The masses
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 make one body or quantity, usually of considerable size; as, a mass of ore, metal, sand, or water. [1913 Webster]

If it were not for these principles, the bodies of the earth, planets, comets, sun, and all things in them, would grow cold and freeze, and become inactive masses. --Sir I. Newton. [1913 Webster]

A deep mass of continual sea is slower stirred To rage. --Savile. [1913 Webster]

2. (Phar.) A medicinal substance made into a cohesive, homogeneous lump, of consistency suitable for making pills; as, blue mass. [1913 Webster]

3. A large quantity; a sum. [1913 Webster]

All the mass of gold that comes into Spain. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

He had spent a huge mass of treasure. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster]

4. Bulk; magnitude; body; size. [1913 Webster]

This army of such mass and charge. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. The principal part; the main body. [1913 Webster]

Night closed upon the pursuit, and aided the mass of the fugitives in their escape. --Jowett (Thucyd.). [1913 Webster]

6. (Physics) The quantity of matter which a body contains, irrespective of its bulk or volume. [1913 Webster]

Note: Mass and weight are often used, in a general way, as interchangeable terms, since the weight of a body is proportional to its mass (under the same or equal gravitative forces), and the mass is usually ascertained from the weight. Yet the two ideas, mass and weight, are quite distinct. Mass is the quantity of matter in a body; weight is the comparative force with which it tends towards the center of the earth. A mass of sugar and a mass of lead are assumed to be equal when they show an equal weight by balancing each other in the scales. [1913 Webster]

{Blue mass}. See under {Blue}.

{Mass center} (Geom.), the center of gravity of a triangle.

{Mass copper}, native copper in a large mass.

{Mass meeting}, a large or general assembly of people, usually a meeting having some relation to politics.

{The masses}, the great body of the people, as contrasted with the higher classes; the populace. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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