\ 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

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Other Words from big-time


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

Examples of big-time in a Sentence


the young ad execs knew that their agency had hit the big time when major corporations came calling

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its free-for-all philosophy, paired with Google’s hyper-capitalist advertising machine, went from public square to farm league, with the most compelling, or at least the loudest, self-broadcasters making it to the big time. Owen Thomas,, "‘Broadcast yourself,’ YouTube told us. It might want to rephrase that," 12 June 2019 Pollyanna McIntosh hit the horror big time with her role as Jadis on The Walking Dead. Clark Collis,, "Watch the gruesome trailer for Walking Dead star Pollyanna McIntosh's horror film Darlin'," 4 June 2019 Creighton and Florida State were overseeded big time. Scott Gleeson And Shelby Mast, USA TODAY, "NCAA tournament 2018 underseeded and overseeded teams: 5 pairings the committee got wrong," 11 Mar. 2018 And clearly, all the attention it's gotten so far has paid off, big time. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "This Is The Kitchen The Internet Designed," 25 Mar. 2019 But the coupons that have built up their brand loyalty are now backfiring — big time. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "Bed Bath & Beyond Will Likely Scale Back on Their 20%-Off Coupons," 6 Nov. 2015 Without wielding much of an offensive game, Pillar compensates big time as one of the preeminent defensive centerfielders in the game. Staff,, "SI's Top 100 MLB Players of 2018: Nos. 100–51," 12 Feb. 2018 Then again, maybe the big time would ruin fat biking. Jason Gay, WSJ, "My Big, Fat Fat-Biking Adventure," 14 Feb. 2019 Many Australian bands have hit the big time play at Forum Melbourne, in the CBD (Central Business District), as have international acts that aren’t quite ready for stadiums. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Venues & Places for Live Music in Melbourne," 10 Sep. 2018

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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Time Traveler for big-time

The first known use of big-time was in 1910

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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)

chiefly US, informal : in a big way : very much or very badly

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big-time

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big-time

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showing courage and determination

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