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

Essential Meaning of big

1 : large in size a big house/room/field a big glass of soda See More ExamplesHe is a big [=tall and heavy] man. She moved to a bigger city. the biggest city in the state The tent is big enough for 10 people. [=there is enough space in the tent for 10 people] A great big [=very large, huge] truck pulled up beside us. I can't understand her writing; she uses too many big words. [=long words that many people don't know the meaning of]Hide
2 : large in number or amount He led a big group through the museum. She was earning big money [=a lot of money] as a lawyer.
3 : involving or including many people, things, etc. She works for a big company. He organized a big advertising campaign. We had a big fund-raiser for the school.

Full 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 Yes, there’s beer, but hardly enough to cause a big celebration. Phillip Valys,, 15 Sep. 2021 Rivas’ followed Wisdom’s homer in the fifth with the first of his big-league career, turning on a 1-0 inside fastball. Meghan Montemurro,, 15 Sep. 2021 Democrats are poised to overhaul the nation’s childcare system, with a big increase in government assistance for families, Sarah Wire reported. Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021 Some financial experts believe Price's decision was a big risk. CBS News, 15 Sep. 2021 Tens of millions of eligible Americans have so far refused to get the lifesaving shots, and a big chunk of them say they will not get inoculated. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 15 Sep. 2021 After decades of dragging their feet, big players in the American automotive industry are beginning to imagine a move away from vehicles built around fossil-fuel combustion. New York Times, 15 Sep. 2021 The researchers are currently exploring whether these slow waves can be harnessed to promote creative thinking, which might someday lead to big rewards for sleeping on the job. Karen Hopkin, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2021 The drawers are big enough to organize everything from clothes and blankets to socks and small accessories. Amy Schulman,, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Lions’ blockers were outstanding throughout the matchup, especially senior Sanaya Srivastava, who tallied six kills and came up big in several key moments. Jacob Calvin Meyer,, 14 Sep. 2021 The Umatilla defense came up big in the final 90 second. Buddy Collings,, 11 Sep. 2021 Jaskowski, a sophomore, came up big in his varsity debut. Steve Millar,, 24 Aug. 2021 But in the second half, as Buechele and the SMU offense began to piece together a rally, the defense stepped up big, including a lot of reserves who were forced into action after several starters fell to the ground with injuries. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 25 Oct. 2020 With Michael Thomas missing the past three games with an ankle sprain, Smith has stepped up big in his absence. Rod Walker,, 6 Oct. 2020 To successfully tackle record-setting swimming yardage, Ledecky leans big on recovery. Johanna Gretsche, SELF, 18 Aug. 2021 The drama is played up big in this exclusive trailer teasing the Gold Rush spinoff called Winter's Fortune. Lynette Rice,, 29 July 2021 My son is a sensitive boy, red-haired and big-cheeked. Curtis Sittenfeld, The Atlantic, 16 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There should be natural evolution from Devin Booker and Cameron Payne, and the Suns added a rim-protecting backup big in JaVale McGee. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 18 Aug. 2021 Jackson's ability to run the floor alone separates him from every big on the Pacers' roster. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Aug. 2021 Honestly, though, this shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise to most fans. Kelly Schremph,, 13 Aug. 2021 This gives the Cavs their rim-protecting big who is a solid pick-and-roll player with an improving offensive game. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2021 On offense, Mobley is a big who has a guard’s handle, passes the ball well and is a decent short to midrange shooter. cleveland, 1 Aug. 2021 The All-Star big had back-to-back 34-point games in those wins, but hyperextended his left knee after landing awkwardly following a chasedown block on Booker in Game 3. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 31 July 2021 DeRozan made $27 million last season and probably doesn’t want to take that big of a pay cut. Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2021 With Jones, the Hornets are getting an athletic big who can create his own offense and potentially guard multiple positions on the other end of the floor. Dallas News, 30 July 2021

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

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for big


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers


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