Definition of mountain in English:



  • 1A large natural elevation of the earth's surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill.

    ‘the village is backed by awe-inspiring mountains’
    ‘we set off down the mountain’
    [as modifier] ‘the ice and snow of a mountain peak’
    • ‘The interior consists of mountains, hills, valleys, and a high central plateau.’
    • ‘Where particularly heavy rain falls on mountains with steep and narrow channels, it can cause some of the worst flash floods in the world.’
    • ‘The last two days of the trip involve a ski tour, including an overnight stay in a mountain hut.’
    • ‘Excellent views of the lake and Mount Aspiring can be seen from the mountain top.’
    • ‘It is surrounded by mountains with sheer cliffs several hundred feet high which make it popular with walkers and climbers.’
    • ‘It was surrounded by incredible mountains, and on most of them was snow.’
    • ‘The town is surrounded by tall hills and mountains, and you can have a very pleasant hike down any of the numerous trails there.’
    • ‘Throughout the Smokies you may be enticed from your car by the sight, sound, and feel of clear, cool mountain streams and waterfalls.’
    • ‘Surrounded by mountains and rainforest, it's about two hours drive from Hobart.’
    • ‘Yet this great expanse of lowland is almost ringed by the hills and mountains, most of which lie near the coast.’
    • ‘Then take advantage of the surrounding landscape of mountains and waterfalls to spend a few days hiking.’
    • ‘Allium bulgarium grows wild in the woodlands and mountain slopes of Turkey and the Ukraine.’
    • ‘Standing some 3282 ft above sea level, the mountain is one of the most remote in Scotland.’
    • ‘Steep mountains covered in virgin rainforest ascend into patches of cloud.’
    • ‘No wonder mountain spring water and air-dried hams are two of the things that make the area famous with the Spanish.’
    • ‘Waiting to jump from the boat, I gaze up at the snow-capped mountains surrounding the fjord.’
    • ‘The view from our room is sublime - Scotland's longest loch and an assortment of rolling hills and mountains.’
    • ‘When you are on the top of a mountain, you see mountains all around and all is covered by a dense forest.’
    • ‘High mountains surround Loch Ossian, and the edges of the loch are softened by woods.’
    • ‘They were in a deep valley completely surrounded by mountains.’
    • ‘In your mind's eye, can't you see the rocky peaks of the high mountains, the deep glens, the tumbling rivers?’
    • ‘The valley, surrounded by steep mountains, is one of the Amazon's least spoiled treasures.’
    • ‘Frost speculated that the inhabitants favored the mountaintop location for two reasons: to mine rich lodes of silver in the area and because the site provided panoramic views of central Vilcabamba's snowy mountain peaks, some as high as 18,000 feet (5,486 meters), which were sacred to ancient Andeans.’
    peak, height, elevation, eminence, prominence, summit, pinnacle, mountaintop, alp, horn
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    1. 1.1mountains A mountainous region characterized by remoteness and inaccessibility.
      ‘they sought refuge in the mountains’
      ‘his attempt to picture the mountain folk in ridiculous attire’
      • ‘Those cultivating mountain land are mostly Aborigines and the farmland belongs to them.’
      • ‘Next day we trekked along a steep mountain trail to reach the rim of this vast, embracing feature.’
      • ‘They financed buses to ferry people from the most remote mountain villages to Beirut for the day.’
    2. 1.2a mountain/mountains of A large pile or quantity of something.
      ‘a mountain of paperwork’
      • ‘Never have I had such a mountain of paperwork to clear before Christmas.’
      • ‘Gallacher attends his fair share of meetings and usually has a mountain of paperwork to get through at the end of the day.’
      • ‘Then there was the fallout, as the dreams of growth vanished to leave only rapidly diminishing cash piles or large mountains of debt.’
      • ‘When I got into work there was a mountain of work to get through, loads of meeting requests and several problems to sort out.’
      • ‘In the Middle Ages, mountains of coal piled up in London as a result of sea trade.’
      a great deal, a lot, heap, pile, mound, stack
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    3. 1.3[usually with modifier] A large surplus stock of a commodity.
      ‘this farming produced huge food mountains’
      • ‘Until the 1980s, the EU simply bought any extra production and piled it up in warehouses, forming what became known as the EU ‘butter mountain’ (‘wine lakes’ were another manifestation of the same problem).’
      • ‘Campaigners complain that shifting the butter mountain into developing countries stifles agricultural trade, by crowding out domestic farmers who can't compete with the might of the EU.’
      surplus, surfeit, glut, excess, overabundance, oversupply
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  • make a mountain out of a molehill

    • Exaggerate the importance of something trivial.

