English

A sanctimonious or pious person

Mary I in Mary2 British & World English

Mary I (1516–58), daughter of Henry VIII, reigned 1553-8; known as Mary Tudor or Bloody Mary. In an attempt to reverse the country’s turn towards Protestantism she instigated the series of religious persecutions by which she earned her nickname

Leakey British & World English

A family of eminent Kenyan archaeologists and anthropologists. Louis (Seymour Bazett) (1903–72) pioneered the investigation of human origins in East Africa. He began excavations at Olduvai Gorge and together with Mary discovered the remains of early hominids and their implements, including Australopithecus or Zinjanthropus boisei in 1959. His British-born wife Mary (Douglas) (1913–96) discovered Homo habilis and Homo erectus at Olduvai in 1960. Their son Richard (Erskine) (b.1944) was director of the Kenya Wildlife Service 1989–94

Marie Celeste in Mary Celeste British & World English

Used in allusion to a place that is inexplicably deserted

Springfield, Dusty British & World English

(1939–99), British pop-rock singer; born Mary O’Brien. Her hits include “You Do n’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1966) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This” (1987). Among her albums are Dusty in Memphis (1969), Reputation (1990), and A Very Fine Love (1995)

St Mary in 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)

Mary II in Mary2 British & World English

Mary II (1662–94), daughter of James II, reigned 1689–94. Having been invited to replace her Catholic father on the throne after his deposition in 1689, she insisted that her husband, William of Orange, be crowned along with her

Eliot, George British & World English

(1819–80), English novelist; pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans. Her novels of provincial life are characterized by their exploration of moral problems and their development of the psychological analysis that marks the modern novel. Notable works: Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), and Middlemarch (1871-2)

Mary (Douglas in Leakey British & World English

A family of eminent Kenyan archaeologists and anthropologists. Louis (Seymour Bazett) (1903–72) pioneered the investigation of human origins in East Africa. He began excavations at Olduvai Gorge and together with Mary discovered the remains of early hominids and their implements, including Australopithecus or Zinjanthropus boisei in 1959. His British-born wife Mary (Douglas) (1913–96) discovered Homo habilis and Homo erectus at Olduvai in 1960. Their son Richard (Erskine) (b.1944) was director of the Kenya Wildlife Service 1989–94

Typhoid Mary in 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


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