enor·​mous i-ˈnȯr-məs How to pronounce enormous (audio)
: marked by extraordinarily great size, number, or degree
especially : exceeding usual bounds or accepted notions
: exceedingly wicked : shocking
an enormous sin
archaic : abnormal, inordinate
enormousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for enormous

enormous, immense, huge, vast, gigantic, colossal, mammoth mean exceedingly large.

enormous and immense both suggest an exceeding of all ordinary bounds in size or amount or degree, but enormous often adds an implication of abnormality or monstrousness.

an enormous expense
an immense shopping mall

huge commonly suggests an immensity of bulk or amount.

incurred a huge debt

vast usually suggests immensity of extent.

the vast Russian steppes

gigantic stresses the contrast with the size of others of the same kind.

a gigantic sports stadium

colossal applies especially to a human creation of stupendous or incredible dimensions.

a colossal statue of Lincoln

mammoth suggests both hugeness and ponderousness of bulk.

a mammoth boulder

Example Sentences

They live in an enormous house. We chose not to undertake the project because of the enormous costs involved.
Recent Examples on the Web Its enormous dramatic power is the product of Diop’s ingenious visual schema, one that’s all the more striking for its simplicity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 Jan. 2023 But beyond the administrative side of the job, the speaker holds enormous power over the body’s agenda. Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 The lasers used are factory-size affairs that require enormous power to do their work. Adam Frank, The Atlantic, 3 Jan. 2023 According to the Commonwealth Fund, three pharmacy benefit managers — CVS Caremark, Cigna’s Express Scripts and UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx — make up 80% of the market, giving them enormous negotiating power. Lauren Dunn, NBC News, 20 Dec. 2022 Social media companies have enormous power to shape the public discourse. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 9 Dec. 2022 The pair of Frenchmen famously set the internet ablaze by simply posing next to one another for a photo op — revealing to the world how enormous Wembanyama truly is. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Oct. 2022 Sure, there's a steering wheel with vertical spokes and dual touchpads, but BMW focuses most of the attention on the windshield, which acts as an enormous digital display. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 5 Jan. 2023 The results of those vulnerabilities inflicted enormous cost, BlackBerry said, with 58% of those organizations facing operational disruptions and data loss, 55% experiencing intellectual property loss, and 49% suffering financial loss. Michael Lee, Fox News, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enormous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin enormis, from e, ex out of + norma rule

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Time Traveler
The first known use of enormous was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near enormous

Cite this Entry

“Enormous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enormous. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


enor·​mous i-ˈnȯr-məs How to pronounce enormous (audio)
: extraordinarily great in size, number, or degree
enormously adverb
enormousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on enormous

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