mass 1 of 3

as in loads
a considerable amount I have a mass of work to do tonight

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as in body
a distinct and separate portion of matter a mass of leaves in a corner of the yard

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as in majority
the largest part or quantity of something believes that the great mass of voters are in the political center and consider themselves neither conservative nor liberal

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as in throng
a great number of persons or creatures massed together a huge mass of people had gathered in the park to protest the government's latest policy

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as in to accumulate
to gradually form into a layer, pile, or mass clouds massing on the western side of the mountain range

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word mass different from other nouns like it?

The words bulk and volume are common synonyms of mass. While all three words mean "the aggregate that forms a body or unit," mass suggests an aggregate made by piling together things of the same kind.

a mass of boulders

Where would bulk be a reasonable alternative to mass?

While the synonyms bulk and mass are close in meaning, bulk implies an aggregate that is impressively large, heavy, or numerous.

the darkened bulk of the skyscrapers

In what contexts can volume take the place of mass?

The words volume and mass are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, volume applies to an aggregate without shape or outline and capable of flowing or fluctuating.

a tremendous volume of water

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Cite this Entry

“Mass.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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