big

adjective
\ 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

big

adverb

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

big

noun

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

Adjective

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

If your period clots are bigger than a quarter, see your doctor. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s When to See a Doctor About Period Clots," 1 Mar. 2019 Cities big and small alike submitted their proposals. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Timeline of Amazon's "HQ2," From the First Announcement to a Failed Campus in New York City," 14 Feb. 2019 As Matthews previously explained, this is a big issue. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 There’s so much to find in this big city—and so much to lose. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "As Frieze Los Angeles Opens, Three Young California Artists Are Reinventing What Figurative Painting Can Be," 15 Feb. 2019 Young people fled farms and small towns to live in big cities and work in factories, restaurants, and bars. Dean Peterson, Vox, "How the economy shapes our love lives," 13 Feb. 2019 Also, for anyone living in a big city with a small apartment, the twin bed that the ottoman transforms into is a much better option for out-of-town guests than an air mattress or the couch. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Believe It: This Small Ottoman Turns Into A Sofa Bed," 25 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile, shares of department stores and big-box retailers tumbled after data from the Commerce Department showed retail sales declined in December at the fastest pace since 2009. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Dow Slips After Disappointing Retail Sales," 14 Feb. 2019 The first big purchase was that sofa in the living room; the chocolate leather reminded me of a baseball mitt—which was perfect, because Michael is such a Dodgers fan. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Dream House on the Malibu Coast with Breathtaking Views," 12 Feb. 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, latimes.com, "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, Cincinnati.com, "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, chicagotribune.com, "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

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, Philly.com, "Three thoughts on Sixers-Heat, Game 2 | David Murphy," 16 Apr. 2018 Today, huge numbers of frames sit unsold because traditional production entails big runs, while 3-D printing doesn’t. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "Design Your Frames: 3-D Printing Comes to Eyewear," 11 Nov. 2018 Bad games for the young bigs Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles had problems on offense against the Warriors. Jason Jones, sacbee, "How the Kings' Justin Jackson stood out in a California Classic loss to the Warriors," 3 July 2018 At the moment, Jackson is a rim-running big who can occasionally pop out to attempt a three - which is fine - but with more reps, Jackson might transform into a stretch-five and true mismatch nightmare. Matthew Giles, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

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

big

adjective

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.

big

adverb

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

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

big

adjective
\ 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

Comments on big

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