Mílos, or Milo, one of the Greek Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Medicare to Missionary
Mérida (pop. 557,300), founded in 1542, now the largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Mérimée, Prosper (1803–70), French author, historian, archeologist, and linguist.
Medicare, U.S. government-financed system of medical and hospital insurance for people aged 65 and over.
Medici, Italian family of bankers, princes, and patrons of the arts who controlled Florence almost continually from the 1420s to 1737 and provided cardinals, popes (Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI), and 2 queens of France. The foundations of the family's power were laid by Giovanni di Bicci de'Medici (1360–1429), who achieved wealth through banking and commerce. His elder son, …
Medicine, the art and science of treating disease.
Medicine, patent See: Patent medicine.
Medieval period See: Middle Ages.
Medill, Joseph (1823–99), Canadian-born U.S. editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, and a builder of the Republican Party.
Medina (pop. 350,000), holy Muslim city and place of pilgrimage in Hejaz, Saudi Arabia, 210 mi (338 km) north of Mecca.
Medina, Harold Raymond (1888–1990), U.S. jurist.
Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly (Ceratitis capitata), pest of fruit in Africa, Australia, and the United States, attacking, in particular, peaches, apricots, and citrus fruits.
Mediterranean Sea, intercontinental sea between Europe, Asia, and Africa (over 965,000 sq mi—2,500,000 sq km). It opens into the Atlantic Ocean in the west through the Strait of Gibraltar, and into the Black Sea through the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The Suez Canal provides the Mediterranean Sea's link with the Red Sea and on to the Indian Ocean. Peninsular Italy, Sicily, Malta, and P…
Medusa, in Greek mythology one of three equally hideous-looking sisters (Gorgons).
Medusa See: Jellyfish.
Meeker, Ezra (1830–1928), U.S. author and explorer of the Oregon Trail.
Meerkat, or suricate (Suricata suricatta), small, insect-eating mammal of the family Herpestidae, native to dry regions of southern Africa.
Mehta, Zubin (1936– ), Indian-born U.S. conductor who studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and later became musical director of the Montreal Symphony (1961–67), Los Angeles Philharmonic (1962–78), and New York Philharmonic (1978–91).
Meighen, Arthur (1874–1960), 2-term Canadian prime minister.
Meiji (1852–1912), emperor of Japan (1867–1912); his given name was Mutsuhito.
Mein Kampf (German, “My Struggle”), Adolf Hitler's book detailing his life and beliefs, published in 2 volumes (1925, 1927; English trans., 1933, 1939).
Meir, Golda (1898–1978), Israeli leader, prime minister of Israel (1969–74).
Meitner, Lise (1878–1968), Austrian physicist who worked with Otto Hahn to discover protactinium (1917).
Mekong River, one of the chief rivers of the southeastern region of Asia, rising in the Tibetan highlands.
Melaka (pop. 88,100), Malaysian port city.
Melanchthon, Philipp (1497–1560), German scholar and humanist, second to Luther in initiating and leading the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
Melanesia See: Pacific Islands.
Melanin See: Skin.
Melbourne (pop. 3,080,900), second-largest city in Australia and capital of Victoria, on the Yarra River.
Mellon, Andrew William (1855–1937), U.S. financier, industrialist, U.S. treasury secretary (1921–31), and U.S. ambassador to Britain (1931–32).
Mellon Foundation, Andrew W., philanthropic organization that grants funds to educational, scientific, public affairs and cultural institutions.
Melodrama, originally a term used to refer to a passage in opera spoken over an orchestral accompaniment but more usually used to describe the sentimental drama of the 19th century in which characters were either good or bad.
Melon, fruit of Cucumis melo, a plant of the gourd family that grows wild in Africa and Asia.
Melos See: Milos.
Meltdown See: Nuclear reactor.
Melville, Herman (1819–91), U.S. writer.
Melville Island, Canadian island in the Arctic Ocean.
Memel See: Klaipeda.
Memling, Hans (1430–94), Flemish painter famous for his portraits and religious works, including the paneled Shrine of St.
Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, U.S. holiday honoring the dead of all wars, observed on the last Mon. in May.
Memphis, capital of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt until c.2200 B.C.
Memphis (pop. 610,300), largest city and chief river port of Tennessee, seat of Shelby County, on the high east banks bluffs of the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Wolf River.
