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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"altar top," 1848, Latin, literally "table," also "meal, supper," and "altar, sacrificial table," hence used in Church Latin for "upper slab of a church altar" (see mesa). With a capital M-, the name of an organization for people of IQs of 148 or more founded in England in 1946, the name chosen, according to the organization, to suggest a "round table" type group. The constellation was originally Mons Mensae "Table Mountain."\n\nLa Caille, who did so much for our knowledge of the southern heavens, formed the figure from stars under the Greater Cloud, between the poles of the equator and the ecliptic, just north of the polar Octans; the title being suggested by the fact that the Table Mountain, back of Cape Town, "which had witnessed his nightly vigils and daily toils," also was frequently capped by a cloud.

[Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]


n. In planetary geology, a large mesa-like area of raised land.

Mensa (geology)

In planetary geology, the word mensa (pl. mensae) is used to refer to a large mesa-like area of raised land.

Mensa.jpg| Ganges Mensa, as seen by HiRISE. Ganges Mensa is found in the Coprates quadrangle of Mars. Mensa.JPG| Capri Mensa, as seen by HIRISE. Click on image to see buttes and layers. Capri Mensa is found in the Coprates quadrangle of Mars. Image:Glacier as seen by ctx.JPG|Mesa in Ismenius Lacus quadrangle, as seen by CTX. Mesa has several glaciers eroding it.

Category:Planetary geology

Mensa (constellation)

Mensa is a small constellation in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere between Scorpius and Centaurus, one of twelve drawn up in the 18th century by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. Its name is Latin for table, though it originally depicted Table Mountain and was known as Mons Mensae. One of the 88 modern constellations, it covers a keystone-shaped wedge of sky stretching from approximately 4h to 7.5h of right ascension, and −71 to −85.5 degrees of declination. Other than the south polar constellation of Octans, it is the most southerly of constellations. As a result, it is essentially unobservable from the Northern Hemisphere.

One of the faintest constellations in the night sky, Mensa boasts no bright stars. Its brightest star, Alpha Mensae is barely visible in suburban skies. Two star systems in Mensa have been found to have planets, and part of the Large Magellanic Cloud lies within the constellation's borders.

Mensa (ecclesiastical)

(Lat., Mensa, table).

The Latin word mensa has for its primitive signification "a table for meals"; it designates by extension the expenses, or better, the necessary resources of sustenance, and generally, all the resources for personal support. He who lives at the expense of another, and at his table, is his "commensal". In ecclesiastical language, the mensa is that portion of the property of a church which is appropriated to defraying the expenses either of the prelate or of the community which serves the church, and is administered at the will of the one or the other. Thus, in a cathedral, to which both the bishop and the chapter belong, the bishop's mensa is distinct from that of the chapter, the former consisting of property the revenues of which are enjoyed by the prelate, the latter by the chapter. The capitular mensa consists chiefly of individual property, for the primitive mensa of the chapter has almost everywhere been divided among the canons, each of whom has his personal share under the designation of a " prebend". Similarly, in the case of abbeys given in commendam (cf. c. Edoceri, 21, De rescriptis), the abbatial mensa, which the abbot enjoys, is distinct from the conventual mensa, which is applied to the maintenance of the religious community. The curial mensa, which is of later origin, is of the same nature: the property reserved for the personal maintenance of the parish priest, as distinct from that applied to the expenses of worship or to the support of other clergy, has been regarded as curial mensa. To constitute a mensa in the canonical sense, therefore, it is not enough that a certain portion of church property be appropriated to the maintenance of the clergy (for in that case every benefice would be a mensa, which is untrue); it is necessary that there be a partition made in the property of one particular church so as to appropriate certain property to the maintenance of the prelate or rector, or of the clergy subject to him; it follows, therefore, that the administration of this property belongs to those who enjoy it.

Thus the bishop, the secular abbot, the chapter, the religious community, administer, each within appropriate limits, the property of their respective mensæ, without being liable to any accounting for the employment of its revenues; this is true of the parish priest who has a curial mensa. The other resources of the cathedral or parish church, or monastery, destined for religious worship, pious works, the maintenance of buildings, etc., are subject to the general or special rules for the administration of church property, whether this be done by church committees, trustees, or other administrative organ, or by the rector of the church as sole administrator; in all cases an accounting is due to the bishop and, in general, to the ecclesiastical authorities, for the administration of such property. There are, however, some exceptions to this principle. Since mensæ, particularly episcopal mensæ, are legal entities, property and foundations have in the course of centuries often been annexed to them for purposes other than the maintenance of prelates; these properties or foundations may be real "opera pia" or pious works in the canonical sense. In this way some episcopal mensæ control property and houses for the benefit of aged or infirm priests, also for educational and other establishments; to some curial mensæ schools or hospitals are attached, and for these various good works administrative rules may be provided at the time of their foundation. But such cases it is easily seen are later extensions, foreign to the primary and chief aim of the mensæ. Even in respect to these properties the old rule applies, in the sense that they are not common ecclesiastical possessions and are not administered as such, but after the manner of mensal property.

