\ ˈbig-ˌtīm \

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 \

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 \ 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

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 The business model called for a big time investment by each of the founders, but without the same promise of return. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "Their business partnership won the Business Plan Challenge. Then they split up | Miami Herald," 25 Mar. 2018 Also, health-food names like Kale (35%) and Kiwi (40%) and Saffron (31%) are hitting the big time. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "These Are the Most Popular Baby Names of 2018 for Boys and Girls," 29 Nov. 2018 Instead, the research suggests that artists who start out seeking connections with powerful curators, dealers and collectors within the nerve center of the art world are far more likely to hit the big time. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "The Surprising Formula for Becoming an Art Star," 8 Nov. 2018 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days This is the best chick flick for anyone who’s ever loved summer in the city and yearned for a job at a big time magazine. Hannah Pasternak, SELF, "11 Movies on Netflix You Need to Watch Before Summer’s Over," 28 Aug. 2018 Ivan Perisic is the first player to score multiple goals for Croatia at two different #WorldCup tournaments • 2014 (2) • 2018 (2) Stepped up to the plate big time., "Croatia 2-1 England (AET): Three Lions' Hearts Broken as Mandzukic Scores Extra Time Winner," 11 July 2018 Read More In humble setting, aspiring ACC officials get their shot at the big timeMiller will switch from his right tackle spot at Charlotte Country Day and move to left tackle this fall. Langston Wertz Jr., charlotteobserver, "With top lineman committed, NC State's recruiting haul, and lead on UNC, continues," 30 June 2018 Recently, some longtime fans have been having similar reactions to the incredibly talented dudes of 5 Seconds of Summer making it big time. Kristin Harris, Seventeen, "Do You Get Jealous When Your Fave Band Starts Blowing Up?," 2 June 2014

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

More from Merriam-Webster on big-time

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big-time

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


excited commotion or publicity

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