      • ‘Is the press just making a mountain out of a molehill of complicated intelligence data?’
      • ‘What am I not being told, and is it because they're afraid of sparking panic, or because the law or the media are afraid of looking like idiots for making a mountain out of a molehill?’
      • ‘The legislator said that although he respected the caucus decision, he thought it was making a mountain out of a molehill.’
      • ‘I don't see the huge problem, you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill here.’
      • ‘The police are making a mountain out of a molehill.’
      • ‘The media is responsible for making a mountain out of a molehill and selling it to the people.’
      • ‘Those who are disturbed by his characterization of the First Amendment are, he implies, making a mountain out of a molehill.’
      • ‘This was a total farce and the crew made a mountain out of a molehill.’
      • ‘I've visited homes where they've appeared to think the school is making a mountain out of a molehill and it's not their problem.’
      • ‘Perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but it's comments like this that make me wonder just how far feminism has come.’
      exaggerate, overstate, overemphasize, magnify, amplify, aggrandize, inflate
      embellish, embroider, colour, elaborate, over-elaborate, oversell, overdraw, overplay, dramatize
      hyperbolize, add colour, stretch the truth
      pile it on, lay it on thick, lay it on with a shovel, lay it on with a trowel, blow something out of all proportion, make a drama out of a crisis, make a big thing of
      shoot a line
      draw the longbow
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  • move mountains

    • 1Achieve spectacular and apparently impossible results.

      • ‘‘Love can move mountains,’ sang the beautiful soloist and the choir.’
      • ‘If she can forgive me, then she can move mountains, and I mean this truly.’
      • ‘While much could be accomplished on a human level with the larger contributions, this woman exhibited the kind of trust in God that could move mountains.’
      • ‘Ideas move mountains, especially in turbulent times.’
      • ‘They were desperate and had very high expectations - and expectations can often move mountains.’
      • ‘It tells the story of how together Unions and parents with special needs children can move mountains.’
      • ‘We have faith in our chances, and faith can move mountains.’
      • ‘I see hip hop as a powerful genre of music that can positively and productively move mountains and make this world a better place to live in, if utilized correctly.’
      • ‘He provided the kind of leadership that moves mountains.’
      • ‘But he retained the Marxist belief in thinking big - and the confidence that if you are aligned with the forces of history, a handful of people can move mountains.’
      • ‘It was also a political movement of world significance which demonstrated that democratic and non-revolutionary political organization could move mountains.’
      • ‘Hence, I'd urge you to take a moment today to reflect not only on the glory of the Civil Rights movement, but also on the ability of a single soul with a potent dream to move mountains.’
      • ‘That, combined with faith, gives us the power to move mountains.’
      • ‘I believe if people work together, we could move mountains and we need a vision for the future.’
      • ‘Arnie believes the force of his personality can move mountains.’
      • ‘If faith can move mountains, what can it do for a club's Premiership prospects?’
      • ‘This is the kind of enthusiasm that moved mountains in postwar Europe and Japan.’
      • ‘He told me that love is powerful, peace and grace are necessary for salvation, faith can move mountains, and that patience and understanding are important tools in life.’
      • ‘Your determination might be able to move mountains, but it's totally acceptable to ask your friends for help when you need it.’
      • ‘There's a verse in the bible that says if anyone has faith the size of a mustard seed, he can move mountains.’
      perform miracles, do wonders, work wonders, achieve the impossible
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    • 2Make every possible effort.

      ‘his fans move mountains to catch as many of his performances as possible’
      • ‘Democratic presidential nominee candidate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts says he would move mountains to improve the economy if he were elected president.’
      • ‘We have moved mountains, working all over Christmas and the New Year.’
      • ‘David, look, let me just say it again: Had I known there was going to be an attack on America, I would have moved mountains to stop the attack.’
      • ‘If I could have shielded them from this hurt I would have moved mountains to do so.’
      • ‘There are many reasons why I retain a personal assistant, and this is one of the most important: I have moved mountains to engineer a lifestyle in which nobody expects much out of me before the hour of 11 a.m.’
      • ‘We will move mountains to try and ensure the medal comes back to Ballynahinch and not end up with some private collector.’
      • ‘But a Convention of Scottish Local Authorities spokesman added: ‘We have moved mountains to deliver on legislation.’’
      • ‘His supporters are moving mountains to allow him to enter the race.’
      • ‘Dr. Barry, who moves mountains for her patients, is doing all that one doctor can do.’
      make every effort, pull out all the stops, do one's best, do one's utmost
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Middle English: from Old French montaigne, based on Latin mons, mont- mountain.