\ 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 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 Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton, coming off an ugly performance in Saturday’s loss to the Sixers, came through big time Sunday with 27 points and seven assists in a 130-110 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden. Stefan Bondy,, "Payton leads Knicks to rout of Bucks for first victory under Thibodeau," 27 Dec. 2020 Professional growth is on our minds, big time, with Pinterest showing a huge increase in an entrepreneurial mindset for pinners. Charli Penn, Essence, "Here’s What You’ll Probably Care Most About In 2021," 14 Dec. 2020 Portland upgraded in that area big time with the additions of Robert Covington, acquired in a trade with Houston, and Derrick Jones Jr., signed as a free agent away from Miami. oregonlive, "Carmelo Anthony’s impact on Portland Trail Blazers runs deeper than minutes played," 7 Dec. 2020 Consumers have been paying down their credit card balances big time this year. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "'Tis the season to follow these wise shopping tips, anti-fraud precautions," 30 Nov. 2020 GameStop, the only retailer selling the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox consoles in stores on Black Friday, scored big time at its 7 a.m. openings. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Black Friday early birds in Dallas did their doorbuster shopping online," 27 Nov. 2020 Rain and gusty winds return big time on Monday, with a chilly week to follow. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Showers fade ahead of a mild Thanksgiving afternoon," 26 Nov. 2020 But Abel Sanchez, who has trained champion boxers such as Gennadiy Golovkin and Terry Norris, said the YouTubers are not ready for the big time. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "YouTube celebrities taking over boxing with help from Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr.," 9 Dec. 2020 His escapades in the alternate reality universe might have gone unnoticed — until Mr. Trump’s mistaken tweet elevated him to the big time of MAGA misinformation. New York Times, "He Pretended to Be Trump’s Family. Then Trump Fell for It.," 8 Dec. 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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Statistics for big-time

Cite this Entry

“Big-time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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