adjective, often capitalized
gar·​gan·​tuan | \gär-ˈgan(t)-sh(ə-)wən \

Definition of gargantuan 

: tremendous in size, volume, or degree : gigantic, colossal gargantuan waterfalls

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Did You Know?

Gargantua is the name of a giant king in François Rabelais's 16th-century satiric novel Gargantua. All of the details of Gargantua's life befit a giant. He rides a colossal mare whose tail switches so violently that it fells the entire forest of Orleans. He has an enormous appetite - in one memorable incident, he inadvertently swallows five pilgrims while eating a salad. The scale of everything connected with Gargantua gave rise to the adjective "gargantuan," which since Shakespeare's time has been used of anything of tremendous size or volume.

Examples of gargantuan in a Sentence

a creature of gargantuan proportions people seem to be buying ever more gargantuan SUVs these days

Recent Examples on the Web

Medicare-for-all has a great talking point but no plan Bringing the entire health care system onto the federal books would be a big deal because a gargantuan sum of money is already being spent in the health care sector. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The $21 trillion Pentagon accounting error that can’t pay for Medicare-for-all, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 Many of the most delicious or Insta-worthy activities are also some of the cheapest: Grab food on the fly at the gargantuan Reading Terminal Market or cram in for a selfie in front of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza. Juliet Izon, Good Housekeeping, "5 Cheap Road Trips to Take When You Really Need to Get Out of Town," 25 July 2018 Executives from Adobe showed how it could be used to edit a gargantuan image with a new full-powered iPad version of its popular Photoshop application. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Seattle Times, "Apple redesigns the iPad Pro, breathes new life in the MacBook Air," 30 Oct. 2018 The Pearl River Delta supports a gargantuan economy, earning the distinction of world's largest megacity in 2015. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "China Opens Gargantuan 34-Mile Mega Bridge," 23 Oct. 2018 Shelby, this is going to be a gargantuan media bonanza for those who want to push their case. Fox News, "Kennedy: Kavanaugh is firm that allegation didn't happen," 18 Sep. 2018 Her family's empire is gargantuan and awe-inspiring, with stakes in reality TV, beauty, and fashion, among other markets. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian's New Fragrances Reportedly Made $5 Million in 5 Minutes," 20 July 2018 On Thursday, a little red wagon of gargantuan proportions goes on display in Radio Flyer’s hometown of Chicago. Robert Duffer,, "Radio Flyer celebrates 100 years with giant wagon in downtown Chicago," 13 July 2017 But the state continues to pursue the outsiders, too, if often in more modest ways than the gargantuan deals offered like the $4 billion thrown at Amazon and a bit less at Foxconn. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Is Snyder changing game plan when it comes to growing jobs, skills?," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gargantuan.' 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 gargantuan

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gargantuan


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Statistics for gargantuan

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gargantuan

The first known use of gargantuan was in 1596

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More Definitions for gargantuan



English Language Learners Definition of gargantuan

: very large in size or amount


gar·​gan·​tuan | \gär-ˈgan-chə-wən \

Kids Definition of gargantuan

: extremely large or great : huge a gargantuan dinosaur

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More from Merriam-Webster on gargantuan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gargantuan

Spanish Central: Translation of gargantuan

Nglish: Translation of gargantuan for Spanish Speakers

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