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

Many of today’s boldest thinkers across the ideological spectrum think the economy’s most serious malady isn’t inequality, populism or big government: it’s monopoly. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Demolishing Monopoly From Below: How Two Radicals Would Remake Markets," 13 June 2018 The lessons of Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 and the backlash against Barack Obama’s attempts to fix health care seemed to be that the country is as hostile to big government as ever. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Twenty years ago a Democratic president declared that the era of big government was over. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Sanders, who may run again in 2020, has championed a big government agenda, including Medicare for all and free college. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Moderate Democrats push back against "wild-eyed" leftward lurch of the party," 12 July 2018 The problem with the Bush administration, by his diagnosis, was not a neglect of middle-class interests in favor of laissez-faire but an excessive indulgence of big government, and insufficient devotion to dismantling the welfare state. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Paul Ryan paved the way for Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party," 11 Apr. 2018 Small government is more popular than big government in theory, but voters do not like spending cuts. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Broadly speaking, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against big government, but many of its initiatives target public transit. Hiroko Tabuchi, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Koch brothers are killing public transit projects around the country," 19 June 2018 Thanks to big government overreach, there are so many rules and regulations in the United States, all Americans have probably, accidentally violated at least one. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Pardons Dinesh D’Souza, in Triumph for Social Justice," 31 May 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

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The first known use of big government was in 1925

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