\ 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

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 Like the rest of her ensemble, this trend is straight out of the early aughts and is now in the middle of a big time revival. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Dua Lipa Flaunts Her Thong For Date Night With Anwar Hadid," 5 Oct. 2020 EToro plans to expand into the U.S. equities brokerage game in early 2021 and challenge Robinhood for the hearts and wallets of rookie investors who’ve embraced stockpicking big time this year. Edward Robinson,, "A 32-Year-Old Trader Is Driving 21,000 Amateur Stock Investors," 2 Oct. 2020 With fans absent the game didn’t feel big time, but the stadium did. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Kroenke Dome impresses as Rams open $5-billion stadium with victory over Cowboys," 13 Sep. 2020 As expected, however, a prime role plus zero collegiate experience led to some challenging moments for a newcomer thrust into the big time. Michael Casagrande |, al, "What it was like for true freshman starting middle LB at Alabama," 7 Sep. 2020 The headlines and stories happened because of the big time difference between New Orleans and Japan, where the Missouri was docked. John Pope,, "Japan's surrender ended World War II, and set off wild celebrations across New Orleans," 27 Aug. 2020 Officers had been watching the home of a big time West Baltimore drug dealer and found the cocaine in a pickup truck parked nearby. Tim Prudente,, "More fallout from Gun Trace Task Force scandal; another officer pleads guilty to federal crimes," 26 Aug. 2020 Hegar has already benefited from big time support from VoteVets, a left-leaning political action committee that works to elect military veterans. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "National Democrats’ $1M-plus boost for Hegar reflects high hopes to flip Texas and oust Cornyn," 4 Aug. 2020 After the Echo hit the big time as a virtual music DJ, Amazon has tried inserting microphones or its AI in lots of things — like cars and its FireTV streaming box and even toilets — without any knockout winners. Washington Post, "I’ve worn Alexa-enabled glasses for two weeks. They’re driving me bananas.," 4 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of big-time was in 1910

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Cite this Entry

“Big-time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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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

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