The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mass \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
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.
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.
He had spent a huge mass of treasure. --Sir J.
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
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.