Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

mass noun - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] linguistics     mass noun pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
singularmass noun
pluralmass nouns
  1. a noun such as ‘soap’ that is usually uncountable but is also used with ‘a’ or ‘an’, or in the plural, to talk about different types of something. For example the nounsoap’ in ‘Wash your hands with soap and water’ is uncountable, while in ‘You should choose a mild soap’ and ‘Some soaps are very strongly perfumed’, ‘soap’ is countable. A mass noun is used in both these ways.

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play