Although appropriated to the maintenance of certain defininte persons, mensal property is nevertheless church property, and its administrator is bound to observe the canonical rules concerning it. As to the administration strictly speaking, he must keep the property in good condition and execute all works expedient to that end; in short, he must act like a good head of a household. But he cannot do anything that would infringe upon proprietary rights, for he is not the proprietor: any alienation, or any contract which the law regards as similar to alienation, is forbidden him, excepting under prescribed juridical formalities, under pain of excommunication (Extrav. Ambitiosæ, "De reb. eccl. non alienandis"; see also ; ). The chief of these prescribed formalities is the Apostolic authorization, given either directly or by Indult, and that only when the alienation or similar contract is to the advantage of the Church. For the alienation of mensal property, or for making any similar contract, the bishop is, in particular, bound to safeguard himself with the consent of the chapter (S. C. Concilii, 25 July 1891).

Mensa (name)

Mensa may refer to the following people

Given name
  • Mensa Bonsu (c. 1840 – c. 1896), tenth king of the Kingdom of Ashanti in present-day Ghana
  • Mensa Otabil, Ghanaian theologian, philanthropist, motivational speaker and entrepreneur
  • Josep Pascó i Mensa (1855–1910), Spanish painter, illustrator and designer
  • Vic Mensa, American hip hop recording artist
  • Winston Mensa-Wood, Ghanaian military officer

Usage examples of "mensa".

I doubt my results would have got me into the Noddy Club, let alone Mensa.

Perpetua sta invece rifocillandosi a lauta mensa e si prepara a delizioso riposo, di vivande ripieno e di vini prelibati.

Nope, high aptitude at puzzle solving measures only one thing -- the ability to solve puzzles -- as Poundstone points out while discussing the curious membership of Mensa.

It touched down at Deuteronilus Mensae in 2017 and successfully completed all of its objectives, including locating and identifying formations that resembled fossilized stromatolites, but when the landing party attempted to return to orbit, the motor of the ascent stage flamed out a few seconds after liftoff.

Father Caspar describes it as a “Sphynx Mystagoga, an Oedipus Aegyp-tiacus, a Monad leroglyphica, a Clavis Convenientia Lin-guarum, a Theatrum Cosmographicum Historicum, a Sylva Sylvarum of every alphabet natural and artificial, an Archi-tectura Curiosa Nova, a Combinatory Lamp, Mensa Isiaca, Metametricon, Synopsis Anthropoglottogonica, Basilica Cryp-tographica, an Amphitheatrum Sapientiae, Cryptomenesis Patefacta, Catoptron Polygraphicum, a Gazophylacium Ver-borum, a Mysterium Artis Steganographicae, Area Arithmo-logica, Archetypon Polyglotta, an Eisagoge Horapollinea, Congestorium Artificiosae Memoriae, Pantometron de Furtivis Literarum Notis, Mercurius Redivivus, and an Etymologicon Lustgartlein!

Fleon Sunoco at the NIH, who is independently rich, hires grave robbers to bring him the brains of deceased members of Mensa, a nationwide club for persons with high Intelligence Quotients, or IQs, as determined by standardized tests of verbal and nonverbal skills, tests which pit the testees against the Joe and Jane Sixpacks, against the Lumpenproletariat.

Where the ice lapped against the foot of the Great Escarpment there were several mensae and colles regions that had become offshore archipelagoes, and these, as well as the mainland coastline proper, sported many beetling sea cliffs, bluffs, crater bays, fossa fjords, and long stretches of low smooth strand.

They flew north through the nights, into the equatorial region, then onward to the Great Escarpment, to the Deuteronilus Mensae north of Xanthe-wild fretted terrain, the Mensae like an archipelago of stack islands, dotting a sand sea.

They flew north through the nights, into the equatorial region, then onward to the Great Escarpment, to the Deuteronilus Mensae north of Xanthe—wild fretted terrain, the Mensae like an archipelago of stack islands, dotting a sand sea.

The mensae were a series of long mesas, like islands of the southern highlands standing out in the shallows of the northern plains.