\ ˈbig-ˌtīm How to pronounce big-time (audio) \

Definition of big-time

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: relating to or involved in the big time big-time sports also : major sense 4 big-time operators



Definition of big-time (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a major or large-scale way the new show bombed big-time also : to a great extent or degree owes me big-time

big time

\ -ˌtīm How to pronounce big time (audio) \

Definition of big time (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a high-paying vaudeville circuit requiring only two performances a day
2 : the top rank of an activity or enterprise

Other Words from big-time


big-timer \ ˈbig-​ˌtī-​mər How to pronounce big time (audio) \ noun

Examples of big-time in a Sentence

Noun the young ad execs knew that their agency had hit the big time when major corporations came calling
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Suburban women got Youngkin over the finish line, big time. Richard Galant, CNN, 7 Nov. 2021 Cleveland will be missing much of its weaponry and DPJ has stepped up big time the last two games. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Oct. 2021 Though Bakkt’s shifted sharply from its original course, Sprecher’s foray into Bitcoin has already paid off big time. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2021 But chief executive Yogesh Gupta believes showing up in person can pay off, big time., 27 Sep. 2021 Alabama commit Last week: After a season-low five yards in Geneva County’s loss to Ariton last week when the Bulldogs were missing a dozen players due to COVID-19 protocols, Henderson rebounded big time in a 49-6 win over Abbeville. Ben Thomas |, al, 23 Sep. 2021 This move paid off big time with Mitchell putting up the best career debut for a 49ers running back in history. Vincent Frank, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 At North Texas, that balance paid off big time in 2018. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 In rare cases, such pitches have paid off big time. Jason Zweig, WSJ, 30 July 2021

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


1910, in the meaning defined above


1957, in the meaning defined above


1910, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of big-time was in 1910

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Cite this Entry

“Big-time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of big-time

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or involved in the highest or most successful level of an activity



English Language Learners Definition of big-time (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a big way : very much or very badly


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