Meaning of MASS in English

/ mæs; NAmE / noun , adjective , verb

■ noun


[ C ] mass (of sth) 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.


[ C , usually sing. ] mass of sth a large amount or quantity of sth :

a mass of blonde hair

I began sifting through the mass of evidence.


[ sing. ] mass of sth 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.


masses (of sth) [ pl. ] ( informal ) a large number or amount of sth

SYN 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!


the masses [ pl. ] 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


the mass of sth [ sing. ] the most; the majority :

The reforms are unpopular with the mass of teachers and parents.


[ U ] ( technical ) the quantity of material that sth contains :

calculating the mass of a planet

HELP NOTE : Weight is used in non-technical language for this meaning.

—see also biomass , critical mass , land mass


- be a mass of

■ adjective

[ only before noun ] affecting or involving a large number of people or things :

mass unemployment / production

weapons of mass destruction

Their latest product is aimed at the mass market .

—see also mass-market

■ verb

to come together in large numbers; to gather people or things together in large numbers :

[ v , usually + adv. / prep. ]

Demonstrators had massed outside the embassy.

Dark clouds massed on the horizon.

[ vn ]

The general massed his troops for a final attack.

►  massed adjective :

the massed ranks of his political opponents



late Middle English : from Old French masse , from Latin massa , from Greek maza barley cake; perhaps related to massein knead.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.