\ ˈbig How to pronounce big (audio) \
bigger; biggest

Definition of big

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : large or great in dimensions, bulk, or extent a big house also : large or great in quantity, number, or amount a big fleet
b : operating on a large scale big government
c of a letter : capital sense 1
2a : filled with or characterized by enthusiasm and interest I'm a big fan of soy foods but urge you to choose them wisely.— Andrew Weil : active and enthusiastic My mother is a big baker, and so was my grandmother …— Melissa Parks I'm not a big shopper, so for me to actually like a store is really saying something.— Matt Cameron
b : expressed in an enthusiastic or unrestrained way : hearty greeted me with a big hug
3a : chief, preeminent the big issue of the campaign
b : of great importance or significance the big moment
c : magnanimous, generous was big about it
d : outstandingly worthy or able a truly big man
e : imposing, pretentious using big words also : marked by or given to boasting big talk
4 informal : more advanced in age : older my big brother : more mature His teachers all told me he was excited about riding the bus, feeling like a big boy now.— Laurie Frey
5 : popular soft drinks are very big in Mexico— Russ Leadabrand
6a : of great force a big storm
b obsolete : of great strength Sir Launcelot was big and strong again.— Thomas Malory
7a : pregnant especially : nearly ready to give birth big with child
b : full to bursting : swelling big with rage
c of the voice : full and resonant
8 : full-bodied and flavorful used of wine
big on
: strongly favoring or liking also : noted for she is big on blushing — Arnold Hano



Definition of big (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : to a large amount or extent won big
b : on a large scale think big
2 : in a loud or declamatory manner also : in a boasting manner talk big
3 : hard hits her forehand big



Definition of big (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an individual or organization of outstanding importance or power especially : major league usually used in plural playing in the bigs
2 basketball, informal : a big player : a center or forward whose large size and strength are used to control play near the basket But, the problem is that you MUST have guards. You can't play five bigs.— Martin Manley

