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Mass vs Sass - What's the difference?

mass | sass |

As nouns the difference between mass and sass

is that mass is march while sass is (us) sarcasm, backtalk, cheek.

As a verb sass is

(us) to talk, to talk back.



Etymology 1

In late (etyl) (circa 1400) as masse in the sense of "lump, quantity of matter", from (etyl) masse, in (etyl) attested from the 11th century, via late (etyl) . The sense of "a large number or quantity" arises circa 1580. The scientific sense is from 1687 (as Latin massa) in the works of , with the first English use (as mass) occurring in 1704.


  • (label) Matter, material.
  • # A quantity of matter cohering together so as to make one body, or an aggregation of particles or things which collectively make one body or quantity, usually of considerable size; as, a mass of ore, metal, sand, or water.
  • #* 1718 [1704], (w), (Opticks), Second Edition:
  • And if it were not for the?e Principles the Bodies of the Earth, Planets, Comets, Sun, and all things in them would grow cold and freeze, and become inactive Ma??es ; .
  • #* 1821 , (George Buchanan) (Latin original Rerum Scoticarum Historia'', 1582), translator not named, ''The History of Scotland, from the Earliest Accounts of that Nation, to the Reign of King James VI , Volume 1, page 133,
  • and because a deep mass of continual sea is slower stirred to rage.
  • # (label) Precious metal, especially gold or silver.
  • #* 1596 , (Edmund Spenser), (The Faerie Queene) , IV.10:
  • Right in the midst the Goddesse selfe did stand / Upon an altar of some costly masse […].
  • # (label) The quantity of matter which a body contains, irrespective of its bulk or volume. It is one of four fundamental properties of matter. It is measured in kilograms in the SI system of measurement.
  • # (label) A medicinal substance made into a cohesive, homogeneous lump, of consistency suitable for making pills; as, blue mass.
  • # (label) A palpable or visible abnormal globular structure; a tumor.
  • # (label) Excess body weight, especially in the form of muscle hypertrophy.
  • #* 1988 , Steve Holman, "Christian Conquers Columbus", 47 (6): 28-34.
  • After all, muscle maniacs go "ga ga" over mass no matter how it's presented.
  • A large quantity; a sum.
  • * 1829 , Sir (Walter Raleigh), The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt , Volume VIII,
  • he hath discovered to me the way to five or six of the richest mines which the Spaniard hath, and whence all the mass of gold that comes into Spain in effect is drawn.
  • * 1869 , Alexander George Richey, Lectures on the History of Ireland: Down to A. D. 1534 , page 204,
  • For though he had spent a huge mass of treasure in transporting his army, .
  • (label) Large in number.
  • # Bulk; magnitude; body; size.
  • #* c.1599-1601 , (William Shakespeare), , Act 4, Scene 4,
  • Witness this army of such mass and charge / Led by a delicate and tender prince,
  • # The principal part; the main body.
  • #* 1881 , (Thucydides), (Benjamin Jowett) Thucydides translated into English , Volume 1, page 310,
  • Night closed upon the pursuit, and aided the mass of the fugitives in their escape.
  • # A large body of individuals, especially persons.
  • # (label) The lower classes of persons.
  • See also
    * Customary units: slug, pound, ounce, long ton (1.12 short tons), short ton (commonly used) * Metric units: gram (g), kilogram (kg), metric ton
    Derived terms
    * blue mass * critical mass * land mass, landmass * mass burial * mass center * mass copper * mass culture * mass destruction * mass defect * mass energy * mass extinction * mass flow * mass funeral * mass grave * mass hysteria * mass market * mass media * mass medium * mass murder * mass murderer * mass noun * mass number * mass of maneuver * mass produce * mass production * mass shift * mass spectrometer * mass spectrometry * mass starvation * mass surveillance * mass transfer * mass transit * mass transportation * mass wasting * Planck mass * reduced mass * the masses


  • To form or collect into a mass; to form into a collective body; to bring together into masses; to assemble.
  • * 1829 , William Burke, John Macnee, Trial of William Burke and Helen M'Dougal: Before the High Court of Judiciary, William Hare ,
  • They would unavoidably mix up the whole of these declarations, and mass them together, although the Judge might direct the Jury not to do so.
  • * 1857 , Edward Henry Nolan, The Illustrated History of the War against Russia , Parts 93-111, page 432,
  • Every bend on the hill had acted like a funnel to mass them together in this peculiar way.
  • * 1869 , H. P. Robinson, Pictorial Effect in Photography: Being Hints on Composition and Chiariscuro for Photographers ,
  • Where there is too great a repetition of forms, light and shade will break them up or mass them together.
  • To have a certain mass.
  • I mass 70 kilograms


