\ 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 Google Maps is so big that many third-party mapping apps actually pull map data from it. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 11 June 2021 The main salon is big, but the design team used floor-to-ceiling windows on the sides and rear, furnishing it elegantly but sparingly. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 11 June 2021 The ransom recovery comes as ransomware — a topic that was big in the cybersecurity world and quietly widespread — has emerged as a national security issue, with President Joe Biden pledging action. NBC News, 11 June 2021 That was almost as big of a deal to us as winning a state championship. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 11 June 2021 Genres ran the gamut; sci-fi and fantasy were big, but there were also historical games and sports sims. Mark Hill, Wired, 10 June 2021 The 2021 Orlando Fringe Festival is now in the history books — with payments for participating artists sharply up despite a pandemic, improvements that will be sticking around and a new opportunity to examine how big the festival should actually be. Matthew J. Palm,, 10 June 2021 Van Beurden said the energy transition was too big for one company to tackle. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 9 June 2021 The wooden viewing platform, which will be big enough to host classes of schoolchildren, will contain a cutout area over the water. David Fleshler,, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Led by big-suited frontman David Byrne, OG art rockers Talking Heads tear it up at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood in this essential 1984 concert doc directed by Jonathan Demme. Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave. Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2021 That includes going big on virtual reality, a technology some said would shake up gaming, but has had a muted impact. Chris Morris, Fortune, 20 May 2021 Both of these fine programs might show up big at the Emmys this year. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2021 Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray also came up big in the fourth quarter against the Kings, scoring 10 of his 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, 8 May 2021 The body is now dominated by Bukele's New Ideas political party, who with its allies has an absolute majority after winning big in February's elections. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 4 May 2021 Here’s the more pertinent question: Who have the Dolphins hit big on? Dave Hyde,, 1 May 2021 Warren is also urging Biden to think big on helping parents — especially mothers — whose careers have been sidelined by the pandemic. Matt Egan, CNN, 27 Apr. 2021 Patton Oswalt stars as the big-headed creep himself, whose life is going down the tubes. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One thing is for sure, though, commercial real estate took a big of a hit as any industry. Gregory Blondeau, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Addressing a challenge this big requires a collaborative and global approach and Shell is playing its part. David Vetter, Forbes, 26 May 2021 The superstar big scored a season-high 42 points to lead the Lakers to their lone win against Phoenix. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2021 The Lakers not only have Davis, but Andre Drummond, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol to throw at the Suns, who really have just one true big in Deandre Ayton. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 20 May 2021 The texture is saucy without being pasty and has the occasional big, satisfying tomato chunk. Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 There also were valuable minutes from Goga Bitadze (8 points, 7 rebounds) while Turner avoided foul trouble short one big. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2021 Instead, Wagner will likely be the Celtics’ third big off the bench, which is similar to his role in Washington., 26 Mar. 2021 Even while starting just 23 of her 100 career games, Kushkituah began to carve out a niche for herself as an agile big. New York Times, 15 Apr. 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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 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

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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