big government

variants: or Big Government

Definition of big government

chiefly US
: government that is regarded as infringing upon the rights of individual citizens because of its extensive bureaucracy and intrusive regulations and policies Big government, in the minds of many Americans, had become the problem, not the solution.— Tom Morganthau Especially coming from a Republican, the Hyde proposals smack uncharacteristically of Big Government, critics say.— John Cloud

Examples of big government in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Conservative, pro-growth candidates trounced traditional liberal, big government Democrats. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Surprise blowout victories cheer Trump, no impact from virus, 2018 hangover," 13 May 2020 The agencies in these states — from the smallest municipal bodies to the biggest government entities — now can hold meetings remotely. Jessica Priest, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus fears pit public safety against government transparency across the U.S.," 9 Apr. 2020 Back then, Republicans opposed bigger government handouts to groups hurt by tariffs, while Democrats supported them. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Will the Real ‘Decade from Hell’ Please Stand Up?," 26 Nov. 2019 The ideas for the big government programs that became the New Deal had been bouncing around U.S. politics for years before Franklin Roosevelt became president, says Margaret O’Mara, a professor of history at the University of Washington in Seattle. Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor, "How coronavirus will change the US, from where we live to the way we connect," 28 Apr. 2020 Now The fallout of the coronavirus, that is, could make the American right embrace big government and deficit spending more openly than ever before, however haphazard its approach. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Political Realignment From Hell," 11 Mar. 2020 Some analysts and historians think the current coronavirus crisis could fuel a new era of big government in which public officials control more of the levers of the economy, for better or for worse. WSJ, "Coronavirus Updates: Nearly 1.9 Million People Have Been Infected," 13 Apr. 2020 That means the delta’s two big government pumping operations will likely adhere to different environmental standards — possibly allowing the federal project to boost deliveries at the expense of the state project. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, "The state’s new delta water rules don’t end conflict with Washington," 31 Mar. 2020 And in fact, many of the features of big government (19th-century style) fell away before long. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big government.' 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 government

1925, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of big government was in 1925

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Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Big government.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for big government

big government


English Language Learners Definition of big government

US : government that has too much influence and power over citizens

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