- the critical mass of activity needed for a retail store
Recent Examples of critical mass from the Web
Not until after her death did her work begin to receive a critical mass of serious attention in literary circles.
When there are enough fissile atoms close together — a quantity known as critical mass — the particles ejected by fission can strike other fissile atoms, triggering more atoms to split apart and so on.
Apps like Instagram, Uber, and Lyft were able to reach critical mass before competitors from other countries, giving the US an edge.
One of the greatest assets of the Boston area is the critical mass of people willing to accept that 19 out of 20 potential drugs in the late stages of research will never make it to the market.
When a critical mass of guests have arrived, slice the eggs in half, arrange them on a platter, and season with salt and pepper.
Cosby losing his power on Thursday didn’t indicate, specifically, a victory for a movement that gained steam years after news of Cosby’s misdeeds first reached critical mass.
Like most cities, London consists of villages that gradually coalesced into towns and then reached critical mass.
If there is a critical mass of cars on the highway moving at a steady rate, even a minor disruption in the flow of traffic can affect cars far behind.
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.
Financial Definition of CRITICAL MASS
What It Is
Critical mass refers to the size a company needs to reach in order to efficiently and competitively participate in the market. This is also the size a company must attain in order to sustain growth and efficiency.
How It Works
A company's critical mass is determined by the size of its staff, resources, revenues, and market share. Once these elements reach the size that enables a company to operate efficiently, it is said that a company has reached its critical mass. Critical mass is the point at which a company becomes profitable.
To illustrate a company's critical mass, consider Company XYZ which was recently formed and has been experiencing steady growth and increasing strength in the market. The company’s steady revenues allowed Company XYZ to invest in more capital and to hire additional employees. XYZ's productivity subsequently increased and their revenues exceed their expenses: XYZ then becomes profitable. The company is said to have reached its critical mass, since its capital and human resources have reached a size at which they can sustain themselves through productive efficiency.
Why It Matters
A company's critical mass is important to consider because it can mean the difference between thriving and surviving in a market environment. A company that sustains profitability is safely above its critical mass.
CRITICAL MASS Defined for English Language Learners
: an amount of material (such as plutonium) that is large enough to allow a nuclear reaction to occur
: the size, number, or amount of something that is needed to cause a particular result
Seen and Heard
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