c. 1300, "delusion, bewilderment, confusion of thought," possibly from Old English *mæs, which is suggested by the compound amasod "amazed" and verb amasian "to confound, confuse" (compare amaze). Of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Norwegian dialectal mas "exhausting labor," Swedish masa "to be slow or sluggish."
Meaning "labyrinth, baffling network of paths or passages" is recorded from late 14c. (on the notion of something intended to confuse or mislead"). Also as a verb in Middle English, "to stupefy, daze" (early 14c.).
updated on December 09, 2018