- mastication early 15c., from O.Fr. masticacion and directly from L. masticationem (nom. masticatio), noun of action from masticare "to chew" (source of O.Fr. maschier, Fr. mácher), probably from a Greek source related to mastikhan "to gnash the teeth," from PIE *mendh- "to chew" (see MANDIBLE (Cf. mandible)).
Etymology dictionary. 2014.