Definitions for: Mass


[n] the celebration of the Eucharist (in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant Churches)
[n] the property of a body that causes it to have weight in a gravitational field
[n] the property of something that is great in magnitude; "it is cheaper to buy it in bulk"; "he received a mass of correspondence"; "the volume of exports"
[n] a sequence of prayers constituting the Christian eucharistic rite; "the priest said Mass"
[n] a musical setting for a Mass; "they played a Mass composed by Beethoven"
[n] an ill-structured collection of similar things (objects or people)
[n] the common people generally; "separate the warriors from the mass"; "power to the people"
[n] a body of matter without definite shape; "a huge ice mass"
[n] (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent; "a batch of letters"; "a deal of trouble"; "a lot of money"; "he made a mint on the stock market"; "it must have cost plenty"
[adj] gathered or tending to gather into a mass or whole; "the aggregate amount of indebtedness"
[adj] occurring widely (as to many people); "mass destruction"
[v] join together into a mass; collect or form a mass; of crowds of people; "Crowds were massing outside the palace"



Webster (1913) Definition: Mass, 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, ending with the reading of the Gospel. Then
they were dismissed with these words : ``Ite, missa est''
[sc. ecclesia], the congregation is dismissed. After that the
sacrifice proper began. At its close the same words were said
to those who remained. So the word gave the name of Mass to
the sacrifice in the Catholic Church. See Missile, and cf.
Christmas, Lammas, Mess a dish, Missal.]
1. (R. C. Ch.) The sacrifice in the sacrament of the
Eucharist, or the consecration and oblation of the host.

2. (Mus.) The portions of the Mass usually set to music,
considered as a musical composition; -- namely, the Kyrie,
the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei,
besides sometimes an Offertory and the Benedictus.

Canon of the Mass. See Canon.

High Mass, Mass with incense, music, the assistance of a
deacon, subdeacon, etc.

Low Mass, Mass which is said by the priest through-out,
without music.

Mass bell, the sanctus bell. See Sanctus.

Mass book, the missal or Roman Catholic service book.


Mass, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Massed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Massing.]
To celebrate Mass. [Obs.] --Hooker.


Mass, n. [OE. masse, F. masse, L. massa; akin to Gr. ? a
barley cake, fr. ? to knead. Cf. Macerate.]
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.

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.

A deep mass of continual sea is slower stirred To
rage. --Savile.

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

3. A large quantity; a sum.

All the mass of gold that comes into Spain. --Sir W.
Raleigh.

He had spent a huge mass of treasure. --Sir J.
Davies.

4. Bulk; magnitude; body; size.

This army of such mass and charge. --Shak.

5. The principal part; the main body.

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

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

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.

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.


Mass, v. t.
To form or collect into a mass; to form into a collective
body; to bring together into masses; to assemble.

But mass them together and they are terrible indeed.
--Coleridge.

Synonyms: aggregate, aggregative, batch, collective, deal, flock, general, good deal, great deal, hatful, heap, hoi polloi, large-scale, lot, masses, mess, mickle, mint, muckle, multitude, peck, people, pile, plenty, pot, quite a little, raft, sight, slew, spate, stack, tidy sum, volume, wad, whole lot, whole slew

See Also: accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, atomic mass, atomic weight, audience, biomass, body, bulk, church music, collection, coprolith, crowd, crowd together, deluge, dollar volume, faecalith, fecalith, flood, followers, following, fundamental measure, fundamental quantity, gravitational mass, group, grouping, High Mass, High Mass, inertial mass, inundation, laity, large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity, logjam, Low Mass, magnitude, mass defect, mass deficiency, molecular weight, mush, physical property, prayer, press, pulp, relative atomic mass, relative molecular mass, relativistic mass, religious ceremony, religious music, religious ritual, Requiem, Requiem, rest mass, shock, stercolith, temporalty, torrent, turnover

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