\ ˈbig How to pronounce big (audio) \
bigger; biggest

Definition of big

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : large or great in dimensions, bulk, or extent a big house also : large or great in quantity, number, or amount a big fleet
b : operating on a large scale big government
c of a letter : capital sense 1
2a : filled with or characterized by enthusiasm and interest I'm a big fan of soy foods but urge you to choose them wisely.— Andrew Weil : active and enthusiastic My mother is a big baker, and so was my grandmother …— Melissa Parks I'm not a big shopper, so for me to actually like a store is really saying something.— Matt Cameron
b : expressed in an enthusiastic or unrestrained way : hearty greeted me with a big hug
3a : chief, preeminent the big issue of the campaign
b : of great importance or significance the big moment
c : magnanimous, generous was big about it
d : outstandingly worthy or able a truly big man
e : imposing, pretentious using big words also : marked by or given to boasting big talk
4 informal : more advanced in age : older my big brother : more mature His teachers all told me he was excited about riding the bus, feeling like a big boy now.— Laurie Frey
5 : popular soft drinks are very big in Mexico— Russ Leadabrand
6a : of great force a big storm
b obsolete : of great strength Sir Launcelot was big and strong again.— Thomas Malory
7a : pregnant especially : nearly ready to give birth big with child
b : full to bursting : swelling big with rage
c of the voice : full and resonant
8 : full-bodied and flavorful used of wine
big on
: strongly favoring or liking also : noted for she is big on blushing — Arnold Hano



Definition of big (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : to a large amount or extent won big
b : on a large scale think big
2 : in a loud or declamatory manner also : in a boasting manner talk big
3 : hard hits her forehand big



Definition of big (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an individual or organization of outstanding importance or power especially : major league usually used in plural playing in the bigs
2 basketball, informal : a big player : a center or forward whose large size and strength are used to control play near the basket But, the problem is that you MUST have guards. You can't play five bigs.— Martin Manley

