Last modified on 23 April 2015, at 21:10



A mountain (large mass of rock)


From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman muntaine, from Vulgar Latin *montānea, feminine of *montāneus (mountainous), alteration of Latin montānus, from mōns (mountain), from Proto-Indo-European *monti (compare Welsh mynydd (mountain), Albanian mat (bank, shore), Avestan [script needed] [script needed] (mati, promontory)), from Proto-Indo-European *men- (to project, stick out). More at menace.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmaʊntɪn/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmaʊntn̩/[1][2] [ˈmãʊ̯̃(n)ʔn̩], [ˈmæ̃ʊ̯̃(n)ʔn̩]
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mountain (plural mountains)

  1. A large mass of earth and rock, rising above the common level of the earth or adjacent land, usually given by geographers as above 1000 feet in height (or 304.8 metres), though such masses may still be described as hills in comparison with larger mountains.
    Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
    We spent the weekend hiking in the mountains.
  2. A large amount.
    There's still a mountain of work to do.
  3. (figuratively) A difficult task or challenge.
    • 2011 October 1, Phil Dawkes, “Sunderland 2 - 2 West Brom”, BBC Sport:
      Five minutes into the game the Black Cats were facing a mountain, partly because of West Brom's newly-found ruthlessness in front of goal but also as a result of the home side's defensive generosity.

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  1. ^ mountain” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.,
  2. ^ OALD