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massif

[ma-seef, mas-if; French ma-seef] /mæˈsif, ˈmæs ɪf; French maˈsif/
noun
1.
a compact portion of a mountain range, containing one or more summits.
2.
a large elevated block of old complex rocks resistant to both erosion and crustal folding.
3.
a band or zone of the earth's crust raised or depressed as a unit and bounded by faults.
Origin
1515-1525
1515-25; < French, noun use of massif massive
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for massif

massif

/ˈmæsiːf; French masif/
noun
1.
a geologically distinct mass of rock or a series of connected masses forming the peaks of a mountain range
2.
a topographically high part of the earth's crust that is bounded by faults and may be shifted by tectonic movements
Word Origin
C19: from French, noun use of massifmassive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for massif
n.

"cluster of hills," 1520s, from French massif (see massive), here used as a noun in French; e.g. the Massif Central, name of the plateau in the middle of southern France.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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massif in Science
massif
  (mā-sēf')   
A large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. A massif often consists of rocks that are more rigid than the surrounding rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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