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Mass Definition


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Other Mass Definition

[n] the celebration of the Eucharist (in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant Churches)
[n] the property of a body that causes it to have weight in a gravitational field
[n] the property of something that is great in magnitude; "it is cheaper to buy it in bulk"; "he received a mass of correspondence"; "the volume of exports"
[n] a sequence of prayers constituting the Christian eucharistic rite; "the priest said Mass"
[n] a musical setting for a Mass; "they played a Mass composed by Beethoven"
[n] an ill-structured collection of similar things (objects or people)
[n] the common people generally; "separate the warriors from the mass"; "power to the people"
[n] a body of matter without definite shape; "a huge ice mass"
[n] (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent; "a batch of letters"; "a deal of trouble"; "a lot of money"; "he made a mint on the stock market"; "it must have cost plenty"
[adj] gathered or tending to gather into a mass or whole; "the aggregate amount of indebtedness"
[adj] occurring widely (as to many people); "mass destruction"
[v] join together into a mass; collect or form a mass; of crowds of people; "Crowds were massing outside the palace"

Misc. Definitions

\Mass\, n. [OE. masse, messe, AS. m[ae]sse. LL. missa, from L. mittere, missum, to send, dismiss: cf. F. messe. In the ancient churches, the public services at which the catechumens were permitted to be present were called missa catechumenorum, ending with the reading of the Gospel. Then they were dismissed with these words : ``Ite, missa est'' [sc. ecclesia], the congregation is dismissed. After that the sacrifice proper began. At its close the same words were said to those who remained. So the word gave the name of Mass to the sacrifice in the Catholic Church. See {Missile}, and cf. {Christmas}, {Lammas}, {Mess} a dish, {Missal}.]
1. (R. C. Ch.) The sacrifice in the sacrament of the Eucharist, or the consecration and oblation of the host.
2. (Mus.) The portions of the Mass usually set to music, considered as a musical composition; -- namely, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei, besides sometimes an Offertory and the Benedictus. {Canon of the Mass}. See {Canon}. {High Mass}, Mass with incense, music, the assistance of a deacon, subdeacon, etc. {Low Mass}, Mass which is said by the priest through-out, without music. {Mass bell}, the sanctus bell. See {Sanctus}. {Mass book}, the missal or Roman Catholic service book.
\Mass\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Massed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Massing}.] To celebrate Mass. [Obs.] --Hooker.
\Mass\, n. [OE. masse, F. masse, L. massa; akin to Gr. ? a barley cake, fr. ? to knead. Cf. {Macerate}.]
1. A quantity of matter cohering together so as to make one body, or an aggregation of particles or things which collectively make one body or quantity, usually of considerable size; as, a mass of ore, metal, sand, or water. If it were not for these principles, the bodies of the earth, planets, comets, sun, and all things in them, would grow cold and freeze, and become inactive masses. --Sir I. Newton. A deep mass of continual sea is slower stirred To rage. --Savile.
2. (Phar.) A medicinal substance made into a cohesive, homogeneous lump, of consistency suitable for making pills; as, blue mass.
3. A large quantity; a sum. All the mass of gold that comes into Spain. --Sir W. Raleigh. He had spent a huge mass of treasure. --Sir J. Davies.
4. Bulk; magnitude; body; size. This army of such mass and charge. --Shak.
5. The principal part; the main body. Night closed upon the pursuit, and aided the mass of the fugitives in their escape. --Jowett (Thucyd.).
6. (Physics) The quantity of matter which a body contains, irrespective of its bulk or volume. Note: Mass and weight are often used, in a general way, as interchangeable terms, since the weight of a body is proportional to its mass (under the same or equal gravitative forces), and the mass is usually ascertained from the weight. Yet the two ideas, mass and weight, are quite distinct. Mass is the quantity of matter in a body; weight is the comparative force with which it tends towards the center of the earth. A mass of sugar and a mass of lead are assumed to be equal when they show an equal weight by balancing each other in the scales. {Blue mass}. See under {Blue}. {Mass center} (Geom.), the center of gravity of a triangle. {Mass copper}, native copper in a large mass. {Mass meeting}, a large or general assembly of people, usually a meeting having some relation to politics. {The masses}, the great body of the people, as contrasted with the higher classes; the populace.
\Mass\, v. t. To form or collect into a mass; to form into a collective body; to bring together into masses; to assemble. But mass them together and they are terrible indeed. --Coleridge.

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