Meaning of “mass” in the English Dictionary

"mass" in British English

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massadjective [ before noun ]

uk /mæs/ us /mæs/

C1 having an effect on or involving a large number of people or forming a large amount:

a mass murderer
Opposition groups plan to stage mass demonstrations all over the country.

More examples

  • During times of mass unemployment, there's a pool of cheap labour for employers to draw from.
  • There were mass deportations in the 1930s, when thousands of people were forced to leave the country.
  • There have been mass desertions from the party in recent months.
  • There has been a mass exodus of workers from the villages to the towns.
  • The regime tried to silence dissent with a programme of mass murder.

massnoun

uk /mæs/ us /mæs/

mass noun (LARGE AMOUNT)

B2 [ S ] a large amount of something that has no particular shape or arrangement:

The explosion reduced the church to a mass of rubble.
The forest is a mass of colour in autumn.
masses [ plural ] UK informal

B2 a lot:

[ + to infinitive ] I've got masses to do at the weekend.
There were masses of people in town today.
the mass of sth

most of something:

The mass of the people support the reforms.

More examples

  • Her daughter's hair is a mass of wonderful red corkscrew curls.
  • She was disappointed to see her essay returned with a mass of corrections in red ink.
  • The liquid suddenly solidifies into a gelatinous mass.
  • Short-grain rice turns into a soft glutinous mass when cooked.
  • A seething mass of children crowded around the tables.

mass noun (PHYSICS)

[ C ] specialized physics the amount of matter in any solid object or in any volume of liquid or gas:

The acceleration of a body equals the force exerted on it divided by its mass.
mass number

the total number of protons and neutrons in an atom

mass defect

the difference between the mass of a nucleus (= central part of an atom) and the mass of the separate pieces that make up the nucleus

mass noun (RELIGIOUS CEREMONY )

[ C or U ] also Mass a religious ceremony in some Christian Churches based on Jesus' last meal with his disciples, or music written for parts of this ceremony:

to go to Mass
See also

massverb [ I ]

uk /mæs/ us /mæs/

(Definition of “mass” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"mass" in American English

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massnoun [ C ]

us /mæs/

mass noun [ C ] (LARGE AMOUNT)

a large amount or number:

A mass of earth and granite slid down into the narrow gorge.
We had to wade through masses of seaweed.

mass noun [ C ] (MATTER)

[ C ] physics the amount of matter in any solid object or in any volume of liquid or gas

mass number physics

The mass number is the total number of protons and neutrons in an atom.

mass defect physics

The mass defect is the difference between the mass of a nucleus (= central part of an atom) and the mass of the separate pieces that make up the nucleus.

mass noun [ C ] (ART)

art [ U ] the outside size or shape of an object, or how big it appears to be

massverb [ I/T ]

us /mæs/

mass verb [ I/T ] (CREATE LARGE AMOUNT)

to come or bring together in large numbers:

[ I ] The crowd massed around the entrance to the exhibition.

massadjective [ not gradable ]

us /mæs/

mass adjective [ not gradable ] (LARGE AMOUNT)

involving or having an effect on a large number of people or things:

They hope the new movie will appeal to a mass audience.

Massnoun [ C/U ]

us /mæs/

(esp. in the Roman Catholic Church) a religious ceremony based on Jesus’s last meal with his disciples (= the men who followed him), or music written for the parts of this ceremony

(Definition of “mass” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"mass" in Business English

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massadjective [ before noun ]

uk /mæs/ us

having an effect on or involving a large number of people:

There have been two decades of mass unemployment.
mass audience/appeal A smaller company could produce a breakthrough product with mass appeal.
mass consumerism/consumption The society that we live in now is so geared to spending and mass consumerism.

See also

massnoun

uk /mæs/ us

[ U ] the amount of matter in any solid object or volume of liquid or gas:

These activities help strengthen bones and increase their mass.
a mass of sth [ S ]

a large amount of something:

The media company has enjoyed a mass of hype.
They were part of the large mass of consumers who acquired a credit card in the 1980s.

(Definition of “mass” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)