\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from big-time


big-timer \ ˈbig-​ˌtī-​mər How to pronounce big-timer (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 The outgoing, ever-tanned August is all about big time glamour. James Reginato, Town & Country, "Outrageous Fortune: Nats, August, and Gigi Gorgeous Getty Are Not Your Typical Old-Money Scions," 14 Jan. 2020 Now, under the guidance of the methodic and, at times, absolutely hilarious Marcelo Bielsa, they are primed to push once more for another crack at the big time - backed by a near capacity crowd of 37,890 each week., "15 Years of Pain - Time for Leeds to Do Marcelo Bielsa Justice & Earn Promotion Back to the Big Time," 9 Oct. 2019 Every shooter needs to be able to correctly mount a scope, and this kit will help big time. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "The 2019 Rifle Shooter’s Holiday Gift Guide," 13 Nov. 2019 Already an Internet star, Issam deserves to break into the big time worldwide, and soon. Katie Bain, Billboard, "The Seven Best Sets of Morocco's Oasis Festival 2019," 17 Sep. 2019 What wasn’t so predictable — well, c’mon, maybe a little — was that Dion would go for the trappings of nu-pop-hop, EDM and AutoTune frippery, big time, on an album that mourns the loss of her husband. A.d. Amorosi,, "Album Review: Celine Dion’s ‘Courage’," 15 Nov. 2019 The Steelers are finding their way under second-year QB Mason Rudolph, and the defense stepped up big time Monday night, notching eight sacks and forcing a pair of turnovers in a 27-3 rout of the visiting Bengals. Ken Pomponio, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NFL Best Bets: Three underdog locks for Week 5," 2 Oct. 2019 Fading Wilson and Pete Carroll is tough given how the Seahawks have seemingly overachieved big time during the Legion of Boom’s decline. Max Meyer,, "NFC Teams That Are the Best Bets to Go Under Their Win Total," 18 Aug. 2019 The Eversource-Orsted venture just won in Albany, big time. Jon Chesto,, "Wind victory comes at just the right time for Eversource," 21 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about big-time

Time Traveler for big-time

Time Traveler

The first known use of big-time was in 1910

See more words from the same year

Statistics for big-time

Cite this Entry

“Big-time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for big-time


How to pronounce big time (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on big-time

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big-time

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big-time

Comments on big-time

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!