from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An ancient Egyptian tomb with a rectangular base, sloping sides, and a flat roof.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The earliest form of Egyptian tomb, a building oblong or square in plan and having sloping sides and a flat roof. It covers the sepulchral pit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • In Mohammedan countries, a fixed seat, common in dwellings and in public places.
  • (Egyptology) A type of tomb, of the time of the Memphite dynasties, comprising an oblong structure with sloping sides (sometimes containing a decorated chamber, sometimes of solid masonry), and connected with a mummy chamber in the rock beneath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A wide stone bench built into the wall of a house, shop etc. in the Middle East.
  • noun architecture A rectangular structure with a flat top and slightly sloping sides, built during Ancient Egyptian times above tombs that were situated on flat land. Mastabas were made of wood, mud bricks, stone, or a combination of these materials. Some are solid structures, while others can contain one or more rooms, sometimes decorated with paintings or inscriptions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an ancient Egyptian mud-brick tomb with a rectangular base and sloping sides and flat roof


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Arabic masṭaba, maṣṭaba, stone bench, from Aramaic masṭabtā, maṣṭabtā, bench, dais, perhaps from Greek stibas, bed of straw, bed, grave, or perhaps of Iranian origin; perhaps akin to Persian satāvand, portico, balcony.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic مِصْطَبَة (misTabat, "bench").


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  • The kings that the Nile gods anoint

    Had tombs that were flat-topped but quaint

    Long gone now, mastaba,

    Near far-off Aqaba

    As pyramids made more a point.

    April 24, 2017