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 There, the jungles of the Virunga massif—a stunning volcanic range that sprawls across the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—create a dramatic backdrop. Gina Decaprio Vercesi, Travel + Leisure, "Deep in Uganda's Kyambura Gorge, An Endangered Group of Chimpanzees Has Survived Against All Odds," 20 Mar. 2021 Some of the most popular trails, including Courthouse Butte Loop Trail leading to the iconic massif and Cathedral Rock Trail, which can be slippery when wet, are noticeably quieter in winter. New York Times, "Escape From the City: 9 Winter Outings That Fight Cabin Fever," 18 Dec. 2020 The pilgrimage winds up through the foothills of the Trisul massif, where locals believe that the goddess lives with her husband, Shiva. Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, "The Skeletons at the Lake," 7 Dec. 2020 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

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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Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Massif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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