Definition of massif in English:


Pronunciation: /maˈsiːf//ˈmasɪf/


  • A compact group of mountains.

    ‘the rock massif of Scotland’
    • ‘The Subtropical Westerly Jet is found to the south of the central Asian mountain massifs, in contrast to the boreal summer when the Tropical Easterly Jet occupies the upper troposphere to the south of the Himalayas.’
    • ‘Any view of the ocean itself is cut off by two massifs of 300-million-year-old limestone jutting nearly a thousand feet out of the sea.’
    • ‘The terrain is very rough, with an array of canyons, cliffy massifs, and stony substrates.’
    • ‘He is named after a mountain in the Pirin massif and dad's an alpinist.’
    • ‘The latter portrays the geography of the country; the central massif is signified by three mountain peaks in the center of two oceans, each featuring a Spanish ship.’
    • ‘Only in the less fertile areas, such as the foothills of the mountain massifs, does the land seem to have been parcelled out among small proprietors.’
    • ‘From this elevated viewpoint the peaks of the Paine massif appeared as tightly packed turrets in some fairyland castle.’
    • ‘This station is only 8 km away from the highest peaks of the Peñalara massif.’
    • ‘Perched on a hillock and overlooked by the brooding massifs of the western Rif mountains, here you get your first taste of Moroccan geographical realities.’
    • ‘A few clouds drifted by, sweated out from the massif, a three-sided pyramid that was the highest coastal mountain range on earth, only thirty miles from the Caribbean as the crow flew.’
    • ‘Beyond, out of sight, rise the peaks of the Grampian massif, the high heart of Scotland with its austere tracks leading to lonely places.’
    • ‘The landscape comprised hill massifs separated by valleys, with side valleys separating submassifs.’
    • ‘That evening we saw the muscled snow-streaked contours of the massif from up close when we dined at a mountain restaurant at Sunegga which can be reached only after a steep ride in a funicular.’
    • ‘The regions of the inside corner strips between the massifs have a very different bathymetric character from the massifs.’
    • ‘This great, dark mountain massif formed an island in the surrounding sand sea.’
    • ‘The Northland ophiolite of northern New Zealand comprises massifs of mainly basaltic volcanic rocks, which form the upper thrust slices of the Northland Allochthon.’
    • ‘And my third is a mountain massif just about rugged enough to match its inhabitants.’
    • ‘Garibaldi Hill and St. George's Hill form two smaller, isolated massifs in the west.’
    • ‘Turning north Michael passes through the dramatic mountains of the Hoggar massif before he pauses in the oil and gas fields of central Algeria.’
    • ‘The Kirsehir-Nigde massif formed a promontory of this continental margin.’
    mountain, hill, height, alp, aiguille, serac, puy, crag, tor, inselberg
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Early 16th century (denoting a large building): French, massive, used as a noun. The current sense dates from the late 19th century.