consisting of or forming a large mass; bulky and heavy: massive columns.
large and heavy-looking: a massive forehead.
large in scale, amount, or degree: a massive breakdown in communications; massive reductions in spending.
solid or substantial; great or imposing: massive erudition.
Mineralogy. having no outward crystal form, although sometimes crystalline in internal structure.

Origin of massive

1375–1425; late Middle English (see mass, -ive); replacing Middle English massif < Middle French
Related formsmas·sive·ly, adverbmas·sive·ness, mas·siv·i·ty, noun




Mount, a mountain in central Colorado, in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains: second highest in U.S. Rockies. 14,421 feet (4396 meters). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for massive

Contemporary Examples of massive

Historical Examples of massive

  • Hence, our architecture and statuary is massive and of immense proportions.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • What storming of fortresses, built all of massive snowblocks!

  • He was altogether splendid, massive, overpowering, and impracticable.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The walls of Norman buildings are thick and massive, and are often faced with cut stone.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The bull-dog stood too short, while its massive jaws were an added protection.

    White Fang

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for massive



(of objects) large in mass; bulky, heavy, and usually solid
impressive or imposing in quality, degree, or scopemassive grief
relatively intensive or large; considerablea massive dose
pathol affecting a large area of the bodya massive cancer
  1. (of igneous rocks) having no stratification, cleavage, etc; homogeneous
  2. (of sedimentary rocks) arranged in thick poorly defined strata
mineralogy without obvious crystalline structure


slang a group of friends or associates; gangthe Staines massive
Derived Formsmassively, adverbmassiveness, noun

Word Origin for massive

C15: from French massif, from masse mass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for massive

c.1400, from Middle French massif "bulky, solid," from Old French masse "lump" (see mass (n.1)). Related: Massively; massiveness. U.S. Cold War strategy of massive retaliation was introduced by J.F. Dulles in early 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

massive in Medicine




Large in comparison with the usual amount.
Affecting a large area of bodily tissue; widespread and severe.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.