General English

General Science

  • noun a natural structure of rock rising very high above the surrounding land surface


  • noun a surplus or large amount of something, especially something that is being stored


  • noun a mass of rock rising above ground level, higher than a hill


  • noun an area of very high land that often rises steeply to a sharp peak


Origin & History of “mountain”

Latin mōns ‘mountain’ could well go back ultimately to a variant of the base *min- ‘jut’ which produced English eminent, imminent, menace, and prominent. English acquired it originally direct from Latin as a noun, mount (OE), which is now used only in the names of mountains. The verb mount followed in the 14th century, via Old French munter. Latin mōns had a derived adjective montānus ‘mountainous’, which was adapted in vulgar Latin to the noun *montānea ‘mountainous area’. this made its way into Old French as montaigne, by which time it meant simply ‘mountain’ – whence English mountain.

Amount (13th c.) comes ultimately from the Latin phrase ad montem ‘to the mountain’, hence ‘upwards’; and paramount (16th c.) in turn derives from an Old French phrase par amont ‘by above’, hence ‘superior’.