Menander (342-c.291 B.C.), leading Greek writer of New comedy.
Mencius (Mengke; 370–290 B.C.), Chinese philosopher.
Mencken, H(enry) L(ouis) (1880–1956), U.S. journalist and author, caustic critic of U.S. society and literature.
Mendel, Gregor Johann (1822–84), Austrian botanist and Augustinian monk who laid the foundations of the science of genetics.
Mendel's laws See: Genetics; Mendel, Gregor Johann.
Mendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich (1834–1907), Russian chemist who formulated (1869) the Periodic Law, stating that the properties of elements vary periodically with increasing atomic weight.
Mendelevium, chemical element, symbol Md; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Mendelssohn, Felix (1809–47), German Romantic composer.
Mendelssohn, Moses (1729–1786), German-Jewish philosopher and scholar, a leading figure of the Enlightenment in Prussia, and a promoter of Jewish assimilation into German culture.
Mengele, Josef (1911–79?), Nazi war criminal.
Menhaden, marine fish (Brevoortia tyrannus) of the herring family.
Meningitis (cerebrospinal meningitis), inflammation of the menninges caused by bacteria or viruses.
Menninger, U.S. family of psychiatrists.
Mennonites, Protestant sect originating among the Anabaptists of Zurich, Switzerland.
Menominee, Native American tribe of the Algonquian linguistic group.
Menotti, Gian Carlo (1911– ), Italian-born U.S. composer of operas and founder (1958) of the Festival of Two Worlds at Spoleto, Italy.
Mensheviks, name for the position of the minority group in the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party-opposition to the Bolsheviks, the majority group led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Menstruation, in women of reproductive age, specifically the monthly loss of blood (period), representing shedding of womb endometrium; in general, the whole monthly cycle of hormonal, structural, and functional changes, punctuated by menstrual blood loss. After each period, the endometrium (womb-lining) starts to proliferate and thicken under the influence of gonadotrophins (follicle-stimulating …
Mental age See: Intelligence quotient.
Mental illness, any of several diseases of the mind manifesting itself as disordered thoughts or feelings, or behavior which is apparently irrational or which deviates from socially and culturally accepted norms. The modern concept of mental illness rests on 3 foundations. The oldest of these consists of norms of feeling, development, and behavior defined by society and prevailing in a culture at …
Mental retardation, low intellectual capacity, arising not from mental illness but from impairment of the normal development of the brain and nervous system.
Menuhin, Yehudi (1916– ), U.S. violinist and conductor.
Mephistopheles, in medieval legend, the devil to whom Faust sold his soul.
Mercantilism, economic system prevailing in 16th- to 18th-century western Europe that reflected the increased importance of the merchant.
Mercator, Gerardus (Gerhard Kremer; 1512–94), geographer and cartographer best known for his world map.
Merchandising See: Marketing.
Merchant marine, commercial shipping operations of a maritime nation and the personnel who operate the ships.
Merchant Marine Academy See: United States Merchant Marine Academy.
Mercury (element), chemical element, symbol Hg; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Mercury (mythology), in Roman mythology, god of commerce and wealth; associated with Hermes in Greek mythology.
Mercury (planet), in astronomy, planet closest to the sun, with a mean solar distance of 36 million mi (57.9 million km). Its eccentric elliptical orbit brings it within 28.5 million mi (46 million km) of the sun at perihelion (point nearest to the sun) and takes it 43.5 million mi (70 million km) from the sun at aphelion (point farthest from the sun). Its diameter is 3,031 mi (4,878 km), and its …
Mercury program See: Space exploration.
Meredith, George (1828–1909), English novelist and poet.
Merganser, fish-eating duck of the family Anatidae, found in many parts of the world.
Mergenthaler, Ottmar (1854–99), German-American inventor of the Linotype machine, an automatic typesetting device.
Merit badge See: Boy Scouts.
Merlin See: Round Table.
Merovingian, dynasty of Frankish kings (A.D. 428–751) who governed Gaul.
Merrill, Robert (1919– ), internationally acclaimed New York-born baritone opera singer.
Merrimack See: Monitor and Merrimack.
