[ moun-tn ]
/ ˈmaʊn tn /




    make a mountain out of a molehill. molehill(def 2).

Origin of mountain

1175–1225; Middle English mountaine < Old French montaigne < Vulgar Latin *montānea, noun use of feminine of *montāneus, equivalent to Latin montān(us) mountainous (mont-, stem of mōns mountain + -ānus -an) + -eus adj. suffix
Related formsmoun·tain·less, adjectivesub·moun·tain, adjectiveun·der·moun·tain, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mountain

British Dictionary definitions for mountain (1 of 2)


/ (ˈmaʊntɪn) /


  1. a natural upward projection of the earth's surface, higher and steeper than a hill and often having a rocky summit
  2. (as modifier)mountain people; mountain scenery
  3. (in combination)a mountaintop
a huge heap or massa mountain of papers
anything of great quantity or size
a surplus of a commodity, esp in the European Unionthe butter mountain
a mountain to climb British informal a serious or considerable difficulty or obstruction to overcome
make a mountain out of a molehill See molehill (def. 2)

Word Origin for mountain

C13: from Old French montaigne, from Vulgar Latin montānea (unattested) mountainous, from Latin montānus, from mons mountain

British Dictionary definitions for mountain (2 of 2)


/ (ˈmaʊntɪn) /


the Mountain an extremist faction during the French Revolution led by Danton and Robespierre

Word Origin for Mountain

C18: so called because its members sat in the highest row of seats at the National Convention Hall in 1793
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 mountain



c.1200, from Old French montaigne (Modern French montagne), from Vulgar Latin *montanea "mountain, mountain region," noun use of fem. of *montaneus "of a mountain, mountainous," from Latin montanus "mountainous, of mountains," from mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (see mount (n.)).

Until 18c., applied to a fairly low elevation if it was prominent (e.g. Sussex Downs, the hills around Paris). As an adjective from late 14c. Mountain dew "raw and inferior whiskey" first recorded 1839; earlier a type of Scotch whiskey (1816); Jamieson's 1825 "Supplement" to his Scottish dictionary defines it specifically as "A cant term for Highland whisky that has paid no duty." Mountain-climber recorded from 1839; mountain-climbing from 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for mountain


[ mountən ]

A generally massive and usually steep-sided, raised portion of the Earth's surface. Mountains can occur as single peaks or as part of a long chain. They can form through volcanic activity, by erosion, or by uplift of the continental crust when two tectonic plates collide. The Himalayas, which are the highest mountains in the world, were formed when the plate carrying the landmass of India collided with the plate carrying the landmass of China.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with mountain


see if the mountain won't come to Muhammad; make a mountain out of a molehill.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.