big top


Definition of big top

1 : the main tent of a circus

Examples of big top in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When the big top burned that day, killing 168 in one of the nation’s worst mass casualty disasters, 6-year-old Raymond somehow escaped. Dave Altimari,, "In the chaos of the Hartford circus fire, a 6-year-old boy disappeared; now, 75 years later, his family wants to find out what happened to him," 7 July 2019 The newest post on the company blog is all about the Pixel 4's big top bezel and the tech goodies contained within. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google announces the Pixel 4 will have FaceID, radar-powered gestures," 29 July 2019 An estimated 7,000 people were attending the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1944 when the big top caught fire. USA TODAY, "Women in baseball, Lynyrd Skynyrd, circus fire: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 But joy turned to terror 40 minutes after the matinee started, when the big top on Barbour Street flared into a scene of confusion and horror, filled with the unreal screams of burning men, women and children. Mark Mirko,, "Interactive map: How the Hartford circus fire started, spread and was seen through the eyes of those who were there," 27 June 2019 Some of the holographic acts replicate traditional circus fare, like the performing elephant and an ethereal ring of horses that gallops around the big top. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A German Circus Uses Stunning Holograms Instead of Live Animal Performers," 7 June 2019 Worse, Gilead’s big top line means that developing new drugs big enough to meaningfully boost sales has gotten tougher. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Gilead Looks Outside to Revive Growth," 10 Dec. 2018 As Lauren Young reported for last year, Milner has launched a three-year project to digitize more than 300 historic circus route books, which recorded performance details and personal anecdotes about life beneath the big top. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "250,000 Circus Items Donated to Illinois State University," 8 Jan. 2018 So, how can young people now dream of running away to a life under the big top? CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (June 17)," 14 June 2018

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

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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The first known use of big top was in 1763

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More Definitions for big top

big top


English Language Learners Definition of big top

: a large circus tent

More from Merriam-Webster on big top

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big top Encyclopedia article about big top

Comments on big top

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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