1

big

adjective \ ˈbig \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of big

bigger; biggest
1 a obsolete : of great strength
  • Sir Launcelot was big and strong again.
  • —Thomas Malory
b : of great force
  • a big storm
2 a : 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 1
3 a : 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
4 a : chief, preeminent
  • the big issue of the campaign
b : outstandingly worthy or able
  • a truly big man
c : of great importance or significance
  • the big moment
d : imposing, pretentious
  • using big words
; also : marked by or given to boasting
  • big talk
e : magnanimous, generous
  • was big about it
5 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
6 a : 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
7 : popular
  • soft drinks are very big in Mexico
  • —Russ Leadabrand
8 : full-bodied and flavorful used of wine

bigly

adverb

bigness

noun
big on
: strongly favoring or liking; also : noted for
  • she is big on blushing
  • —Arnold Hano

Examples of big in a Sentence

  1. a big glass of soda

  2. She moved to a bigger city.

  3. the biggest city in the state

  4. He led a big group through the museum.

  5. She works for a big company.

  6. He organized a big advertising campaign.

  7. We had a big fund-raiser for the school.

Recent Examples of big from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of big

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


2

big

adverb

Definition of big

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

Examples of big in a Sentence

  1. He talks big about his plans, but he hasn't done much yet.

Recent Examples of big from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of big

see 1big


3

big

noun

Definition of big

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

Examples of big in a Sentence

  1. with that new promotion he's now one of the bigs in the company

  2. when a candidate is running for president, he's playing in the bigs and cannot afford to make major mistakes

Recent Examples of big from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of big

see 1big


BIG Defined for English Language Learners

big

adjective

Definition of big for English Language Learners

  • : large in size

  • : large in number or amount

  • : involving or including many people, things, etc.


big

adverb

Definition of big for English Language Learners

  • : in a big way

  • : in a way that is meant to impress people


BIG Defined for Kids

big

adjective \ ˈbig \

Definition of big for Students

bigger; biggest
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

bigness

noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up big? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a man who seduces many women

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!