Merrimack River, stream of New England, flows 110 mi (177 km) from the White Mountains of New Hampshire through northeastern Massachusetts to the Atlantic Ocean.
Mersey, River, major trade waterway rising in the Pennine Hills of northwest England and entering the Irish Sea.
Merton, Robert King (1910– ), U.S. sociologist.
Merton, Thomas (1915–68), U.S. religious writer of poetry, meditative works and an autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948).
Merv, ruined city in the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, situated near the modern city of Mary.
Mesa (Spanish, “table”), used in the western and southwestern United States for a steep-sided, flat-topped hill or isolated tableland, such as Mesa Encantada (Enchanted Mesa) in New Mexico and Mesa Verde (Green Mesa) in Colorado.
Mesabi Range, hills in northeastern Minnesota, northwest of Lake Superior from Babbitt to Grand Rapids; highest point is 2,000 ft (610 m).
Mescaline, nonaddictive hallucinogen derived from the Mexican peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). Because peyote is bitter-tasting and causes a burning sensation and itching of mucous membranes, the “buttons” are brewed with tea or chewed while drinking beverages. Pure mescaline is more potent than peyote powder, which may be mixed with gelatine or injected intravenously in decoct…
Meshed (pop. 1,120,000), capital city of Khorsn province, northeastern Iran.
Mesmer, Franz, or Friedrich Anton (1734–1815), Austrian physician who theorized (1775) that a person may transmit universal forces to others through “animal magnetism.” Controversy over his unusual techniques and theories, involving the beneficial effects of a magnet upon an occult force within the subject, forced Mesmer to flee Austria (1778) for Paris.
Mesolithic Period See: Stone Age.
Meson, subatomic particle of a family called hadrons, which act via a strong nuclear force that holds together an atomic nucleus.
Mesopotamia (Greek, “between the rivers”), ancient region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southwestern Asia.
Mesosphere, layer of the atmosphere immediately above the stratosphere, marked by a temperature maximum (about 10°C/ 50°F) between altitudes of about 30 mi-50 mi (58–80 km).
Mesozoic Era See: Dinosaur; Reptile.
Mesquite, or screw bean, tough shrub or tree (genus Prosopis) that grows in the stony deserts of the southwestern United States and similar regions.
Messenia, region in the southern peninsula of Greece and seat of the ancient Mycenaean civilization.
Messiaen, Olivier (1908–92), French composer, organist, teacher, and theorist.
Messiah (Hebrew, “anointed one”), according to Israelite prophets, especially Isaiah, the ruler whom God would send to restore Israel and begin a glorious age of peace and righteousness.
Messier, Charles (1730–1817), French astronomer and compiler of an extensive catalog of celestial sources of light that are not stars.
Messina (pop. 232,900), city on Sicily's northeast coast, on the Strait of Messina.
Metabolism, sum total of all chemical reactions that occur in a living organism.
Metal, element that has high specific gravity; high opacity and reflectivity to light (giving a characteristic luster when polished); ability to be hammered into thin sheets and drawn into wires (i.e., is malleable and ductile); and is a good conductor of heat and electricity, its electrical conductivity decreasing with temperature.
Metallurgy, the science and technology of extracting metals from ores, the methods of refining, purifying, and preparing them for use, and the study of the structure and physical properties of metals and alloys.
Metamorphic rock, one of the 3 main classes of rocks of the earth's crust—the class that has undergone change owing to heat, pressure, or chemical action.
Metamorphosis, in zoology, changes undergone from larvae to a mature adult stage.
Metaphysical poets, early 17th-century English lyric poets whose style relied on the metaphysical conceit, an elaborate metaphorical image.
Metaphysics, branch of philosophy that addresses the fundamentals of existence or reality, such as the existence and nature of God, immortality of the soul, meaning of evil, the problem of freedom and determinism, and relationship of mind and body.
Metaxas, Ionannis (1871–1941), Greek general and from 1936 ultraroyalist premier and dictator of Greece.
Metazoan, in zoology, multicellular animal, member of the group Metazoa, distinguished from single-celled protozoans.
Metchnikoff, Elie (1845–1916), Russian biologist who shared with Paul Ehrlich the 1908 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his discovery of phagocytes (in humans, called leukocytes) and their role in defending the body from, for example, bacteria.
Meteor, small speck of material from space, about the size of a grain of sand.
