big brother


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 Like its big brother in the Sonos Move, the Roam is unique among portable speakers thanks to its ability to connect to both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "The Sonos Roam is a great portable speaker with serious smarts," 6 Apr. 2021 Don’t even know what to say... someone who has been a big brother to me for the whole past year. CBS News, "Grand Canyon basketball player Oscar Frayer killed in car crash three days after playing in NCAA tournament," 26 Mar. 2021 Of course, royal watchers are already familiar with Archie, the soon-to-be big brother, and Prince Harry's brother William has three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and little Prince Louis. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Charles and Camilla Are "Delighted" About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Pregnancy," 14 Feb. 2021 This is baby no. 2 for the couple, whose son Arthur, born on October 15, 2018, just became a big brother. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "Pippa Middleton Welcomes a Baby Girl — and Her Name Has Special Connection to the Queen," 15 Mar. 2021 Ferguson said at the time that Beckett might be a big brother soon enough. Nicholas Rice,, "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Jokes That He's Raising His Son 'Gay Until He Decides He's Straight'," 9 Mar. 2021 Archie will celebrate his second birthday in May—and will soon become a big brother, as Harry and Meghan are expecting their second child. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Archie Enjoys Bike Rides with Prince Harry—and He Has a Surprising Favorite Word," 8 Mar. 2021 He's got a big brother to look up to, and he's been around the game. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers add two prospects to camp; spring debut set for Franklin Perez," 8 Mar. 2021 Because McCormick’s birth father was in his life, Drayton was more like a big brother to McCormick. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Who is Paul Drayton? It’s about time many of us find out. Think 1964 Olympics! – Terry Pluto," 28 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for big brother

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The first known use of big brother was in 1809

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Statistics for big brother

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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