mass


mass
{{11}}mass (n.1) "lump, quantity, size," late 14c., from O.Fr. masse "lump, heap, pile; crowd, large amount; ingot, bar" (11c.), and directly from L. massa "kneaded dough, lump, that which adheres together like dough," probably from Gk. maza "barley cake, lump, mass, ball," related to massein "to knead," from PIE root *mag- "to knead" (Cf. Lith. minkyti "to knead," see MACERATE (Cf. macerate)). Sense extended in English 1580s to "a large quantity, amount, or number." Strict sense in physics is from 1704.
As an adjective from 1733, first attested in mass meeting in American English. mass culture is from 1916 in sociology (earlier in biology); mass hysteria is from 1914; mass media is from 1923; mass movement is from 1897; mass production is from 1920; mass grave is from 1918; mass murder from 1880.
{{12}}mass (n.2) "Eucharistic service," O.E. mæsse, from V.L. *messa "eucharistic service," lit. "dismissal," from L.L. missa "dismissal," fem. pp. of mittere "to let go, send" (see MISSION (Cf. mission)); probably so called from the concluding words of the service, Ite, missa est, "Go, (the prayer) has been sent," or "Go, it is the dismissal."
{{12}}mass (v.) "to gather in a mass" (intrans.), 1560s, from MASS (Cf. mass) (n.1) or from Fr. masser. Transitive sense by c.1600. Related: Massed; massing.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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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

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