big

adjective
\ ˈbig \
bigger; biggest

Definition of big 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a obsolete : of great strength Sir Launcelot was big and strong again. —Thomas Malory

b : of great force a big storm

2a : 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

3a : 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

4a : 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

6a : 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

big on

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

big

adverb

Definition of big (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : in a loud or declamatory manner also : in a boasting manner talk big

2a : to a large amount or extent won big

b : on a large scale think big

3 : hard hits her forehand big

big

noun

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

Adjective

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

Samara, another big industrial city on the Volga, faced similar problems. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 Ancelotti re-signed him for the German champions last summer and although the Italian was sacked in September, Rodriguez was credited with being a big part of Bayern's title success with his seven goals and 11 assists. SI.com, "James Rodriguez Favours Real Madrid Return Following Zinedine Zidane Departure," 13 July 2018 The colorful designs were a big success and became a collector’s item for fans of the brand. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "Burberry’s Latest Collab Is Full of Cool Kids in Rainbow Check," 13 July 2018 To get a better view, click the image above for a bigger version. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Free Shit / Music Guess who’s on our cover for a chance to win passes to the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival," 13 July 2018 Twitter’s purge of suspicious accounts Wednesday has resulted in the social media platform's most popular users taking big hits to their number of followers. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Twitter purge means fewer followers for Trump, Obama, Justin Bieber," 13 July 2018 The packaged version has bigger chunks of chicken, making it a little dryer. Kathleen Purvis, charlotteobserver, "The best thing to eat at Wrightsville Beach (and the best food to bring back with you)," 12 July 2018 SoftBank manages and also has a big chunk of money invested in the $98 billion Vision Fund, which owns stakes in such unicorns as Uber and WeWork. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "SoftBank Burns Bright for a Tiger," 12 July 2018 Instead of needing two liquids to mix inside a chamber, the propellants of a solid rocket motor are already mixed together in a big, solid chunk. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Europe will fire its record-setting big solid rocket motor this week," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Smith was the No. 2 pitcher for the Eagles this year but came up big in the clutch several times in the postseason. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Notre Dame grad Haylee Smith helps University of Southern Indiana to national title," 22 June 2018 Fowler came up big in the Jaguars’ playoff run last season, sacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady twice. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Bears Q&A: Could Bears trade for Jaguars' Dante Fowler? Will any Bears make the Pro Bowl this year?," 17 May 2018 Being big early thus constitutes a first-mover advantage. The Economist, "Netflix is moving television beyond time-slots and national markets," 28 June 2018 Go big on color in rich, glossy textures and own it. Djuna Bel, Glamour, "It's Time to Give '80s Beauty Another Shot," 28 June 2018 LaVine came up big down the stretch while going at it with Butler, scoring Chicago's final 11 points. USA TODAY, "Zach LaVine, Bulls edge T'wolves to spoil Jimmy Butler's return to Chicago," 10 Feb. 2018 Cole Hamels was in top form over seven innings and the bottom of the Rangers' lineup came up big early as Texas won its season-high fourth consecutive game Tuesday night, 4-1 over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers win season-high fourth in a row behind Cole Hamels' gem," 19 June 2018 That Klay Thompson came up big in Game 6 of a Western Conference finals game. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Warriors' Splash Brothers light up Rockets to force Game 7 in Houston," 26 May 2018 The Rangers are falling back into the pattern that former owner Tom Hicks once warned whomever wants to own a pro sports team: Spend big now, regret even bigger later. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Rangers' new addition feels like an old mistake | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 27 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

GREG MONROE Monroe has found his niche: generating efficient offense for around 20 minutes a night against second-line bigs too small or too green to stop him. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The Best Players Left in NBA Free Agency," 9 July 2018 Donyell Marshall was a useful stretch big who made six 3-pointers in the close-out game of the second-round series at New Jersey. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: Is this one of LeBron's weakest supporting casts?: Bill LIvingston (photos, video)," 21 Apr. 2018 Now the $350 billion Irving, Texas, company is returning to its old ways: big, disciplined spending on prospects that make money at low oil prices. The approach is a gamble in a new era of energy breakthroughs such as fracking and electric vehicles. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Exxon, Once a ‘Perfect Machine,’ Is Running Dry," 13 July 2018 That's four wings and bigs -- all rotation players -- who were unavailable to help down low. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Isaiah Thomas, Lakers laugh at Cavaliers in 127-113 blowout that knocks Cleveland to fourth in East," 11 Mar. 2018 Zubac is a cheap big who can add depth and flashed some potential during his rookie season before suffering through a sophomore slump. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Lakers players not named LeBron, ranked by their likelihood to remain on team," 1 July 2018 In that case, the Bucks might find the free-agent market as a better alternative to investing in developing a rookie big who may not be able to contribute much immediately. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee needs a physical presence inside, but this draft may not be the place to find it," 17 June 2018 And for taking broken down bigs over sure-fire NBA legends. Andrew Nemec, OregonLive.com, "Dear LeBron James, apology not accepted! Love, Portland: Commentary," 7 June 2018 Plenty have asked whether or not Beilein will consider playing two bigs (Wagner and Teske) together against A&M. Based on past evidence, that seems highly unlikely. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan not obsessed with raw rebounding margin vs. Texas A&M," 21 Mar. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for big

Adjective

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

Adverb

see big entry 1

Noun

see big entry 1

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Statistics for big

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for big

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

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More Definitions for big

big

adjective

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.

big

adverb

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

: in a big way

: in a way that is meant to impress people

big

adjective
\ ˈbig \
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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Comments on big

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