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

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 In one of the tunnels, a gargantuan Mr. Incredible tries unsuccessfully to corral his son, while the scent of Jack-Jack’s favorite treats, Cookie Num Nums, wafts in the air. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disneyland's new Pixar Pier: Is it Incredible?," 10 July 2018 That coincided with the Obama administration, which — faced with gargantuan backlogs — prioritized deporting undocumented immigrants who had only recently entered the country. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Feds decided to deport her — two decades after her Miami marijuana arrest," 5 July 2018 The Cavaliers were terrific in the first half, getting a typically-gargantuan performance from LeBron James, who had 24 points and 4 assists. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals: Warriors Survive Superman’s Best Punch in Game 1," 1 June 2018 Bella Hadid and Elsa Hosk have been wearing those gargantuan, grandpa-style sneakers from Balenciaga in the wild, and Kendall Jenner was recently seen sporting a similar style from Yeezy. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Chloë Sevigny Has Been Wearing the Same Shoes for Over a Decade," 10 Jan. 2018 Up to two-thirds of their length are accounted for by gargantuan feeding tentacles that are tipped with clusters of powerful suckers and deployed against prey and predators alike—and perhaps even their own kin. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Operation Calamari: How the Smithsonian Got Its Giant Squids," 21 June 2018 One of the toughest challenges for any autonomous vehicle is coping with the gargantuan pile of data a suite of lidar laser sensors, radars, cameras, and other sensors can produce. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Mercedes Will Launch Self-Driving Taxis in California Next Year," 10 July 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

12 Oct 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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one that holds something together

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