\ 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 Language was a big part of creating empathy for Bill. al, 29 July 2021 Kelly is signed through the 2024 season, and although Nelson is only locked up for the next two years right now, the Colts plan to give the All-Pro his own big-money extension soon. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 28 July 2021 Public health systems are a big part of what makes a state livable or not, but so is quality of life thanks to things like crime rates. Andy Meek, BGR, 27 July 2021 The episode taught a generation of consultants and opportunists that there was big money in social media marketing for political causes, all disguised as organic activity., 26 July 2021 That allowed the sport to be a big part of her life during the one-year postponement. Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2021 The beach is quite a big part of my childhood memories. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 26 July 2021 Adding Nvidia could give the Dow more exposure to the lucrative industries of gaming and cryptocurrencies, as Nvidia's graphics processing chips are a big part of high-end PCs used by gamers as well as for bitcoin mining rigs. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 26 July 2021 The episode taught a generation of consultants and opportunists that there was big money in social media marketing for political causes, all disguised as organic activity. New York Times, 25 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The drama is played up big in this exclusive trailer teasing the Gold Rush spinoff called Winter's Fortune. Lynette Rice,, 29 July 2021 My son is a sensitive boy, red-haired and big-cheeked. Curtis Sittenfeld, The Atlantic, 16 July 2021 This year, Bessette envisions the Birdies for Charity program, which helps nonprofits throughout the region, benefitting big from the tournament. Dom Amore,, 22 June 2021 Milwaukee has won two games in this series and led big in a third, so there are no drastic measures to take in order to push the Nets to the limit or even finally steal a game on the road at the Barclays Center. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 June 2021 The Browns wanted to add speed this offseason and Andrew Berry swung big in adding wide receiver Anthony Schwartz with a third-round pick in the NFL Draft. Scott Patsko, cleveland, 20 May 2021 Gaskin came up big in the late-season win over the Raiders in Las Vegas, scoring two of his five touchdowns in that second half in Miami’s come-from-behind win to keep the Dolphins in playoff contention before their blowout Week 17 loss at Buffalo. David Furones,, 18 July 2021 This summer, Instagram feeds are featuring splashy girl trips, bachelor parties, weddings and family reunions as consumers go big after a year at home. Laura Forman, WSJ, 1 July 2021 In the top half of the draw, Djokovic is drawn to face big-hitting Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals and French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On offense, Mobley is a big who has a guard’s handle, passes the ball well and is a decent short to midrange shooter. cleveland, 1 Aug. 2021 The All-Star big had back-to-back 34-point games in those wins, but hyperextended his left knee after landing awkwardly following a chasedown block on Booker in Game 3. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 31 July 2021 DeRozan made $27 million last season and probably doesn’t want to take that big of a pay cut. Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2021 With Jones, the Hornets are getting an athletic big who can create his own offense and potentially guard multiple positions on the other end of the floor. Dallas News, 30 July 2021 In the larger area of the amphitheater, up to 2,000 can fit, though Jenny Cash, vice president of The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis, said organizers aren't planning for that big of a draw for the first season. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 22 July 2021 Giles, whose career has been hindered by injuries dating back to high school, is an athletic big with strong passing skills and finishes well at the basket. oregonlive, 12 July 2021 Also, are the Cubs really going to be this big of a problem? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2021 The Suns backup big tore the ACL in his right knee late in the first quarter and has been ruled out indefinitely. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 8 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near big




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Statistics for big

Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 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

Nglish: Translation of big for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of big for Arabic Speakers


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