masses, massing, massed
1) N-SING: N of n A mass of things is a large number of them grouped together.

On his desk is a mass of books and papers.

2) N-SING: N of n A mass of something is a large amount of it.

She had a mass of auburn hair.

3) QUANT: QUANT of n-uncount/pl-n Masses of something means a great deal of it. [INFORMAL]

There's masses of work for her to do...

It has masses of flowers each year.

4) ADJ: ADJ n Mass is used to describe something which involves or affects a very large number of people.

...ideas on combating mass unemployment...

All the lights went off, and mass hysteria broke out.

...weapons of mass destruction.

...the harm caused by mass tourism.

5) N-COUNT: oft N of n A mass of a solid substance, a liquid, or a gas is an amount of it, especially a large amount which has no definite shape.

...before it cools and sets into a solid mass...

The fourteenth century cathedral was reduced to a mass of rubble.

...the strong temperature difference between the two masses of air.

6) N-PLURAL: the N If you talk about the masses, you mean the ordinary people in society, in contrast to the leaders or the highly educated people.

His music is commercial. It is aimed at the masses...

This issue has aroused much resentment among the masses.

...appealing to the middle class and business as well as the masses.

7) N-SING: the N of n The mass of people are most of the people in a country, society, or group.

The 1939-45 world war involved the mass of the population...

Schools allowed the mass of children to leave school at 16 with poor qualifications.

bulk, majority
8) N-COUNT: N of n A mass of people is a large crowd of them.

...masses of excited people clogged the streets.

...a mass of grinning teenage faces.

9) V-ERG When people or things mass, or when you mass them, they gather together into a large crowd or group.

Shortly after the workers went on strike, police began to mass at the shipyard...

The clouds massed, whipped up by the wind...

[V n] The General was massing his troops for a counterattack.

10) N-SING: N of n If you say that something is a mass of things, you mean that it is covered with them or full of them.

His body was a mass of sores...

In the spring, the meadow is a mass of daffodils.

11) N-VAR In physics, the mass of an object is the amount of physical matter that it has. [TECHNICAL]

Astronomers know that Pluto and Triton have nearly the same size, mass, and density.

12) N-VAR Mass is a Christian church ceremony, especially in a Roman Catholic or Orthodox church, during which people eat bread and drink wine in order to remember the last meal of Jesus Christ.

She attended a convent school and went to Mass each day.

13) N-COUNT A Mass is a piece of music which uses the prayers from the Christian ceremony of Mass as the words that are sung.
14) See also , critical mass, land mass

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Mass —     Pontifical Mass     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pontifical Mass     Pontifical Mass is the solemn Mass celebrated by a bishop with the ceremonies prescribed in the Cæremoniale Episcoporum , I and II. The full ceremonial is carried out when the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Mass — Mass, n. [OE. masse, F. masse, L. massa; akin to Gr. ? a barley cake, fr. ? to knead. Cf. {Macerate}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A quantity of matter cohering together so as to make one body, or an aggregation of particles or things which collectively… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • mass — [mas] n. [ME masse < OFr < L massa, a lump, mass < Gr maza, barley cake < massein, to knead < IE base * menk , to knead > MINGLE] 1. a quantity of matter forming a body of indefinite shape and size, usually of relatively large… …   English World dictionary

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