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947
MEAL—MEASLES

Richmond, and the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, where he was wounded, and Chancellorsville, where his brigade was reduced in numbers to less than a regiment, and General Meagher resigned his commission. On the 23rd of December 1863 his resignation was cancelled, and he was assigned to the command of the military district of Etowah, with headquarters at Chattanooga. At the close of the war he was appointed by President Johnson secretary of Montana Territory, and there, in the absence of the territorial governor, he acted as governor from September 1866 until his death from accidental drowning in the Missouri River near Fort Benton, Montana, on the 1st of July 1867. He published Speeches on the Legislative Independence of Ireland (1852).

W. F. Lyons, in Brigadier-General Thomas Francis Meagher (New York, 1870), gives a eulogistic account of his career.


MEAL. (1) (A word common to Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. M ehl, Du. meel; the ultimate source is the root seen in various Teutonic words meaning “ to grind, ” and in Eng. “ mill, ” Lat. mola, molére, Gr. /.ib)), a powder made from the edible part of any grain or pulse, with the exception of wheat, which is known as “ flour.” In America the word is specifically applied to the meal produced from Indian corn or maize, as in Scotland and Ireland to that produced from oats, while in South Africa the ears of the Indian corn itself are called “ mealies.” (2) Properly, eating and drinking at regular stated times of the day, as breakfast, dinner, &c., hence taking of food at any time and also the food provided. The word was in O.E. mael, which also had the meanings (now lost) of time, mark, measure, &c., which still appear in many forms of the word in Teutonic languages; thus Ger. mal, time, mark, cf. Denkmal, monument, Mahl, meal, repast, or Du. maal, Swed. mal, also with both meanings. The ultimate source is the pre-Teutonic root me- ma-, to measure, and the word thus stood for a marked-out point of time.


MEALIE, the South African name for Indian corn or maize. The word as spelled represents the pronunciation of the Cape Dutch miihe, an adaptation of milho (da India), the millet of India, the Portuguese name for millet, used in South Africa for maize.


MEAN, an homonymous word, the chief uses of which may be divided thus. (1) A verb with two principal applications, to intend, purpose or design, and to signify. This word is in O.E. maenan, and cognate forms appear in other Teutonic languages, cf. Du. meenen, Ger. meinen. The ultimate origin is usually taken to be the root men-, to think, the root of “ mind.” (2) An adjective and substantive meaning “ that which is in the middle.” This is derived through the O. Fr. men, meien or moien, modern moyen, from the late Lat. adjective medianus, from medius, middle. The law French form merne is still preserved in certain legal phrases (see l.IESNE). The adjective “ mean ” is chiefly used in the sense of “ average, ” as in mean temperature, mean birth or death rate, &c.

“ Mean ” as a substantive has the following principal applications; it is used of that quality, course of action, condition, state, &c., which is equally distant from two extremes, as in such phrases as the “ golden (or happy) mean.” For the philosophic application see ARISTOTLE and ETHICS.

In mathematics, the term “ mean, ” in its most general sense, is given to some function of two or more quantities which (1) becomes equal to each of the quantities when they themselves are made equal, and (2) is unaffected in value when the quantities suffer any transpositions. The three commonest means are the arithmetical, geometrical, and harmonic; of less importance are the contraharmonical, arithmetic-geometrical, and quadratic. From the sense of that which stands between two things, “ mean, ” or the plural “ means, ” often with a singular construction, takes the further significance of agency, instrument, &c., of which that produces some result, hence resources capable of producing a result, particularly the pecuniary or other resources by which a person is enabled to live, and so used either of employment or of property, wealth, &c. There are many adverbial phrases, such as “ by all means, ” “ by no means, ” &c., which are extensions of “ means ” in the sense of agency.

