American English

Definition of mass noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] mass (of something) a large amount of a substance that does not have a definite shape or form a mass of snow and rocks falling down the mountain The hill appeared as a black mass in the distance. The sky was full of dark masses of clouds.
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] mass of something a large amount or quantity of something a mass of blonde hair I began sifting through the mass of evidence.
  3. 3[singular] mass of something a large number of people or things grouped together, often in a confused way I struggled through the mass of people to the exit. The page was covered with a mass of figures.
  4. 4masses [plural] mass of something (informal) a large number or amount of something synonym lot The trees were filled with masses of white blossoms.
  5. 5the masses [plural] the ordinary people in society who are not leaders or who are considered to be not very well educated government attempts to suppress dissatisfaction among the masses a TV program that brings science to the masses
  6. 6the mass of something [singular] the most; the majority The reforms are unpopular with the mass of teachers and parents.
  7. 7[uncountable] (technology) the quantity of material that something contains calculating the mass of a planet Weight is used in nontechnical language for this meaning. see also biomass, center of mass, critical mass, landmass
  8. Idioms
    be a mass of
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    to be full of or covered with something The rose bushes are a mass of flowers in June. Her arm was a mass of bruises.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mass