\ 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

Watch the @FoxNews weekend daytime anchors, who are terrible, go after her big time. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump Rips Fox News: "They Forgot the People Who Got Them There"," 8 July 2019 In the Venn diagram of Tata Harper fans and Allure readers, the folks in the overlapping middle section are about to be rewarded big time. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Tata Harper Is Adding CBD To Its Bliss Body Oil Product, and Allure Readers Will Be the First to Try it," 21 June 2019 To prepare for their journeys, birds fatten up big time, perhaps doubling their weight, essentially turning themselves into feathered batteries. Matt Simon, WIRED, "This Robot Fish Powers Itself With Fake Blood," 19 June 2019 Two sidewalk tables, with red umbrellas, however, ratchet up the desirability factor big time, especially since the restaurant is set back well off the road. Joan Wilder,, "Cohasset’s Olympus Grille is an ode to family," 12 June 2019 What was so moving at the draft, as always, was the presence of proud, emotional parents seeing their kids enter the big time. Cait Oppermann, The New Yorker, "Zion Williamson and the N.B.A. Draftees Usher in a New Era of Basketball," 6 June 2019 Over the years, Eli Sones and Matt Halper have built up an impressive catalog of music that stands at 30-plus million Spotify streams and continue to reel in the college crowd big time. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Dance's Ones to Watch: Feburary 2018," 16 Feb. 2018 This is the week where bottom-tier hopefuls make their bid for the big time and the front runners will try and winnow the field. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Sunday Trail Markers: What to know about this week's Democratic debates," 23 June 2019 The adorable duo has hit the big time by starring in a Denny's commercial. Alex Chaet, CNN, "Must-watch videos of the week," 21 June 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.

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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

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characterized by aphorism

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