Definition of critical mass in English:

critical mass

Syllabification: crit·i·cal mass


  • 1 Physics The minimum amount of fissile material needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction.
    More example sentences
    • Just two months earlier, the Observer published internal documents indicating that there had been eight breaches of safety rules intended to prevent critical masses of fissile material being brought together.
    • Its basic principle is assembling a critical mass of a radioactive element with properties to spark a swift chain reaction.
    • Such explosions are caused by the accumulation of a critical mass of material falling onto the neutron star from a partner.
  • 2The minimum size or amount of something required to start or maintain a venture: a communication system is of no value unless there is a critical mass of users
    More example sentences
    • The multicultural marketplace has reached critical mass, and it requires a new approach.
    • But until the market reaches a critical mass, dealers have to turn to other revenue streams to keep going.
    • Stephens said the company is talking to a number of larger domain name registrars about using their services as a channel to reach the required critical mass of customers.

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Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea