MaceMace. 1- A symbol of authority, consisting of a staff about 5 ft, in length, to which is attached a heavy metal head. The mace was originally a weapon of attack, and was used as such during the Middle Ages; the head was usually surrounded with spikes, which disappeared when it was adapted to more peaceful purposes. The mace laid on the table of the House of Commons and those belonging to the City Corporations are symbols of the joint authority of these bodies. As a badge of office, with much the same signification, it is borne in front of the Lord Mayor and the Vice-Chancellors of the two universities.
2. The aril or fleshy outgrowth over the seed of the nutmeg (q.v.). It is of a net-like form and, when fresh, of a scarlet colour, serving to attract frugivorous birds; but, when dry, is brown. It is imported in cases weighing from 60 to 120 lbs. and forms a cheap spice. It contains about 4-1/2 per cent. of an aromatic oil; but the oil of mace of commerce is prepared from small unsaleable nutmegs.
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