Definition of mass noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//mæs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//mæs//
    Molecules and matter
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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. 4  masses [plural] mass (of something) (informal) a large number or amount of something synonym lots There were masses of people in the shops yesterday. I've got masses of work to do. Don't give me any more. I've eaten masses!
  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 programme 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, countable] (specialist) the quantity of material that something contains calculating the mass of a planet a mass of 46.3 kg Weight is used in non-technical language for this meaning. see also centre of mass See related entries: Molecules and matter
  8. see also biomass, critical mass, land mass
    Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French masse, from Latin massa, from Greek maza ‘barley cake’; perhaps related to massein ‘knead’.Extra examples Bodybuilders trying to gain muscle mass eat a lot of protein. Calcium deficiency can lead to low bone mass in adolescent girls. She never failed to attend Sunday Mass. The local priest celebrates Mass in the village church. The product has to be good enough to achieve a critical mass of customers. Their policies appeal to the broad mass of the population. There were masses of people at the concert. When I washed the jumper, it just turned into a shapeless mass. a chaotic mass of ideas a dense mass of smoke a requiem Mass for the sailors who drowned a swirling mass of shadows a tangled mass of hair the first women to cross Antarctica’s land mass on foot the image of America with arms open wide to the world’s huddled masses A mass of snow and rocks was falling down the mountain. As a black hole gives off particles and radiation, it will lose mass. The hill appeared as a dark mass in the distance.Idioms 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 American Dictionary entry: mass