Meteorology, study of the atmosphere and its phenomena, weather, and climate.
Meter, basic unit of length in the metric system.
Methadone, synthetic narcotic used extensively to treat heroin addicts.
Methamphetamine, generic name of a powerful drug that is a derivate of and similar to amphetamine.
Methane (CH4), colorless, odorless gas; the simplest alkane.
Methanol (CH3OH), also called methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, type of alcohol with many industrial uses.
Methodists, doctrine and polity of Protestant churches that originated in the 18th-century evangelical revival led by John and Charles Wesley.
Methuselah, oldest person in the Bible.
Methyl alcohol See: Methanol.
Methylbenzene See: Toluene.
Metre See: Meter; Metric system.
Metric system, decimal system of measurement, first adopted in France during the Revolution (1790s), called the Systeme International d'Unites, or SI.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, largest and most comprehensive art museum in the United States, founded in 1870 in New York City.
Metternich (Clemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von Metternich; 1773–1859), Austrian diplomat.
Metz (pop. 123,900), city in northeastern France on the Moselle River, a center for iron and coal mining.
Meuse River, rises in the Langres Plateau, France, and flows north for about 580 mi (933 km) across Belgium and the Netherlands, where it is named Maas, into the North Sea.
Mexicali (pop. 602,400), city in Mexico founded in 1903.
Mexican Americans See: Hispanic Americans.
Mexican hairless, dog that derives its name because it has no coat of hair.
Mexican turnip See: Jicama.
Mexican War (1846–48), conflict between Mexico and the United States that resulted in the defeat of Mexico and America's acquisition of territory that became California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The war took place against a background of expansionist sentiment (Manifest Destiny) in the United States, which held that it was desti…
Mexico, the United Mexican States, a federal republic occupying the southernmost portion of the North American continent. Mexico is bounded by the United States to the north, Guatemala and Belize to the south, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Mexico is nearly 1,200 mi/1,930 km long with an area of 761,530 sq mi/1,972,544 sqkm. Two mountain ra…
Mexico City (pop. 8,236,900), capital and largest city of Mexico.
Meyer, Julius Lothar (1830–1895), German scientist who developed the periodic chart of the elements which organizes the elements according to atomic weight and property.
Meyerbeer, Giacomo (1791–1864), German composer.
Miami (city) (pop. 367,000), city in southeast Florida, at the mouth of the Miami River on Biscayne Bay.
Miami (tribe), member of Algonquian-speaking Native American group, of the Great Lakes region.
Mica, group of minerals that split into thin, flat sheets of aluminum, silicon, and oxygen.
Micah, Book of, sixth of the Old Testament Minor Prophets.
Michaelmas daisy See: Aster.
Michel, Hartmut (1948– ), German biochemist, head of biophysics division (Frankfurt am Main) of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry (1987– ).
Michelangelo (Michelangelo Buonarroti; 1475–1564), Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. As a child he was apprenticed to the Florentine painter Ghirlandaio; in adolescence he was a protégé of Lorenzo de Medici. He went to Rome in 1496, where his marble Pietà in Saint Peter's (1498–99) established him as the foremost living sculptor. In Florence …
Michener, James Albert (1907–97), U.S. author.
Michigan, state in the Great Lakes region of midwestern United States; it consists of two separate land masses, the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula is bordered by Lake Superior to the north, St. Marys River (dividing it from Canada) to the east, the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Michigan to the south, and Wisconsin to the south and west. The Lower Peninsula is bordered …
Michigan, Lake, third largest of the Great Lakes, in North America.
Micmac, Canadian Native Americans of New France (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and coastal Quebec), of the Algonquian language group.
Microbe, see: Microbiology.
Microbiology (formerly called bacteriology), study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, yeasts, and algae.
Microcomputer, complete small computer system, consisting of hardware and software, whose main processing parts are made of semiconductor integrated circuits.
Microelectronics, branch of technology and electronics that deals with the production of miniature electronic devices that use minimal electric power.
Microfiche See: Microfilm.
Microfilm, photographic film used for recording and storing graphic information in a reduced size.
Micronesia (Federated States of), Island state of 670 islands and atols in the western Pacific Ocean.
Microorganism See: Microbiology.
