big one


Definition of big one

1 informal : a thousand dollars The house in the background, we bought it for 70 grand in 1967, it would go for two hundred big ones now, easy …— John Updike
2 informal : an extravagant lie : whopper Talking about lying, I thought, I had just told a big one.— Elizabeth Chandler
3 the big one or less commonly the Big One : an extremely large and destructive earthquake … the prediction that the Big One may come in December is triggering tremors up and down the Mississippi Valley.— Michael J. McCarthy

Examples of big one in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What’s different in 2018 is that most of the smaller Oscar contenders — and even some of the bigger ones — have found tough rows to hoe at the box office. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "It looks like the Oscars are going to nominate a bunch of big hits for Best Picture," 30 Nov. 2018 The group is removing mainly small-diameter trees as opposed to the big ones favored in the past by commercial timber operations on federal land. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "Facing Deadlier Fires, California Tries Something New: More Logging," 17 Nov. 2018 Is that most of the big ones or what’s the ... how does that work? Eric Johnson, Recode, "The tech industry needs to reckon with the dark side of advertising, WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg says," 2 Aug. 2018 But if the Trump administration decides to let Russia slide on this latest move, experts warn that Sunday’s skirmish may be the beginning of a whole new phase in the Russia-Ukraine war — and perhaps an even bigger one. Alex Ward, Vox, "Russia just openly attacked Ukraine. That could mean their war will get worse.," 26 Nov. 2018 In this case, the biggest one comes right at the top: after getting thrown off a horse, impaled by rebar, and cornered by two hordes of zombies, Rick manages to escape! Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead has condemned itself for all time," 5 Nov. 2018 Is the big one about to blow, blanketing the U.S. with ash and sending the Earth into a volcanic ice age? Fox News, "Quakes and eruptions spark talks of Yellowstone supervolcano," 2 Oct. 2018 An even bigger one was reserved for the first glimpse of Mohamed Salah. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Real Madrid Beats Liverpool in Champions League Final on a Wonder and Two Blunders," 27 May 2018 After a few years at the Fashion Center, NCL members set their sights on another shopping mall, an even bigger one. Katherine Yamada,, "Verdugo Views: National Charity League’s car shows were a sight to behold," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big one.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of big one

circa 1863, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about big one

Statistics for big one

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for big one

The first known use of big one was circa 1863

See more words from the same year

Comments on big one

What made you want to look up big one? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!