WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- a body of matter, usually of indefinite shape:[countable]took a mass of dough and spread it on the pan.
- a collection of particles thought of as forming one body:[countable]a mass of sand.
- a large number;
a great deal of:[countable]a mass of errors.
- the greater part of something:[countable; usually singular]the great mass of American films.
- the entire collection (of something);
whole:[uncountable]People, in the mass, mean well.
massiveness:[uncountable]towers of great mass.
- Physics[uncountable]the quantity or amount of physical matter of a thing as figured from its weight or from Newton's second law of motion. Abbr.: m
- the masses, [plural] common people thought of as a whole:an appeal to the masses.
adj. [before a noun]
- of or relating to a large number of people:mass unemployment.
- done on a large scale:weapons of mass destruction.
- to (cause to) come together in or form a mass: [no object]Clouds were massing in the west.[~ + object]The general massed his troops for battle.
mass1 /mæs/USA pronunciation n.
- [often: Mass] the ceremony of the Eucharist: [uncountable]Mass is held on Sunday.[countable]The priest performed two Masses each Sunday.
Mass., an abbreviation of:
- Place NamesMassachusetts.
- a body of coherent matter, usually of indefinite shape and often of considerable size:a mass of dough.
- a collection of incoherent particles, parts, or objects regarded as forming one body:a mass of sand.
- aggregate; whole (usually prec. by in the):People, in the mass, mean well.
- a considerable assemblage, number, or quantity:a mass of errors; a mass of troops.
- bulk, size, expanse, or massiveness:towers of great mass and strength.
- Fine Art
- [Painting.]an expanse of color or tone that defines form or shape in general outline rather than in detail.
- a shape or three-dimensional volume that has or gives the illusion of having weight, density, and bulk.
- the main body, bulk, or greater part of anything:the great mass of American films.
- Physicsthe quantity of matter as determined from its weight or from Newton's second law of motion. Abbr.: m Cf. weight (def. 2), relativistic mass, rest mass.
- Drugs[Pharm.]a preparation of thick, pasty consistency, from which pills are made.
- the masses, the ordinary or common people as a whole;
the working classes or the lower social classes.
- pertaining to, involving, or affecting a large number of people:mass unemployment;mass migrations;mass murder.
- participated in or performed by a large number of people, esp. together in a group:mass demonstrations; mass suicide.
- pertaining to, involving, or characteristic of the mass of the people:the mass mind; a movie designed to appeal to a mass audience.
- reaching or designed to reach a large number of people:television, newspapers, and other means of mass communication.
- done on a large scale or in large quantities:mass destruction.
- to come together in or form a mass or masses:The clouds are massing in the west.
- to gather into or dispose in a mass or masses;
assemble:The houses are massed in blocks.
- Greek mâza barley cake, akin to mássein to knead
- Latin massa mass
- Middle English masse 1350–1400
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged assemblage, heap, congeries.
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged collection, accumulation, pile, conglomeration.
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged magnitude, dimension. See size 1.
- 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged majority.
- 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged proletariat, plebeians.
- 17.See corresponding entry in Unabridged collect, marshal, amass, aggregate.
- 17.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disperse.
Mass (mas),USA pronunciation n.
- Religionthe celebration of the Eucharist. Cf. High Mass, Low Mass.
- Music and Dance(sometimes l.c.) a musical setting of certain parts of this service, as the Kyrie eleison, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei.
- Vulgar Latin *messa, Late Latin missa, formally feminine of Latin missus, past participle of mittere to send, dismiss; perh. extracted from a phrase in the service with missa est and a feminine subject
- Middle English masse, Old English mæsse bef. 900
- a large coherent body of matter without a definite shape
- a collection of the component parts of something
- a large amount or number, such as a great body of people
- the main part or majority: the mass of the people voted against the government's policy
- in the mass ⇒ in the main; collectively
- the size of a body; bulk
- a physical quantity expressing the amount of matter in a body. It is a measure of a body's resistance to changes in velocity (inertial mass) and also of the force experienced in a gravitational field (gravitational mass): according to the theory of relativity, inertial and gravitational masses are equal
See also inertial mass, gravitational mass
- (in painting, drawing, etc) an area of unified colour, shade, or intensity, usually denoting a solid form or plane
- done or occurring on a large scale: mass hysteria, mass radiography
- consisting of a mass or large number, esp of people: a mass meeting
- to form (people or things) or (of people or things) to join together into a mass
See also massesEtymology: 14th Century: from Old French masse, from Latin massa that which forms a lump, from Greek maza barley cake; perhaps related to Greek massein to knead