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

Their visit was similar to a trip Harry’s big brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, took after they were named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Harry and Meghan’s Trip to Sussex Compared to William and Kate’s Trip to Cambridge," 3 Oct. 2018 That said, there is still a lot to do before this type of qubit catches up with its big brothers and sisters. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 Justin seems to be a great big brother to his three siblings and, for that reason, would make an awesome dad. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "All the Signs That Hailey Baldwin is Pregnant with Justin Bieber’s Baby," 25 Mar. 2019 There's the kid who's absolutely thrilled to be a big brother or sister, and then there's the kid who wants nothing less than to share their parents' love with another human. Emma Baty, Redbook, "This Little Boy's Honest Reaction to Finding Out He Was Going to Be a Big Brother Is Hilarious," 31 May 2017 The Yeti Nano outputs 24-bit 48kHz audio and, like its big brother, doesn’t rely on digital signal processing (DSP). Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the home and home office," 19 Nov. 2018 Middleton and Prince William posted a similar photo of big brother Prince George with Charlotte when she was just born., "The First Photos Of Prince Louis Are Here — & Kate Took Them," 6 May 2018 Darling round-faced Kabir is 7 or 8, and his big brother Aryan is on the cusp of adolescence, the two of them crossing perilously from Turkey into Greece. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Review: ‘Flight’ Has No Live Actors. But Its Story of Two Afghan Boys Feels So Real.," 12 Feb. 2018 Its big brother, the Kalk OR, released last year, runs about $13,000 and has an estimated top speed of 46 mph. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "This Swedish E-Motorbike Is Boxy, Beautiful, and Badass," 8 Feb. 2019

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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Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for big brother

The first known use of big brother was in 1809

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a strong desire or propensity

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