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

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

In terms of sheer numbers, Plymouth’s ART IN THE PARK is topped only by the gargantuan Ann Arbor Art Fair. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: Art fairs in Plymouth, Wyandotte; Italian, Polish fests in Sterling Heights," 10 July 2019 But change comes slowly to this small division of the gargantuan Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which also must feed its other Italian brands — Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 Against such predatory machines, along with gargantuan models such as the Sequoia, Titan, and Armada, everyone needs to up armor and fight for the high ground. Dan Albert, Vox, "Driverless cars are coming. We’ll miss the thrill of the ride.," 21 June 2019 The accessory was of such gargantuan proportions that Parker had to actually sit on the floor of the car en route to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Sarah Jessica Parker’s Best Met Gala Looks of All Time," 22 Apr. 2019 Her work updates the 18th-century landscapes of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Hubert Robert, who portrayed fishmongers and peasants milling about amid the gargantuan ruined splendors of ancient Rome. Steven Litt,, "Cuyahoga 50 photo shows uncover fresh takes on the recovery of a once combustible river," 30 June 2019 All ages are free to wander the resort and look at the millions of dollars worth of art (don’t miss the gargantuan statute of Popeye that’s a short walk from the main lobby). Joshua Miller,, "The Encore Boston Harbor casino opens Sunday. Here’s everything you need to know," 19 June 2019 This is a humanitarian crisis of gargantuan proportions. Erica Werner, Washington Post, "Bipartisan Senate negotiators strike deal on $4.5 billion emergency border bill," 18 June 2019 Chernobyl is a testament to the Soviet affinity for gargantuan architecture and design. Dallas News, "Decades after nuclear disaster, tourism is booming at Chernobyl," 18 June 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce gargantuan (audio) \

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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