Meaning of MOUNTAIN in English


moun ‧ tain S3 W3 /ˈmaʊntən, ˈmaʊntɪn $ ˈmaʊnt ə n/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: montaigne , from Latin montanus , from mons ; ⇨ ↑ mount 2 ]

1 . a very high hill:

the highest mountain in Austria

the Rocky Mountains

a steep mountain road

magnificent mountain ranges (=lines of mountains)

snow-capped mountain peaks (=tops of mountains)

a mountain rescue team (=a group of experienced climbers who help people to safety from a mountain)

She was the first British woman to climb the mountain.

2 . a mountain of something/mountains of something a very large pile or amount of something:

I’ve got mountains of paperwork to deal with.

Her husband went off with another woman and left her facing a mountain of debt.

3 . food/butter etc mountain a very large amount of food, butter etc that has been produced but is not needed or used ⇨ lake

4 . make a mountain out of a molehill to treat a problem as if it was very serious when in fact it is not

5 . (have) a mountain to climb British English used to say that someone has a lot of work to do to achieve their aim, especially when you believe it will be difficult

6 . move mountains to do things that seem impossible:

I have great faith in the power of love to move mountains.

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ high

These mountains are much higher than any in Europe.

▪ rugged mountains (=rough and uneven)

the spectacular scenery of rugged mountains

▪ a snow-capped mountain (=with snow on the top)

beautiful views of snow-capped mountains

▪ a distant mountain (=far away)

The sun was setting over the distant mountains.

▪ a great mountain (=a high, impressive mountain)

Here, great mountains are all around.

▪ a sacred mountain (=considered holy)

Mount Fuji is a sacred mountain.

■ verbs

▪ go/walk up a mountain ( also ascend a mountain formal )

Carrie and Albert went up the mountain, neither of them speaking as they climbed.

▪ climb a mountain (=walk and/or climb to the top of a mountain)

Hillary had climbed all the big mountains in New Zealand.

▪ go/walk down a mountain

She lost her way as she went down the mountain.

▪ cross the mountains

We crossed the mountains between Spain and France.

▪ mountains rise (=go high into the sky)

The mountains rise above the plains.

▪ moutains soar/tower literary (=go very high into the sky)

The distant mountains soar abruptly towards the sky.

■ mountain + NOUN

▪ a mountain range/chain (=a number of mountains in a line)

The Alps are the largest mountain range in Europe.

▪ a mountain top

Until the end of June you may find snow on the mountain tops.

▪ a mountain peak (=the top of a mountain)

Clouds hid the mountain peaks.

▪ a mountain slope (=the sides of a mountain)

Snow lay on the steep mountain slopes.

▪ a mountain pass (=a path or road between mountains)

Their journey took them through river valleys and over mountain passes.

▪ a mountain stream

The water was as clear and cold as a mountain stream.

▪ mountain air

a walk in the clear mountain air

▪ mountain rescue (=people who help people who are in difficulty on a mountain)

Mountain rescue teams were called out to search for the missing climbers.

■ phrases

▪ the top of a mountain ( also the summit of a mountain formal )

We climbed to the top of the mountain.

▪ the foot of a mountain (=the bottom of a mountain)

We’ll take the car to the foot of the mountain and walk from there.

▪ the side of a mountain

The path wound up the side of the mountain.

• • •


▪ mountain a very high hill:

the highest mountain in Austria

▪ hill an area of land that is higher than the land around it, which is like a mountain but smaller and usually has a rounded top:

We went for a walk in the hills.


The house is surrounded by woods, farmland and gentle hills.

▪ Mount ( also Mt written abbreviation ) used in the names of mountains. Don’t say ‘Fuji Mountain’ – say ‘Mount Fuji’ :

Mount Everest

▪ cliff the steep side of an area of land, often next to the sea:

the white cliffs of Dover

▪ precipice especially literary a very steep and dangerous cliff:

They were standing on the edge of a precipice.

▪ crag a high steep rock or mountain:

An eagle sailed over the high crags.

▪ ridge a long narrow area of high ground, especially at the top of a mountain:

I could see a group of climbers high up on a ridge.

▪ knoll a small round hill:

a grassy knoll

▪ volcano a mountain with a large hole at the top, through which ↑ lava (=hot liquid rock) is sometimes forced out:

the eruption of a volcano

▪ summit the very highest point of a mountain:

the summit of Mt Everest

▪ peak especially literary the top of a mountain:

the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas


a distant peak

▪ range/chain a group of mountains or hills arranged in a line:

the mountain range that is part of the border between Norway and Sweden

▪ foothills a group of smaller hills below a range of high mountains:

the Sierra foothills

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.