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

There’s a general frustration that, in the 21st century, this big and powerful country cannot pull away from its most regressive roots — and its hardest prejudices and its destructive tribalism — to solve our toughest problems. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Where have you gone, Mister Rogers?," 13 July 2018 But the big question is whether any amount of spending would actually satisfy Mr. Trump, or whether his real attempt is to divide NATO and the European Union, both Mr. Heisbourg and Mr. Valasek said. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Amid the Trumpian Chaos, Europe Sees a Strategy: Divide and Conquer," 13 July 2018 From the other side:How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Louisville The Wildcats’ biggest question is at quarterback, where Stephen Johnson departed. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Kentucky again," 13 July 2018 The additions, which represent the fourth and sixth most valuable digital currencies respectively, come after Robinhood began offering Bitcoin and Ethereum—the two biggest and best known currencies—in February. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Robinhood Adds Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in Push to Expand Crypto," 12 July 2018 The big question would, in fact, be whether Democrats — who as a congressional caucus have generally been much more skeptical of trade — would bail Trump out by upholding his veto. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Paul Ryan’s pathetic excuse for not challenging Trump on trade, explained," 12 July 2018 The second was Milwaukee's biggest and best frame in the series to date, but started off poorly. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Marlins 4: Christian Yelich torments his former team," 10 July 2018 The personal outweighs the structural, and the small stuff triumphs over the big. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Brett Kavanaugh, Jim Jordan, and the Fog of the Partisan," 13 July 2018 America spends more than 3% of the world’s biggest GDP on its armed forces, and the rest of the Western world scarcely breaks 2%. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The medical device sector did not take as big a hit as anticipated from the Trump Administration's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods that went into effect Friday, part of President Trump's plan to equalize global trade polices. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Pacemakers, ultrasound gear costs could rise from China trade tariffs," 7 July 2018 Syrkin came up big all season, with the Rose Bowl Aquatics product winning the 50 free (21:59) and 100 butterfly (51.31) in the team’s matchup at defending two-time Rio Hondo League champion San Marino on April 5. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year: Syrkin uses setback to fuel monster season," 14 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This process is scary and exciting all mixed into one big, crazy ball of emotion. Fresh U, Teen Vogue, "I Applied to 25 Colleges — Here's What I Learned," 25 Sep. 2018 The S9 Plus has the same camera system; same processor; a nearly as-big, just as gorgeous display; and basically the same software experience. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: more, more, more," 17 Aug. 2018 The Hawks inherit it while betting big on Young, but prop themselves up regardless with a potential second lottery pick in 2019. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "Explaining the Biggest Surprises of the 2018 NBA Draft," 22 June 2018 Charbonnet, at 6-feet-2, 215 pounds, might seem like a prototypical big back. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 Xavier bigs Kerem Kanter, a graduate transfer, and Sean O'Mara, a senior, also had big nights in a game where Tyrique Jones was unavailable due to a left-arm injury. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "No. 5 Xavier basketball prevails in OT vs. Butler, 98-93," 6 Feb. 2018 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

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

11 Nov 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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