\ 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 What jumped out at me in Friday’s Zoom news conference with Posey was that the Giants’ most private player, maybe the most private big-time athlete in recent Bay Area memory, put his heart right out there for all to feel. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Buster Posey and family take one for the team: Team Us," 12 July 2020 The party hopes the program will have a big impact on outreach. Jack Turman, CBS News, "DNC hopes to reach more voters with new voter file model," 10 July 2020 The Ivies are not representative of big-time quasi-amateur sports in this country. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Mask defiance isn't bringing college football back on Saturdays," 9 July 2020 The three big credit card companies skim 3 percent right off the top of every check. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, "Uber-Postmates merger will deliver only bad tidings for restaurants, consumers," 9 July 2020 Cottrell said South Alabama head coach Steve Campbell had a big impact on Brooks and his family. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "Electric Mobile Christian DB/KR Jason Brooks staying home at South Alabama," 8 July 2020 Will big-time programs be willing to venture to D.C. to play against him in a tiny gym? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Star basketball recruit Makur Maker choosing Howard is admirable. But it will take many others to lift HBCU basketball," 3 July 2020 But experts believe that if the protests did have a big impact on cases, stronger signs would be apparent now. Mike Stobbe And Nicky Forster, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spike in virus cases not driven by protests, experts say," 3 July 2020 Alibaba is the latest big-time partner Beyond has won in mainland China, a vast market that is seen as vital for the US company's growth. Michelle Toh, CNN, "Beyond Meat is coming to Alibaba's grocery stores in China," 1 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Duggan came up big in the Horned Frogs’ most important victory of the season. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "10 things to know about TCU quarterback Max Duggan: The Horned Frog signal-caller is ready for stardom," 3 July 2020 Patriots safety Duron Harmon came up big on that drive, deflecting a pass in the end zone on third down to force the field goal attempt. Mark Daniels, USA TODAY, "Patriots fall to No. 3 seed in AFC playoffs after last-minute loss to Dolphins," 29 Dec. 2019 Houston went up big early thanks to a few miscues from the Chiefs offense and a muffed punt that eventually set up the touchdown from Deshaun Watson to tight end Darren Fells. Fox News, "Kansas City Chiefs mascot bangs his head in frustration after Houston Texans touchdown," 13 Jan. 2020 Nwora tried to go big from the top of the key, but come up empty, but Louisville retained possession and Enoch locked it up again. Rana L. Cash, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky vs. Louisville basketball live: Wildcats trip up rivals, 78-70, at Rupp Arena," 28 Dec. 2019 Oregon is outscoring teams big in every quarter, befitting a 9-1 team with College Football Playoff aspirations. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU football brainstorms how to start faster including live pre-game scrimmage," 20 Nov. 2019 Southington’s Billy Carr and Jack McManus stepped up big in a win over Simsbury on Friday to lead this week’s Fab 15. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High school football Fab 15: Southington’s Carr and McManus lead weekly honor roll," 5 Nov. 2019 Smailagić has played for the Warriors’ G-League team in Santa Cruz this summer, and the 6-foot-10, 215-pound big impressed the organization with his finishing, fundamentals and rebounding. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Bob Myers offers some clues on how Warriors will handle NBA Draft," 19 June 2019 Bourne came up big in the 49ers’ 27-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in a Divisional Round playoff Saturday. oregonlive, "NFL Playoffs 2020: Former Oregon prep star Kendrick Bourne is ‘fun to be around’ on the San Francisco 49ers," 18 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Golf, competition and the ongoing pandemic aside, Lehman believes that Father's Day is a big of a deal for families as Mother's Day is. Jack Williams, azcentral, "Tom Lehman, Kirk Triplett take sons into battle in Father's Day tournament," 20 June 2020 That's the screen-setter who slashes to the rim as the Pacers are late or fail to rotate to help the big who is helping ice the action. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Pacers were figuring things out before stoppage. Now healed up, they're ready for restart.," 5 June 2020 Commitments that big should never be taken lightly, especially now. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "If college is part of your fall 2020 plan, here are 4 options to consider," 1 June 2020 Griffiin has four years left on his contract following this season, giving the Pistons a premier big who can play inside and outside, score, rebound and possibly mesh with center Andre Drummond for a dominant interior. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Blake Griffin trade: Breaking down deal from view of Clippers, Pistons," 29 Jan. 2018 To know Phil Knight went there and supports Oregon and comes to games, that’s big also. oregonlive, "El Ellis, JC All-American point guard, announces Oregon Ducks offer following virtual visit," 8 May 2020 Because the wing is a weak point in the 2020 draft, top-heavy with guards and bigs, the Cavs could also look to address that position in free agency, using their full mid-level exception -- or a large chunk of it. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "What is the future of Cleveland Cavaliers’ small forward spot? Hey, Chris!," 20 Apr. 2020 Lighting The time of day will play big into your lighting needs. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "How to look better in your next video conference," 16 Apr. 2020 In anticipation of patio season, al fresco outings and weekend getaways, Neiman Marcus has a good idea of which trends are about to hit big: Forecast pending, here’s your guide to spring shopping. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "VIP view: Houston Chronicle co-hosts Neiman Marcus spring fashion cocktail party in the Galleria," 2 Mar. 2020

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

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/big. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for big

How to pronounce big (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on big

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big

Spanish Central: Translation of big

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers

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