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Other Words from big


bigly adverb
bigness noun

Examples of big in a Sentence

Adjective a big glass of soda She moved to a bigger city. the biggest city in the state He led a big group through the museum. She works for a big company. He organized a big advertising campaign. We had a big fund-raiser for the school. Adverb He talks big about his plans, but he hasn't done much yet. Noun with that new promotion he's now one of the bigs in the company when a candidate is running for president, he's playing in the bigs and cannot afford to make major mistakes
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With the latest version of Buick's supercharged 3800 V-6 developing 225 horsepower, this big coupe can blast to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 15.6 seconds at 90 mph. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1995 Buick Riviera Goes beyond Bold Design," 23 Feb. 2021 But even among the 3,550 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena, Fudd was reminded that this is what lies ahead for her: big road games airing on ESPN, dogfights against tough opponents and playing good, meaningful basketball in front of thousands of fans. Alexa Philippou,, "UConn’s Paige Bueckers has taken the college basketball world by storm; just wait until best friend Azzi Fudd joins her next season," 23 Feb. 2021 And since EA Sports made its big reveal, the group is taking its job even more seriously to help satisfy fans' cravings for the new game. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, "How hardcore 'NCAA Football 14' fans have kept popular series alive eight years after last release," 23 Feb. 2021 There’s big fish magic in the waters of Tennessee’s Cherokee Lake, where yet another astonishing American paddlefish has been caught from the deep, clear reservoir. Alan Clemons, Outdoor Life, "Video: Potential Record Paddlefish Caught (And Released)," 23 Feb. 2021 However, DaBaby took to Twitter to respond to the criticism, and tried to explain why the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. Natalie Morin,, "Why Do People Think DaBaby & JoJo Siwa Have Beef?," 23 Feb. 2021 San Francisco, even as rents decrease, remains the nation’s costliest big city. Los Angeles Times, "Cheaper rent in San Francisco? For some Oakland tenants, the city across the Bay is more affordable now," 22 Feb. 2021 Madigan is still chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, the last of the old-time Democratic ward bosses, part of the big-city Irish political tradition in America. John Kass,, "Column: With Madigan gone, can Illinois afford a Munchkin moment?," 20 Feb. 2021 Sixty percent of those prisoners were from Philadelphia, the nation’s poorest big city, the overwhelming majority of them Black. Author: Karen Heller, Anchorage Daily News, "After 68 years behind bars, the nation’s longest-serving juvenile lifer embraces freedom," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Some business leaders agree with the need to think big now. Matt Egan, CNN, "Joe Biden wants to avoid the Obama era's biggest economic mistake. Congress may not let him," 20 Jan. 2021 Now reality is catching up to the big-dreaming emirate. Isabel Debre,, "Dubai, party haven amid pandemic, faces its biggest surge," 19 Jan. 2021 Weakening Trumpsters might turn their natural attention to a big-talking, hot-dogging Karl Rovian in Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: After the Trump horror," 10 Jan. 2021 Takeout isn’t easy for his restaurant, which serves up big, steaming pots of hot soup. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Every day we pray’: Anchorage restaurants brace for a hard winter and the possibility of another shutdown," 20 Nov. 2020 For spring, many designers who were physically constrained by COVID restrictions dreamed big; some did so quite literally. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Princess Dressing: 13 Diana-Worthy Spring Looks for Fans of The Crown," 14 Nov. 2020 Ballot measures to remove or to relax drug restrictions won big on Tuesday. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Drug legalization wins major ballot measure victories," 4 Nov. 2020 The Browns defense came up big here, stopping Raiders running back Josh Jacobs short of the goal line. cleveland, "See the best photos from every Cleveland Browns game in this remarkable 2020-21 season," 15 Jan. 2021 Browns defensive end Myles Garrett came up big on a crucial third down, tackling Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and forcing him into an incomplete pass. cleveland, "Baker Mayfield, COVID-19-ravaged Browns miss securing a playoff spot with 23-16 loss to Jets, but can clinch next week," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Is there that big of a difference between an apple and an onion, anyway? Emma Allen, The New Yorker, "A Sampling of the Best Shouts of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 Got an experienced winner who plays physical and tough, guards who can get buckets and backup big who'll be forced to compete to survive in this competitive environment. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "No excuses: Time for Devin Booker to lead Phoenix Suns back to playoffs," 27 Nov. 2020 The Blazers, expected to let Hassan Whiteside walk, need another reliable big to back up and/or push the inconsistent Zach Collins. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Will the Timberwolves take LaMelo Ball at No. 1?," 17 Nov. 2020 From: Maryland If the Pelicans decide to draft a big in the lottery, Smith is a name to watch. Christian Clark,, "9 players the Pelicans could target with their first-round picks," 17 Nov. 2020 At 31 years old, Koufos still looks capable of being a low-block big who does all the dirty work inside -- protecting the paint, bodying centers, setting screens and rebounding. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Kosta Koufos, former Ohio State Buckeye and GlenOak star, looking to make NBA comeback," 14 Nov. 2020 Mayor Libby Schaaf also chimed in a celebratory statement and a big of bragging. Jill Tucker,, "Street celebrations in Bay Area as Biden wins presidency. ‘Our long national nightmare is over’," 7 Nov. 2020 Toppin gives the Bulls a do-it-all offensive big, a player with a lot of bounce to catch lobs while still having great touch from outside the three-point line. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Questions surround Warriors and LaMelo Ball," 6 Nov. 2020 Toppin is a screen-and-roll big who has shown the ability to pop out to the 3-point line. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers to work out Obi Toppin, other top prospects this week, sources say," 26 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big.' 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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6b


1568, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for big

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect bugge important man

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Time Traveler for big

Time Traveler

The first known use of big was in the 14th century

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Statistics for big

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for big



English Language Learners Definition of big

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: large in size
: large in number or amount
: involving or including many people, things, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of big (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a big way
: in a way that is meant to impress people


\ ˈbig How to pronounce big (audio) \
bigger; biggest

Kids Definition of big

1 : large in size a big house a big man
2 : large in number or amount a big group
3 : of great importance big news
4 : of great strength or force a big storm

Other Words from big

bigness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on big

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers

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