mass1 W2 [mæs] n
1¦(large amount)¦
3 the masses
4 the mass of people/the population/workers etc
5¦(church ceremony)¦
[Sense: 1-2,5-6; Date: 1300-1400; : French; Origin: masse, from Latin massa, from Greek maza]
[Sense: 3-4; Date: 800-900; : Vulgar Latin; Origin: missa 'sending away at the end of a religious service', from Latin mittere 'to send']
a large amount of a substance which does not have a definite or regular shape
The food had congealed into a sticky mass.
mass of
a high mass of rock
b) [C usually singular]
a large amount or quantity of something
mass of
a huge mass of data
c) masses of sth
BrE informal a large amount of something, or a lot of people or things
Masses of books covered every surface in the room.
2.) ¦(CROWD)¦ [singular]
a large crowd
mass of
There was a mass of people around the club entrance.
The road was blocked by a solid mass of protesters.
3.) the masses
all the ordinary people in society who do not have power or influence
The trains provided cheap travel for the masses.
4.) the mass of people/the population/workers etc
most of the people in a group or society
= ↑the majority
The war is strongly supported by the mass of the population.
5.) ¦(CHURCH CEREMONY)¦ also Mass
a) [U and C]
the main ceremony in some Christian churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, which celebrates the last meal that Jesus Christ ate
What time do you go to mass ?
morning/evening/midnight etc Mass
Will I see you at morning Mass?
say/celebrate Mass
(=perform this ceremony as a priest)
→↑High Mass
a piece of music written to be performed at the ceremony of mass
Mozart's Mass in C minor
6.) ¦(SCIENCE)¦[U]
technical the amount of material in something
The sun makes up 99.9% of the mass of our solar system.
mass 2
mass2 W3 adj [only before noun]
involving or intended for a very large number of people
a mass protest
weapons of mass destruction
the problem of mass unemployment
mass marketing/entertainment etc
a mass marketing campaign
Email has made mass mailings possible at the touch of a button.
mass 3
mass3 v [I and T]
to come together, or to make people or things come together, in a large group
= ↑gather mass (sth) behind/along/in etc sth
Western reports say that troops have been massing in the region since December.
grey clouds massing behind the mountains
Both countries have massed troops along the border.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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