[ma-seef, mas-if; French ma-seef]
a compact portion of a mountain range, containing one or more summits.
a large elevated block of old complex rocks resistant to both erosion and crustal folding.
a band or zone of the earth's crust raised or depressed as a unit and bounded by faults.
Origin of massif
noun use of massif massive
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for massif
Historical Examples of massif
The two next highest are at the right, or eastern, end of the massif.
Above the plain, which sweeps away from the northern bank, rises the "massif" of Laon.
It rests on the western side on the Massif de Moronvillers; to the east it stretches as far as the Argonne.
Didron thus describes it: Cet anneau est en or massif; il pese 14 gram.
From the top a vast plateau stretches to the lofty chain which forms the inland rim of the Andean massif.
British Dictionary definitions for massif
a geologically distinct mass of rock or a series of connected masses forming the peaks of a mountain range
a topographically high part of the earth's crust that is bounded by faults and may be shifted by tectonic movements
Word Origin for massif
C19: from French, noun use of massif massive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for massif
"cluster of hills," 1520s, from French massif (see massive), here used as a noun in French; e.g. the Massif Central, name of the plateau in the middle of southern France.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. A massif often consists of rocks that are more rigid than the surrounding rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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