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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ At Mount Olympus, the highest point of the massif, mantle rock is visible.
▪ But all of this is only the aboveground portion of the great massif that is City College.
▪ Lafaille's climbs give vivid illustration that adventure can still be found, even in the world's most crowded massif.
▪ Looking across to the open plateau of the Cairngorm massif.
▪ The contrast between this area and the Tibesti and Ahaggar massifs is enormous.
▪ The valley from the hill to the massif was all flat plains covered with elephant grass.
▪ We flew alone in the valley between Pleime and the massif, moving small patrols to new locations.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

massif \massif\ n. (Geol.) A block of the earth's crust bounded by faults and shifted to form peaks of a mountain range.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"cluster of hills," 1520s, from French massif (see massive), also used as a noun in French, as in Massif Central, name of the plateau in the middle of southern France.


n. 1 A principal mountain mass. 2 A block of the earth's crust bounded by faults or flexures and displaced as a unit without internal change; normally consists of gneisses and schists


n. a block of the earth's crust bounded by faults and shifted to form peaks of a mountain range


In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term is also used to refer to a group of mountains formed by such a structure.

In mountaineering and climbing literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a tectonic plate and is considered the fourth largest driving force in geomorphology.

The word is taken from French (in which the word also means "massive"), where it is used to refer to a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. One of the most notable European examples of a massif is the Massif Central of the Auvergne region of France.

The Face on Mars is an example of an extraterrestrial massif.

Massifs may also form underwater such as with the Atlantis Massif.

Usage examples of "massif".

But as the sky beyond the Black Forest massif paled, two powerful bodies of the Foe, spearheaded by Bles Four-Fang and Nukalavee, made a great press and reached the palace gate.

Studies at another oval crater about the same age and size, Crater Tf, on the Elysium Massif show that it has the same brecciated diabase, with the same phase accessories, as SNC Crater and environs.

The lumpy landscape of the Massif crawled past, irrigated fields between outcrops and escarpments crested with olive groves and lemon trees, gnarled pines, windmill generators and lithomancy poles.

Obroa-skai, the Museum of Applied Photonics rose above the surrounding bugyards in a glittering massif of transparisteel towers and crystalplas galleries.

In nearby regions of the Massif Central we see even more clearly the workings of intracrustal metamorphism, the anatexis engendered above one or more ascending asthenospheric diapirs.

Emilio De Bono stood at the window of his office and looked across the squalid roofs of the town of Asmara towards the great brooding massif of the Ethiopian highlands.

Like all of Asia Minor, it was mountainous, but except for the massif of Mysian Olympus at Prusa, the Bithynian ranges were somewhat lower, rounder, less forbidding than the Taurus.

There were three main objectives: to clear the Chemin des Dames, to master the Moronvillers massif and other heights north and east of Reims, and to thrust between these two great bastions along the road to Laon.

He wanted to cross the river nearer its source high in the southern mountains, before it flowed around the glaciered massif and through the rift valley.

Tibetan night was shading to cobalt, and the snowcapped massifs of some unnamed mountain range were turning pink and orange with the rising sun when Remo Williams breasted the top of a rise.

But here where the befeathered pole stood atop this high burial mound was a height that seemed as if made for viewing those distant massifs.

Over the New Babylon subcontinent it had appeared as a fleet above a small town in the Massif, making lightspeed jumps back and forth between five separate points so quickly that it was seen as five separate ships.

They stood amidst stupefying constructions of gleaming metallic shapes, walls of light, and what looked like clean-cut massifs, as big as buildings, of internally glowing crystal.

Modified by mountains and massifs, the influence of both the oceanic west and the continental east was felt.

The basin was untended, according to the maps and records of the Tyrrhena Massif Areography and Ecopoesis Council.