critical mass


: a size, number, or amount large enough to produce a particular result
the critical mass of activity needed for a retail store

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Diaz said there is not a critical mass of Latinas in decision-making power at state legislatures and in federal government. Marissa Evansstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2022 Next for Helen and Harville is a program to expand Safe Conversations trainings so millions of people can have these tools and there will be a critical mass in societies around the world who can use them. Ginger Gentile, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2022 But what a resume – worms are the critical mass of workers keeping soil and marine sediments in a healthy state. Chris Mooney, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2011 While many manufacturers have committed to offering V2X technology, there are still hurdles to overcome, beyond the necessity of reaching a critical mass. Eric A. Taub,, 5 Oct. 2022 Disney hoped the approach would lead to acquiring a critical mass of subscribers, who would later stomach incremental price hikes. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2022 But there are clear signs the balance of power is shifting, as Verizon’s longer-to-deploy version of 5G technology based on millimeter wave begins to reach critical mass. Moneyshow, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Slow vaccination campaigns are of major concern, because experts can’t predict what kind of advanced variants will exist by the time the rollouts reach a critical mass. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2021 Still, with roughly a quarter of a million Google workers, AWU has a long way to go to reach a critical mass. Zoe Schiffer, The Verge, 5 Jan. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'critical mass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1947, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of critical mass was in 1947

Dictionary Entries Near critical mass

Cite this Entry

“Critical mass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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