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

Definition of big

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a obsolete : of great strength Sir Launcelot was big and strong again.— Thomas Malory
b : of great force a big storm
2a : 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
3a : 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
4a : chief, preeminent the big issue of the campaign
b : outstandingly worthy or able a truly big man
c : of great importance or significance the big moment
d : imposing, pretentious using big words also : marked by or given to boasting big talk
e : magnanimous, generous was big about it
5 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
6a : 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
7 : popular soft drinks are very big in Mexico— Russ Leadabrand
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)

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


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.


He talks big about his plans, but he hasn't done much yet.


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

Young’s images offer an insider’s view on the big event: Final fittings for the Met started on Thursday this year because Nina Dobrev had a crazy wedding and bachelorette weekend. Kate Young, Vogue, "Inside Stylist Kate Young’s Star-Studded Met Gala Prep," 10 May 2019 But one of the biggest pregnancy and childbirth changes impacts an area that’s impossible to see from the outside: the pelvic floor. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "What to Know About Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Your Pelvic Floor," 10 May 2019 Surveys indicate the price of an item is the biggest reason shoppers buy online with a particular merchant, Forrester’s Ms. Kodali said. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Retailers Are Warned to Step Slowly Into One-Day Shipping," 10 May 2019 On her social media accounts today, Kloss shared her and Kushner's slip-ups on the way to the big event. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Karlie Kloss and Josh Kushner's Met Gala Looks Almost Didn't Happen," 6 May 2019 The biggest: Saving passwords in your browser (36 percent), closely followed by synchronizing as many devices as possible over the Internet (35 percent). Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "5 alarming facts in honor of World Password Day," 2 May 2019 While socio-economic status is definitely a big part of what makes a place a food desert to begin with, there are other factors that go into it as well. Jessica Booth, Redbook, "Everything You Need To Know About Food Deserts," 29 Apr. 2019 Or some movie set, a big expansive Out of Africa kind of thing. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "Designers Reveal Their Unexpected Sources for Decorating Inspo," 12 Apr. 2019 And the change in season is calling for a ground-shifting beauty reinvention that’s bigger than lipstick. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "The Best Brows for Your Hair Color: From Bleached to Black," 5 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Norwegian Cruise Line is going big in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Norwegian Epic to become largest cruise ship sailing from San Juan," 23 Jan. 2018 The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston, HoustonTexas knows how to go big: This 38-floor hotel has seven restaurants, a three-story glass lobby, and 250 rooms with chandeliers in their marble bathrooms. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hotel Report: Where Our Editors Are Staying Now," 17 Oct. 2018 Those four big busy drugstores, last year, according to the DEA wrote 1.3 million prescriptions, 1.3 million pills, opioid pills were prescribed by those four drugstores in that tiny town of Celina, Tennessee. Fox News, "The life and legacy of Sen. John McCain," 28 Aug. 2018 To adapt, Riggio said that Barnes & Noble would close big, underperforming stores and open smaller ones in more highly trafficked areas. Tiffany Hsu, The Seattle Times, "Barnes & Noble struggles to survive; founder is confident of turnaround," 28 Aug. 2018 The medical device sector did not take as big a hit as anticipated from the Trump Administration's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods that went into effect Friday, part of President Trump's plan to equalize global trade polices. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Pacemakers, ultrasound gear costs could rise from China trade tariffs," 7 July 2018 Syrkin came up big all season, with the Rose Bowl Aquatics product winning the 50 free (21:59) and 100 butterfly (51.31) in the team’s matchup at defending two-time Rio Hondo League champion San Marino on April 5. Andrew J. Campa,, "All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year: Syrkin uses setback to fuel monster season," 14 June 2018 Smith was the No. 2 pitcher for the Eagles this year but came up big in the clutch several times in the postseason. James Weber,, "Notre Dame grad Haylee Smith helps University of Southern Indiana to national title," 22 June 2018 Fowler came up big in the Jaguars’ playoff run last season, sacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady twice. Brad Biggs,, "Bears Q&A: Could Bears trade for Jaguars' Dante Fowler? Will any Bears make the Pro Bowl this year?," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Current bigs Milwaukee's trio of bigs, John Henson, Thon Maker and Tyler Zeller, are all under contract for next season. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee needs a physical presence inside, but this draft may not be the place to find it," 17 June 2018 Since 2015, Divac has drafted at least one big in each draft. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Kings expected to draft Marvin Bagley, sources say. Here's why they like him at No. 2," 21 June 2018 Expect some lobs from one big to another, along with some heady high-low feeds after forcing the defense to commit. Rob Mahoney,, "How Will Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond Fit Together in Detroit?," 1 Feb. 2018 This upcoming week feels like the last big back to school push from retailers. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "Discounted MacBook Pros, Amazon devices, and a GTX 1080 Ti bundle are this week’s best deals," 18 Aug. 2018 Republicans have one big, winning story to tell—if the fun-house mirrors don’t crack in the next three months. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "The GOP’s Hall of Mirrors," 1 Aug. 2018 Largely Google, Amazon, Facebook, all the bigs were not listening in on you per se? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Your phone is not secretly spying on your conversations. It doesn’t need to.," 20 July 2018 What if that’s the reason the good young bigs such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid and DeMarcus Cousins haven’t established themselves in the playoffs? Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: The talk is Deandre Ayton, but what if Luka Doncic is the guy?," 9 June 2018 Their problem in Game 1 was their inability to deal with JJ Redick’s frenetic off-the-ball movement and the screens that the Sixers bigs were setting. David Murphy,, "Three thoughts on Sixers-Heat, Game 2 | David Murphy," 16 Apr. 2018

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 1a


1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big

Spanish Central: Translation of big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers

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