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Other Words from big


bigly adverb
bigness noun

Examples of big in a Sentence

Adjective a big glass of soda She moved to a bigger city. the biggest city in the state He led a big group through the museum. She works for a big company. He organized a big advertising campaign. We had a big fund-raiser for the school. Adverb He talks big about his plans, but he hasn't done much yet. Noun with that new promotion he's now one of the bigs in the company when a candidate is running for president, he's playing in the bigs and cannot afford to make major mistakes
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Health leaders worry the US could be headed in a similar direction -- as a big part of the population remains vulnerable the virus. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "A dangerous coronavirus variant is wreaking havoc in parts of Europe. Experts fear US could be next," 31 Mar. 2021 The American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year has been one of the best stoppers in this tournament, playing a big part in Houston limiting Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim in the Sweet 16 and Oregon State's Ethan Thompson in the Elite Eight. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Final Four men's preview: Breaking down Baylor-Houston, Gonzaga-UCLA matchups," 31 Mar. 2021 Yoga is a very big part of practicing Hindu religion. Mike Cason |, al, "Bill to allow yoga in Alabama schools stalls in Senate committee," 31 Mar. 2021 That’s a big part of the reason Apple is shifting its Macs away from Intel chips to those made by TSMC. oregonlive, "What’s in a nanometer? Intel may renumber its chips," 30 Mar. 2021 But one thing that’s still missing from his life is the water sports and other outdoor activities that were such a big part of his life before the accident. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Two North County men to explore new sports with adaptive sports grants," 30 Mar. 2021 There were some misses to the big part of the plate. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers Dugout: Is it time to worry about Clayton Kershaw?," 29 Mar. 2021 Pick-and-roll is a big part of what Curry does - mostly with Draymond Green - as the two-time MVP has put himself back into the conversation for the award again. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, "How Warriors' Steph Curry has promised to help James Wiseman's rookie development," 29 Mar. 2021 Our regulatory environment will play a big part in ensuring that this happens in Cleveland. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Critics want Cleveland to replace zoning code allowing controversial, oversized townhouses, ‘slot houses’," 28 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The last Bonnaroo to occur, in 2019, saw attendance bounce back big, to the 100,000 range, according to the Nashville Tennessean. Matt Wake |, al, "Bonnaroo 2021 lineup announced, includes more than 100 artists," 31 Mar. 2021 Slatten is a Tennessee native that scored big on a lottery drawing on March 11th, but then almost lost it all on the very same day. Mike Wehner, BGR, "This might be the luckiest guy alive right now," 24 Mar. 2021 Poised in the wings are much cheaper vehicles from China, like the big-selling Hong Guang MINI EV, priced around €10,000 ($12,000). Neil Winton, Forbes, "Affordable European Electric Car, The E.Go, May Be Undercut By The Chinese," 19 Mar. 2021 Listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds in his Stanford bio, Mills is classic big-armed, pocket passer who was the nation’s top QB recruit coming out of Greater Atlanta Christian High School. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, "A QB for 49ers after the first round? Analyst points to Stanford's Mills, Texas A&M's Mond," 12 Mar. 2021 Republican Congressman Rodney Davis isn't buying the polls that show Biden up big in his central Illinois district. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: COVID-19 considered a top issue in GOP ads in just 2 battleground states," 30 Oct. 2020 This time the Browns want to get another streak going after losing big to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 38-7 last week. cleveland, "Cleveland Browns wary of cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Bengals: Crowquill," 25 Oct. 2020 In overtime, Oettinger denied Patrik Laine and Nick Foligno’s 2 on 1 try and came up big on Zach Werenski as time was expiring in the extra period. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Jake Oettinger’s stellar recent performances making Stars consider naming the rookie their starter," 15 Mar. 2021 Ocypher Owens, a 6-6 senior reserve, also came up big. Buddy Collings,, "Orlando Christian Prep basketball claims 9th FHSAA championship," 6 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Area wrestlers won six of the 14 individual weight-class championships, the first time the region has taken home that big of a haul since 2013. James Weber, The Enquirer, "KHSAA high school wrestling: Six Northern Kentucky wrestlers win state championships," 29 Mar. 2021 Cleveland also needed a big to replace McGee and Drummond anyway. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Why couldn’t Cleveland Cavaliers find a trade for Andre Drummond?," 27 Mar. 2021 Chicago gets an inside-outside big who can rebound and distribute and make offense even easier for All-Star Zach LaVine. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, Rajon Rondo among the winners at NBA trade deadline," 26 Mar. 2021 Originally, however, Alder Lake didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Leaked: Big changes coming with Intel's next CPU, code-named Alder Lake," 22 Mar. 2021 The 6-10 big from Plant City, Florida leads the Eagles with 13.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "What to watch for Friday in the 2021 NCAA tournament: Odds, players to watch," 19 Mar. 2021 Westwood was paired in the final grouping Sunday at Bay Hill with the big-hitting, 27-year-old DeChambeau. Edgar Thompson,, "Lee Westwood, runner-up at Bay Hill, surges to 36-hole lead at Players Championship," 13 Mar. 2021 The relatively recent injury to Harry Giles III left Kanter as the only healthy big on the team. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers overcome adversity to set stage for 2nd half of season: Midseason report and awards," 11 Mar. 2021 The winner will get an automatic big into the NCAA tournament. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Big Ten hockey tournament: When Michigan, Michigan State play at Notre Dame," 7 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big.' 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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6b


1568, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for big

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect bugge important man

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Time Traveler for big

Time Traveler

The first known use of big was in the 14th century

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Statistics for big

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for big



English Language Learners Definition of big

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: large in size
: large in number or amount
: involving or including many people, things, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of big (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a big way
: in a way that is meant to impress people


\ ˈbig How to pronounce big (audio) \
bigger; biggest

Kids Definition of big

1 : large in size a big house a big man
2 : large in number or amount a big group
3 : of great importance big news
4 : of great strength or force a big storm

Other Words from big

bigness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on big

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers

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