Mass Definition

măs
massed, masses, massing
noun
masses
A unified body of matter with no specific shape.
A mass of clay.
American Heritage
A quantity of matter forming a body of indefinite shape and size, usually of relatively large size; lump.
Webster's New World
A large quantity or number.
A mass of bruises.
Webster's New World
A lump or aggregate of coherent material.
A cancerous mass.
American Heritage Medicine
The main or larger part; majority.
Webster's New World
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verb
massed, masses, massing
To gather or be gathered into a mass.
American Heritage
To gather or form into a mass.
Webster's New World
adjective
Of a large number of persons.
A mass demonstration.
Webster's New World
Of a large number of things; large-scale.
Mass production.
Webster's New World
Total; complete.
The mass result is impressive.
American Heritage
Of, characteristic of, or for the masses.
Mass media.
Webster's New World
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abbreviation
Massachusetts.
Webster's New World
idiom
in the mass
  • collectively; as a whole
Webster's New World
the masses
  • the great mass of common people; specif., the working people, or the lower classes in the social order
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Mass

Noun

Singular:
mass
Plural:
masses

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Mass

  • in the mass
  • the masses

Origin of Mass

  • From Old English masse, messe, Old English mæsse. Late Latin missa, from Latin mittere, missum, to send, dismiss: compare French messe. In the ancient churches, the public services at which the catechumens were permitted to be present were called missa catechumenorum, ending with the reading of the Gospel. Then they were dismissed with these words: "Ite, missa est", the congregation is dismissed. After that the sacrifice proper began. At its close the same words were said to those who remained. So the word gave the name of Mass to the sacrifice in the Catholic Church. Compare Christmas, Lammas, Mess a dish, Missal

    From Wiktionary

  • In late Middle English (circa 1400) as masse in the sense of "lump, quantity of matter", from Anglo-Norman masse, in Old French attested from the 11th century, via late Latin massa (“lump, dough"), from Ancient Greek μᾶζα (maza, “barley-cake, lump (of dough)"). The Greek noun is derived from the verb μάσσω (mássō, “to knead"), ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European *mag'- (“to oil, knead"). The sense of "a large number or quantity" arises circa 1580. The scientific sense is from 1687 (as Latin massa) in the works of Isaac Newton, with the first English use (as mass) occurring in 1704.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English masse, from Old English mæsse (“the mass, church festival"), from Vulgar Latin *messa, from Late Latin missa, noun use of feminine past participle of classical Latin mittere (“to send"). Compare Dutch mis (“mass"), German Messe (“mass"), Danish messe (“mass"), Icelandic messa (“mass"). More at mission.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English masse from Old English mæsse from Vulgar Latin messa from Late Latin missa from Latin feminine past participle of mittere to send away, dismiss

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English masse from Old French from Latin massa from Greek māza, maza mag- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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