big brother

noun

Definition of big brother

1 : an older brother
2 : a man who serves as a companion, father figure, and role model for a boy

3 capitalized both Bs [ Big Brother, personification of the power of the state in 1984 (1949) by George Orwell ]

a : the leader of an authoritarian state or movement
b : an all-powerful government or organization monitoring and directing people's actions

Examples of big brother in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This week: Friday vs. Loveland No better way to catch the Power 20 committee’s attention than with a dominating Mayor’s Cup victory over your 5A big brother to the east. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "Colorado Prep Football Power 20, Week 2: Going the distance with Valor Christian," 5 Sep. 2019 There are also warnings for speed zones and safety (big brother) cameras. Jon L. Jacobi, PCWorld, "Thinkware X700 dash cam review: Classy design with a few missing pieces," 2 Sep. 2019 It’s very much a ‘big brother-little brother’ relationship [between us]. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "How Spider-Man: Far From Home's Mysterio Stacks Up To The One In The Comics," 5 July 2019 Making the family a foursome, Liv joins her parents and proud big brother Caiden Zane, whom the couple welcomed on June 8, 2017. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Ryan Lochte and Wife Kayla Rae Reid Welcome Daughter Liv Rae: 'She Is Perfect'," 17 June 2019 Still, even if both sides agreed on comfortable positioning, the complications of organizing a combined weekend stretch beyond big brother-little brother perceptions. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Mark Miles: IndyCar-NASCAR doubleheader a ‘longshot’," 6 June 2019 The Regents are on the ascent, and one big reason is that younger brothers are following their big brothers to Reseda. Los Angeles Times, "Reseda football’s ascent is helped by family loyalty," 8 Aug. 2019 In 2008, Anne Pinkerton, 46, learned her big brother died during a rock-climbing accident. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Here's When It's Time to See Someone About Your Grief," 2 Aug. 2019 How did a historically barren franchise, the Clippers, steal the offseason from their marquee-name big brother? Jack Mccallum, SI.com, "A Clippers Summer: How L.A.’s ‘Other’ Team Stole the NBA Offseason," 9 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big brother.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of big brother

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for big brother

The first known use of big brother was in 1809

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