big brother


: an older brother
: a man who serves as a companion, father figure, and role model for a boy
Big Brother [Big Brother, personification of the power of the state in 1984 (1949) by George Orwell]
: the leader of an authoritarian state or movement
: an all-powerful government or organization monitoring and directing people's actions

Examples of big brother in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Who won the Power of Veto on 'Big Brother'? Spoiler alert! David Wysong, The Enquirer, 7 Sep. 2023 The baby girl, named Alix, joins big sister Anna-Astrid, born in May 2016, and big brother Maximilian, born in September 2019. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 5 Sep. 2023 At the end of Saturday’s service, Clay Buchanan’s younger brother, Chris Buchanan, said his big brother meant everything to him, so much so that Chris’ son bears both their names, Chris Clay Buchanan. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2023 Despite the communist affinity with its big brother to the north, Vietnam has been motivated to find new partners due to Beijing’s aggressive activity over the past decade. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023 Is there anything sweeter than big brothers and sisters meeting their baby siblings for the first time? Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 27 Aug. 2023 With streaming, availability is out of one’s control and movie-watching becomes an activity conducted under the aegis of a big brother, however well-meaning. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 Aug. 2023 Cora sees himself as a big brother who will dispense advice when needed. Peter Abraham,, 25 Aug. 2023 The new addition joins big brother, RZA, who was born in May 2022. USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'big brother.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of big brother was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near big brother

Cite this Entry

“Big brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

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