noun, often attributive \ˈman-tən\

: an area of land that rises very high above the land around it and that is higher than a hill

: a very large amount of something

Full Definition of MOUNTAIN

a :  a landmass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill
b :  an elongated ridge
a :  a great mass
b :  a vast number or quantity

Examples of MOUNTAIN

  1. She watched the sun set behind the mountains.
  2. a cabin in the mountains
  3. They both like mountain climbing.
  4. We've received a mountain of mail.

Origin of MOUNTAIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French muntaine, from Vulgar Latin *montanea, from feminine of *montaneus of a mountain, alteration of Latin montanus, from mont-, mons
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale

Rhymes with MOUNTAIN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Landform that rises well above its surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable local relief (inequalities of elevation). Mountains are considered larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geologic meaning. Mountains are formed by the folding, faulting, or upwarping of the Earth's surface due to the movement of plates (see plate tectonics) or by the emplacement of volcanic rock onto the surface. For example, the Himalayan Mountains where India meets the Eurasian Plate were formed by a collision between plates that caused extreme compressional folding and the uplifting of large areas. The mountain ranges around the Pacific basin are attributed to the sinking of one plate beneath another. See also plateau.


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