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 The company had come under enormous pressure over the past weeks to respond to West’s ongoing erratic behaviors and dangerous, antisemitic comments. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2022 The presentation outlines enormous pressure on Russia’s defense industry to replace its losses and says that because of export controls and international sanctions, Russia is expending munitions at an unsustainable rate. Sabra Ayres, ajc, 14 Oct. 2022 Two of these reactors went online in China in 2018 and 2019, but major projects in Europe have experienced enormous delays and cost over-runs, and are still not operational. David Meyer, Fortune, 30 Sep. 2022 Despite enormous pressure from Putin and the Russian public, Ganus sincerely attempts to clean up the system. Peter Debruge, Variety, 4 Sep. 2022 The about-face comes as Lightfoot faces enormous political pressure on the issue, which has been exacerbated by a series of officer suicides and a critical report by Inspector General Deborah Witzburg. Paige Fry, Chicago Tribune, 30 Aug. 2022 In 2009, under enormous pressure from the Casa Real, the romance officially came to an end. Joshua Hammer, Town & Country, 21 Aug. 2022 At an all-staff meeting in June, Musk floated the potential for making Twitter into a global version of WeChat, the superapp through which enormous amounts of China’s digital economy flows. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 28 Oct. 2022 But fracking also requires enormous amounts of water — as much as 16 million gallons per well in the United States, according to Bloomberg News. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 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 26 Nov. 2022.

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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