See also: Mountain

English edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:
A snow-covered mountain (sense 1).

Etymology edit

From Middle English mountayne, mountain, montaigne, from Anglo-Norman muntaine, muntaigne, from Early Medieval Latin montānia, a collective based on Latin montem (mountain), from Proto-Indo-European *monti (compare Welsh mynydd (mountain), Albanian mat (bank, shore), Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬙𐬌 (mati, promontory)), from *men- (to project, stick out). Displaced native Old English beorg and dūn, and partially displaced non-native Old English munt, from Latin mōns (whence English mount).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

mountain (countable and uncountable, plural mountains)

  1. (countable) An elevation of land of considerable dimensions rising more or less abruptly, forming a conspicuous figure in the landscape, usually having a small extent of surface at its summit. [from 12th c.]
    Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
    We spent the weekend hiking in the mountains.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Jeremiah 50:6:
      My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
    • 1807, Joseph Wilson, “Preliminary Observations”, in A History of Mountains, Geographical and Mineralogical, volume 1, London: Nicol, White, Faulders & Asperne, pages xlvi–xlvii:
      Wherever a geologist directs his attention in the midst of a scene of mountains, traces of ruin and decay always meet his eye; and the lofty prominences of our globe, supposed to be the most permanent of nature's works, every where display unequivocal marks of the lapse and effects of time.
    • 1829, Edgar Allan Poe, “Tamerlane”, in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems:
      We walk’d together on the crown
      Of a high mountain which look’d down
      Afar from its proud natural towers
      Of rock and forest, on the hills— […]
  2. (countable) Something very large in size or quantity; a huge amount; a great heap. [from 15th c.]
    He was a real mountain of a man, standing seven feet tall.
    There's still a mountain of work to do.
    • 2002 December 9, “A Mountain of Lies?”, in The Economist[2]:
      Iraq says the mountain of documentation it has provided to the United Nations shows it is innocent of harbouring weapons of mass destruction. America continues to maintain that it has evidence that this is a pack of lies.
  3. (figuratively) A difficult task or challenge.
    • 2011 October 1, Phil Dawkes, “Sunderland 2 - 2 West Brom”, in BBC Sport[3]:
      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.
  4. (uncountable, now historical) Wine from Malaga made from grapes that grow on a mountain. [from 18th c.]
    • 1785-1789, James Boswell, The English Experiment (diaries):
      Called on Courtenay, with whom I walked to Hampstead Heath, and got into excellent spirits, enjoying fine fresh air; then dined with him tête-a-tête on mutton broth and mackerel and drank mountain and old port moderately.
  5. (countable, slang) A woman's large breast.
  6. (cartomancy) The twenty-first Lenormand card.

Usage notes edit

As with the names of rivers and lakes, the names of mountains are typically formed by adding the generic word before or after the unique term. In the case of mountains, when the word precedes the unique term, mount is used: Mount Olympus, Mount Everest, Mount Tai; when the word follows the unique term, mountain is used: Crowfoot Mountain, Blue Mountain, Rugged Mountain. Generally speaking, such names will be adjectives or attributive nouns, but many foreign placenames formed with adjectives—as China's Huashan—are translated as though they were proper names: Mount Hua instead of Hua Mountain or Flourishing Mountain.

Mountain chains are never named with mount, only with mountains, a translated term, or a pluralized name.

Synonyms edit

Terms derived from Germanic roots
  • (obsolete in some senses) barrow
  • (chiefly South Africa) berg
  • (chiefly dialectal) berry
  • (chiefly Northern England) pike

Hyponyms edit

Of the sense “an elevation of land”

Meronyms edit

Of the sense “an elevation of land”

Holonyms edit

Of the sense “an elevation of land”

Derived terms edit

Single-word terms derived from “mountain”
Attributive uses of the noun “mountain”
Idioms with the word “mountain”
Proverbs with the word “mountain”
Other terms containing the word "mountain" (unsorted)

Related terms edit

Terms derived from Latin “mōns

Translations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ mountain”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.,
  2. ^ “OALD”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1], 2012 December 26 (last accessed), archived from the original on 1 November 2012

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of mountayne