\ 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

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 the big story that year was the election of the president See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The leaks were so big they were seen on the radars of vessels in the vicinity, the Swedish Coast Guard said. Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 Determining all that runs parallel with the big-picture blueprint for the Patriots resuming serious Super Bowl contention. Christopher L. Gasper,, 26 Sep. 2022 This in turn affects big-picture geology, such as plate tectonics and volcanic activity. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 26 Sep. 2022 The service is aimed at combatting food waste and utilizes produce that is perfectly good and safe to eat but may be too big, too small or funny-looking and would have been wasted at the grocery store. Stefani Sassos, M.s., R.d.n., C.s.o., Good Housekeeping, 26 Sep. 2022 And since Framework is big on repairability, the Chromebook is also built to be taken apart. WIRED, 26 Sep. 2022 And the timing was big too, because on Saturday, a ban on abortions after 15 weeks was set to go into effect. Abc News, ABC News, 26 Sep. 2022 Sunday’s victory carries for the Bears’ big-picture aspirations. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 25 Sep. 2022 Carroll has been in the big leagues a little less than a month but already has logged a sprint speed of 30.6 feet per second, the fastest time in the majors this season. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 25 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Toledo’s offense started to click, but SDSU’s defense came up big on back-to-back drives. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Sep. 2022 With the game on the line, the Seminoles’ defense came up big in the fourth quarter. Alexis Cubit, The Courier-Journal, 17 Sep. 2022 The Sea Kings got on the board on a three-yard run from Colin Pene, but the San Clemente special teams group came up big again, blocking the extra point, which kept the Tritons lead at 20-6 with 5:27 left in the third. Devin Ugland, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2022 Ashman came up big, connecting with receiver Luciano Higgins on an 11-yard gain. Randy Mcroberts, Baltimore Sun, 9 Sep. 2022 Amari Thomas came up big on the next series to shut down the Yellow Jackets. Anton Williams, al, 27 Aug. 2022 The Explorers, however, came up big in stopping Solon’s attempt at a 2-point conversion to preserve the win. cleveland, 23 Aug. 2022 Lake Mary’s defense came up big during a notable 15-14 win vs. Lakeland Lake Gibson. J.c. Carnahan,, 2 Sep. 2021 Santiago came up big down the stretch of the regular season, beating the Orioles with a complete game on Sept. 22 and then stopping the Twins in a must-win Game 161 at Fenway., 14 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The last hurdle was whether the business culture was willing to address institutional and system challenges and overcome the challenge of a change this big. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 For example, the Shanghai plant managed to substantially increase medical dye production within a few weeks of its closure, so the total supply didn’t take that big of a hit. Kathryn Judge, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2022 The active and physical 6-8 big played a role in the Suns having the NBA’s best record last season. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 2 Sep. 2022 The Suns backup big did the same thing with the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, but this seems to have gone to another level in Phoenix. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 15 Apr. 2022 Kelly Olynyk is the only other big on the roster with shooting range. Anthony Schulte, Detroit Free Press, 27 July 2022 That big of a jump is unprecedented in modern history. Allison Morrow, CNN, 13 July 2022 So, after taking a big of a Twitter break over the past few weeks, that’s exactly what P!nk did. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 12 July 2022 Phoenix has re-signed backup big Bismack Biyombo, acquired Jock Landale from Atlanta in a trade for cash considerations and has Dario Saric returning from a knee injury that kept him out all last season. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 11 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for big


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers


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