The word “ mean ” (like the French moyen) had also the sense of middling, moderate, and this considerably influenced the uses of “ mean ” (3). This, which is now chiefly used in the sense of inferior, low, ignoble, or of avaricious, penurious, “ stingy, ” meant originally that which is common to more persons or things than one. The word in O. E. is gemaéne, and is represented in the modern Ger. gemein, common. It is cognate with Lat. communis, from which “ common ” is derived. The descent in meaning from that which is shared alike by several to that which is inferior, vulgar or low, is paralleled by the uses of “ common.”

In astronomy the “ mean sun ” is a fictitious sun which moves uniformly in the celestial equator and has its right ascension always equal to the sun's mean longitude. The time recorded by the mean sun is termed mean-solar or clock time; it is regular as distinct from the non-uniform solar or sun-dial time. The “ mean moon ” is a fictitious moon which moves around the earth with a uniform velocity and in the same time as the real moon. The “ mean longitude ” of a planet is the longitude of the “ mean ” planet, i.e. a fictitious planet performing uniform revolutions in the same time as the real planet. The arithmetical mean of n quantities is the sum of the quantities divided by their number n. The geometrical mean of n quantities is the nth root of their product., The harmonic mean of n quantities is the arithmetical mean of their reciprocals. The significance of the word “ mean, ” i.e., middle, is seen by considering 3 instead of n quantities; these will be denoted by a, b, c. The arithmetic mean b, is seen to be such that the terms a, b, e are in arithmetical progression, i.e. b=% (a-j-c); the geometrical mean b places a, b, c in geometrical progression, i.e. in the proportion a: b:: b: c or bi =H¢C§ and the harmonic mean places the quantities in harmonic proportion, Le. a ze:: a-b zb-c, or b=2ac/(a+c). The contraharmonical mean is the quantity b given by the proportion a:c 2: b-c:a-b, i.e. b= (az-I-cz)/(a-j-c). The arithmetic-geometrical mean of two quantities is obtained by first forming the geometrical and arithmetical means, then forming the means of these means, and repeating the rocess until the numbers become equal. They were invented by gauss to facilitate the computation of elliptic integrals. The quadratic mean of n quantities is the square root of the arithmetical mean of their squares.


MEASLES, (Morbilli, Rubeola; the M. E. word is maseles, properly a diminutive of a word meaning “ spot, ” O.H.G. mdsa, cf. “ mazer ”; the equivalent is Ger. M asern; Fr. Rougeole), an acute infectious disease occurring mostly in children. It is mentioned in the writings of Rhazes and others of the Arabian physicians in the 10th century. For long, however, it was held to be a variety of small-pox. After the non-identity of these two diseases had been established, measles and scarlet-fever continued to be confounded with each other; and in the account given by Thomas Sydenham of epidemics of measles in London in 1670 and 1674 it is evident that even that accurate observer had not as yet clearly perceived their pathological distinction, although it would seem to have been made a century earlier by Giovanni Filippo Ingrassias (1510-1580), a physician of Palermo. The specific “micro-organism responsible for measles has not been definitely isolated.

Its progress is marked by several stages more or less sharply defined. After the reception of the contagion into the system, there follows a period of incubation or latency during which scarcely any disturbance of the health is perceptible. This period generally lasts for from ten to fourteen days, when it is followed by the invasion of the symptoms specially characteristic of measles. These consist in the somewhat sudden onset of acute catarrh of the mucous membranes. At this stage minute white spots in the buccal mucous membrane frequently occur; when they do, they are diagnostic of the disease. Sneezing, accompanied with a watery discharge, sometimes bleeding, from the nose, redness and watering of the eyes, cough of a short, frequent, and noisy character, with little or no expectoration, hoarseness of the voice, and occasionally sickness and diarrhoea, are the chief local phenomena of this stage. With these there is well-marked febrile disturbance, the temperature being elevated (102°-104° F.), and the pulse rapid, while headache, thirst, and restlessness are usually present. In some instances, these initial symptoms are slight, and the child is allowed to associate with