Microphone, instrument (invented c. 1880) for transmitting or intensifying sounds, by means of electricity that converts sound waves into electrical waves.
Microprocessor, integrated circuit that performs the functions of a large computer on a tiny “chip” of silicon.
Microscope, instrument for producing enlarged images of small objects. In the compound microscope a magnified, inverted image of an object resting on the “stage” (a platform) is produced by the objective lens, or lens system. This image is viewed through the eyepiece (or ocular) lens, which acts as a simple microscope, giving a greatly magnified image. Generally the object is viewed …
Microwave, electromagnetic wave in the superhigh frequency radio spectrum (890 to 300,000 megacycles per sec).
Midas, in Greek mythology, king of Phrygia who was given the power by the god Dionysus to turn whatever he touched into gold.
Middle Ages (A.D. 400–1500), also known as the medieval period, era in western European history between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of modern European civilization.
Middle East, region, mostly in southwestern Asia but extending into southeastern Europe and northeastern Africa.
Middleton, Arthur (1742–87), South Carolina planter and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Middleton, Thomas (1580–1627), English dramatist.
Midge, large group (about 2,000 species) of tiny flies belonging to the Chironomidae family.
Midget, human dwarf having normal body proportions, mental capacity, and sexual development.
Midway Island, group of islands (2 sq mi/5.2 sq km) northwest of Honolulu.
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (1886–1969), German-born U.S. architect, famous for functional but elegant buildings in the International Style, constructed of brick, steel, and glass.
Mifflin, Thomas (1744–1800), American soldier and political leader.
Mignonette, decorative garden plant belonging to the Resedaceae family.
Mikan, George (1924– ), U.S. basketball player.
Mikulic, Branko (1928– ), premier of Yugoslavia (1986–88).
Milan (pop. 1,358,600), city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy.
Milan Decree, order issued by Napoleon I of France in December, 1807.
Mildew, general name for superficial growth of many types of fungi often found on plants and material derived from plants.
Miles, Nelson Appleton (1839–1925), U.S. soldier, army commander in chief (1895–1903).
Milhaud, Darius (1892–1974), French composer, one of the Parisian group called Les Six, noted for his polytonality (the simultaneous use of different keys).
Military Academy, U.S.
Military service, compulsory See: Draft, military.
Milk, liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals.
Milk snake, small king snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), found in North America, from the northeastern United States to Mexico.
Milkweed, any of various perennial plants (genus Asclepias) that secrete latex.
Milky Way, spiral galaxy with a radius of about 50,000 light-years, containing some 100 billion stars.
Mill, name of British literary family famed for their work in history, philosophy, economics, and psychology. James Mill (1773–1836) gained recognition with his book A History of British India but whose great contribution came through his work as the disciple of Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism. Mill was instrumental in explaining the fundamental tenets of the utilitarian doctri…
Millais, Sir John Everett (1829–96), English painter, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite “brotherhood” (1848).
Millay, Edna St.
Miller, Arthur (1915– ), U.S. playwright.
Miller, Glenn (1904–44), U.S. trombonist and bandleader of the big band “swing” era of the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Miller, Henry (1891–1980), U.S. writer, noted for his candid treatment of sex and his espousal of the “natural man.” Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939) were banned as obscene in the United States until 1961.
Miller, Lewis See: Chautauqua Movement.
Millerites See: Adventists.
Millet, common name for several varieties of cereal that grow on poor soil and ripen rapidly in hot sun.
Millet, Jean François (1814–75), French painter.
Milligan, ex parte See: Ex Parte Milligan.
Millikan, Robert Andrews (1868–1953), U.S. physicist.
Milliliter, in the metric system, unit of capacity equal to one-thousandth (.001) of a liter.
Millimeter See: Metric system.
Millimicrosecond See: Metric system.
Millipede, segmented arthropod having two pairs of legs on each body segment (unlike centipedes, which have only one pair of legs per segment).
Mills, C(harles) Wright (1916–62), U.S. sociologist and critic of U.S. capitalism and militarism whose work was influential with radical social scientists of the 1970s.
Mills, Robert (1781–1855), U.S. architect and engineer.
Milne, A(lan) A(lexander) (1882–1956), English writer and dramatist.
Milo See: Sorghum.
