Definition of Big Bertha
1 : a German gun of large bore or of long range used in World War I
2a : something large or cumbersome of its kind —used especially of machines or tools b : something effective at long range —used especially of cameras and photographic lenses
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of big bertha
approximate translation of German dicke Bertha, literally, fat Bertha, after Frau Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach †1957 proprietress of the Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, where during the First World War a particularly celebrated and effective 42-centimeter mortar was made
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Big Bertha? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).