Definition of critical mass in English:

critical mass


  • 1Physics
    The minimum amount of fissile material needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its main task is the enrichment of uranium, which provides critical mass in nuclear devices.’
    • ‘As the seventh bucket was poured in the mixture reached critical mass initiating a sustained chain reaction.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Perhaps a piecemeal approach prevents many interventions from reaching the required critical mass.’
    • ‘The shorter the time you need to reach that critical mass of users, the sooner your site pays off.’
    • ‘Have you reached a critical mass that creates a marketing momentum of its own?’
    • ‘There's a lot of good stuff, but it just hasn't reached a critical mass where it will establish itself in the marketplace.’
    • ‘Any good movement requires a critical mass.’
    • ‘It has a roadmap to integrate these to produce something cheaper and smaller, but that first requires a critical mass to justify the investment of course.’
    • ‘Until it reaches the critical mass it's aiming for, it won't take the risk of participating in government down here.’
    • ‘To reach a critical mass, we need to take a stand, and we need to awaken our neighbours, our parents, our friends.’
    • ‘Only then did it make the transition from great technology to great technology with a critical mass of users.’
    • ‘Some technologies reach a critical mass of adoption in a short period of time and are great market successes.’
    • ‘That means that once they reach critical mass, their profit margins fatten as revenues grow.’
    • ‘This is even more reason to ensure we create a critical mass in the market place.’
    • ‘It's been a long time coming, but it seems like the British blogging scene is finally starting to reach critical mass.’
    • ‘Some of our new industries are now reaching critical mass - big enough to matter in the real world.’
    • ‘We had to dominate the top markets to create a critical mass for marketing and achieve economies of scale in advertising.’
    • ‘As long as you have less than the critical mass of material, nothing happens.’
    • ‘Taken together, the surveys point to the need for critical masses to be present in order for development to proceed.’


critical mass

/ˈˌkrɪdəkəl ˈmæs/