Miltiades (c.540?–488? B.C.), Athenian general who defeated the invading Persians at the battle of Marathon (490 B.C.).
Milton, John (1608–74), English poet.
Milwaukee (pop. 617,000), largest city in Wisconsin, seat of Milwaukee County, in the southeast region of the state.
Mimosa, any of several tropical American plants (genus Mimosa) of the pulse family, with pink flowers and small leaves.
Mindszenty, Jozsef (1892–1975), Hungarian Roman Catholic cardinal who was sentenced (1949) to life imprisonment for his opposition to communism.
Mineral, in biology, inorganic element vital to human health.
Mineral, in geology, naturally occurring inorganic substance with a particular chemical composition and definite physical properties.
Minerva, in Roman mythology, daughter of Jupiter.
Mineworkers of America, United (UMW), U.S. labor union for workers in coal mines and coal industries.
Ming dynasty, imperial family that ruled China from 1368–1644.
Miniature schnauzer, dog breed developed in Germany in the 19th century.
Minimalism, art movement initiated in the 1960s that stressed pure color and geometry.
Mining, extraction of minerals and ores from the earth. There are various types of mines. The open pit mine is used when the desired minerals lie near the surface. It usually consists of a series of terraces that are worked back in parallel so that the mineral is always within reach of the excavating machines. In strip mining a surface layer is peeled off to reach a usually thin mineral seam (ofte…
Mink, semiaquatic carnivore (genus Mustela) of the weasel family, extensively farmed for its fur.
Minneapolis (pop. 362,700), largest city of Minnesota and seat of Hennepin County, on the upper Mississippi River, contiguous to its twin city, St.
Minnehaha, in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Song of Hiawatha (1855), a young Native American woman.
Minnesinger, minstrel-poet of medieval Germany.
Minnesota, state in the Great Lakes region of the midwestern United States; bordered by Canada to the north, Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, Iowa to the south, and South Dakota and North Dakota to the west. Minnesota's 4 main land regions are the Superior Upland, the Young Drift Plains, the Dissected Till Plains, and the Driftless Area. The Superior Upland, in northeastern Minnesot…
Minnow, common name for many small freshwater fishes found throughout the world except for South America and Australia.
Minoan civilization, Bronze Age culture that flourished on the island of Crete during the 3rd and 2nd millenniums B.C.
Minor leagues See: Baseball.
Minorca, or Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain.
Minos, in Greek mythology, wealthy king of Crete who commanded the artisan Daedalus to construct a labyrinthine prison for a beast called the Minotaur, to whom the young people of Athens were regularly sacrificed.
Minot, George (1885–1950), U.S. physician who developed a cure for the once-fatal blood disease called pernicious anemia.
Minsk (pop. 1,613,000), capital city of the Byelorussia, located on the Svisloch River.
Minstrel, wandering professional entertainers who flourished in medieval Europe.
Minstrel show, form of entertainment popular in the United States from about 1840 to 1900.
Mint, in botany, family of square-stemmed plants with white, blue, purple, or red flowers in the form of a lipped tube.
Minto, Earl of (1845–1914), British governor general of Canada (1898–1904) and viceroy of India (1905–10).
Minuit, Peter (c. 1580–1638), Dutch colonial administrator in North America.
Minuteman, member of a volunteer militia during the American Revolutionary War, ready to take up arms “at a minute's notice.” Massachusetts minutemen fought at the battles of Lexington and Concord (1775).
Miocene, last epoch but one of the Tertiary period, which lasted from 25 to 10 million years ago.
Miró, Joan (1893–1983), Spanish painter.
Mira, variable star about 270 light-years away from the earth.
Mira beau, Comte de (1749–91), French revolutionary leader.
Miracle play See: Mystery play.
Mirage, optical illusion in the atmosphere in which the refraction of light passing through air layers of different densities causes non-existent images to be seen.
Miramichi River, Canadian waterway located in New Brunswick.
Miranda, Francisco de (1750–1816), Venezuelan patriot who fought for the forces of freedom on 3 continents.
Misdemeanor, crime that is not as serious as a felony.
Mishima, Yukio (Kimitake Hiraoka; 1925–70), Japanese author.
Missile, guided See: Guided missile.
Missionary, individual sent to a foreign territory or country to educate others in particular religious tradition.