mas·​sif | \ ma-ˈsēf How to pronounce massif (audio) \

Definition of massif

1 : a principal mountain mass
2 : a block of the earth's crust bounded by faults or flexures and displaced as a unit without internal change

Examples of massif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Church bells rang from Cortina below, and as if on cue, the setting sun triggering an alpenglow, turning the jagged limestone massif from near white to gold, then rose to red. Amiee White Beazley, Travel + Leisure, "When My Body and Spirit Needed Repair, a Trip to the Italian Dolomites Healed Me," 17 May 2020 By drawing, my friend, John, could focus on light landing on this Himalayan massif and remove the space between it and our scenic perch on Tiger Hill in a way that would otherwise need an expensive camera and zoom lens to achieve. New York Times, "Frequently Asked Questions and Advice," 11 Apr. 2020 The moon is home to a wide range of topographical features, including towering mountains called massifs. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Did You Know There Are Mountains on the Moon?," 6 Mar. 2020 During the past 150 years, the massif has lost more than 92 percent of its ice, and scientists predict that the rest will be gone within the next 30 years. Stephen Ferry, National Geographic, "Indigenous protectors of these sacred peaks have kept others out—till now," 26 Nov. 2019 New charts of the lunar south pole revealed the towering nature of two such massifs: Malapert Massif and Leibniz Beta. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Did You Know There Are Mountains on the Moon?," 6 Mar. 2020 The massif of steel and glass skyscrapers at the core of this city’s downtown once stood as a testament to the rise of Canada’s oil-and-gas industry. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "Calgary’s Once-Booming Economy Hit by Oil Industry’s Woes," 25 Feb. 2020 On the windy flanks of Mount Aragats, a biblical-sounding massif in Armenia, an old man — a cook — shuffles through a sprawling array of oddly shaped, empty buildings. Yulia Grigoryants, New York Times, "Alone on a Mountaintop, Awaiting a Very Hard Rain," 21 Jan. 2020 The mountain is one of several in the Mont Blanc massif, which runs through Italy, France and part of Switzerland. Kayla Epstein,, "A glacier in the Alps might collapse, thanks to global warming, officials say," 30 Sep. 2019

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

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First Known Use of massif

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for massif

French, from massif, adjective, from Middle French, alteration of Old French massiz

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Time Traveler for massif

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The first known use of massif was in 1873

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Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Massif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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