mass
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mæsse, modification of Vulgar Latin *messa, literally, dismissal at the end of a religious service, from Late Latin missa, from Latin, feminine of missus, past participle of mittere to send Date: before 12th century 1. capitalized the liturgy of the Eucharist especially in accordance with the traditional Latin rite 2. often capitalized a celebration of the Eucharist <
Sunday masses held at three different hours
>
3. a musical setting for the ordinary of the Mass II. noun Etymology: Middle English masse, from Anglo-French, from Latin massa, from Greek maza; akin to Greek massein to knead — more at mingle Date: 15th century 1. a. a quantity or aggregate of matter usually of considerable size b. (1) expanse, bulk (2) massive quality or effect <
impressed me with such mass and such vividness — F. M. Ford
>
(3) the principal part or main body <
the great mass of the continent is buried under an ice cap — Walter Sullivan
>
(4) aggregate, whole <
men in the mass
>
c. the property of a body that is a measure of its inertia and that is commonly taken as a measure of the amount of material it contains and causes it to have weight in a gravitational field 2. a large quantity, amount, or number <
a great mass of material
>
3. a. a large body of persons in a compact group ; a body of persons regarded as an aggregate b. the great body of the people as contrasted with the elite — often used in plural <
the underprivileged and disadvantaged masses — C. A. Buss
>
Synonyms: see bulk III. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb to form or collect into a mass intransitive verb to assemble in a mass <
three thousand students had massed in the plaza — A. E. Neville
>
IV. adjective Date: 1733 1. a. of or relating to the mass of the people <
mass market
>
<
mass education
>
; also being one of or at one with the mass ; average, commonplace <
mass man
>
b. participated in by or affecting a large number of individuals <
mass destruction
>
<
mass demonstrations
>
c. having a large-scale character <
mass plantings of tulips
>
2. viewed as a whole ; total <
the mass effect of a design
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

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

  • mass — Ⅰ. mass UK US /mæs/ adjective [before noun] ► 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… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mass — (m[.a]s), n. [OE. masse, messe, AS. m[ae]sse. LL. missa, from L. mittere, missum, to send, dismiss: cf. F. messe. In the ancient churches, the public services at which the catechumens were permitted to be present were called missa catechumenorum …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

  • Mass — ist: ein Theaterstück von Leonard Bernstein, siehe Mass (Theater) eine Messkomposition von Steve Dobrogosz, siehe Mass (Dobrogosz) die in Bayern übliche Kurzbezeichnung mit kurzem a für einen Masskrug Mass ist der Familienname folgender Personen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mass — 1 n: an aggregation of usu. similar things (as assets in a succession) considered as a whole mass 2 adj: participated in by or affecting a large number of individuals mass insurance underwriting mass tort litigation Merriam Webster’s Dictionary… …   Law dictionary

  • mass — mass; mass·i·ness; soul·mass; mass·cult; mass·less; bio·mass; mass·less·ness; …   English syllables

  • Mass — [ mæs ] noun count or uncount a ceremony in the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholic Church, in which Jesus Christ s last meal with his DISCIPLES is remembered: attend/hear Mass celebrate Mass (=perform the ceremony): The Pope will… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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