  • Involving a mass of things; concerning a large quantity or number.
  • There is evidence of mass extinctions in the distant past.
  • * 1988 , V. V. Zagladin, Vitaly Baskakov, International Working Class and Communist Movement: Historical Record, 1830s to Mid-1940s , page 236,
  • The national liberation movement had not yet developed to a sufficiently mass scale.
  • * 1989 , Creighton Peden, Larry E. Axel (editors), God, Values, and Empiricism: Issues in Philosophical Theology , page 2,
  • With perhaps unprecedented magnitude and clarity, Auschwitz brings theologians and philosophers face to face with the facts of suffering on an incredibly mass scale, with issues poignantly raised concerning the absence of divine intervention or the inadequacies of divine power or benevolence; .
  • * 2010 , John Horne, A Companion to World War I , page 159,
  • The air arms did more than provide the warring nations with individual heroes, for their individual exploits occurred within the context of an increasingly mass aerial effort in a war of the masses.
  • Involving a mass of people; of, for, or by the masses.
  • Mass unemployment resulted from the financial collapse.
  • * 1958 , Child Welfare, volume 37, page 2:
  • Every agency is sold on use of mass' media today — or at least, it thinks it is — and what can be "' masser " than television?
  • * 1970 , James Wilson White, The S?kagakkai and Mass Society , page 3,
  • While agreeing with Bell on the unlikelihood that any fully mass — in the sense of atomized and alienated — society has ever existed,5 I believe that at any point in time, in any social system, some elements may be characterized as "masses."
  • * 1974 , Edward Abraham Cohn, The Political Economy of Environmental Enhancement , page 91:
  • Undoubtedly this is the case; at least it is "masser " than in Pinchot's time.
  • * 1999 December, Sara Miles, Rebel with a Cause'', in '' , page 132,
  • But it also highlights the changes that have taken place in gay and AIDS activism, and the way that a formerly mass movement has been recast.
  • * 2000 , Howie Klein, Queer as role models'', in ''The Advocate , number 825, 21 November 2000, page 9:
  • The director didn't make the images up; they're there, but in putting that one slice of gay life into the massest' of ' mass media — the amoral promiscuity, the drug and alcohol abuse, the stereotyped flamboyance and campiness, the bitchy queeniness and flimsy values — something very dangerous happens [...]
  • * 2001 , Brian Moeran. Asian Media Productions , page 13:
  • [...] if only because it promises the ‘massest'’ of ' mass markets.
  • * 2004 , John R. Hall, Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History , page 79,
  • Finally, in the past century, secular culture itself has undergone a transition from predominantly folk styles to an overwhelmingly mass culture, .
  • * 2007 , Thomas Peele, Queer popular culture: literature, media, film, and television , page 11:
  • As a right, we come to expect it, and that happens through the mass' media, the ' massest of which, by far, is television.

    Derived terms

    * mass extinction

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) masse, from (etyl) . More at (l).


  • (Christianity) The Eucharist, now especially in Roman Catholicism.
  • (Christianity) Celebration of the Eucharist.
  • The sacrament of the Eucharist.
  • A musical setting of parts of the mass.
  • Verb

  • (obsolete) To celebrate mass.
  • (Hooker)


    * *




  • (US) sarcasm, backtalk, cheek.
  • *
  • “Say — if you give me much more of your sass I’ll take and bounce a rock off’n your head.”
  • *
  • “Looky here — mind how you talk to me; I’m a-standing about all I can stand now — so don’t gimme no sass .”

    Derived terms

    * sassy


  • (US) To talk, to talk back.
  • *
  • “The duke he begun to abuse him for an old fool, and the king begun to sass back, and the minute they was fairly at it I lit out and shook the reefs out of my hind legs, and spun down the river road like a deer, for I see our chance; and I made up my mind that it would be a long day before they ever see me and Jim again.”
  • *
  • “But, good land! what did he want to sass back for? You see, it couldn’t do him no good, and it was just nuts for them.”