a popular form of the name Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) in Middle English, late 14c., via Old French. Other Middle English variants, dating back to c. 1200, include Makomete, macomete, machamete, machamote, mahimet, mahumet macumeth, makamed. In Middle English maumet was "a representation of a pagan deity, an idol" (c. 1200); "a false god" (mid-14c.), from Old French mahumet; hence also maumetrie "worship of pagan deities, idolatry." A curious misunderstanding of a prophet and faith notable for severe monotheism. Related: Mahometan.
updated on November 12, 2018