gi·​gan·​tism jī-ˈgan-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce gigantism (audio)
ˈjī-gən- How to pronounce gigantism (audio)
: development to abnormally large size
: excessive vegetative growth often accompanied by the inhibiting of reproduction

Example Sentences

the gigantism that is this newest ocean liner is impossible to describe
Recent Examples on the Web For years, most paleontologists have believed that a suite of specific anatomical traits evolved in later sauropodomorphs to allow for gigantism. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 9 July 2018 This tendency toward gigantism is no different for isopods. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 Sander highlights five that each set off multiple evolutionary cascades ending in gigantism: having many small offspring, lacking a gastric mill (a grinding apparatus in the stomach), not chewing food, having a bird-like lung, and having high metabolism. Guest Blogger, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2013 After that and a gallery for Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, Martin Wong, and the overrated Jenny Holzer, the rest of the galleries of the art of our time feel like a big, questionable jumble and a tribute to gigantism. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 16 Sep. 2020 Then in his mid-50s, Mayhew — who was over 7 feet tall — was suffering from the effects of gigantism, a rare condition that causes people to grow extraordinarily tall and afflicts them with joint pain, muscle weakness and enlarged organs. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 The gigantism of Balhuticaris tells us that bivalved arthropods were exploring different ecological positions and can be interesting to understand how prey and predator interactions worked at that time. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 18 July 2022 Many of their children had special needs, including behavioral disorders and developmental delays; one had autism, and another had gigantism, a rare hormonal condition. Elinor Carucci, ProPublica, 1 Dec. 2021 As a result, his body produced too much growth hormone, causing conditions known as acromegaly and gigantism -- meaning his bones grew much bigger than normal. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 11 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gigantism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gigantism was circa 1885

Dictionary Entries Near gigantism

Cite this Entry

“Gigantism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Medical Definition


: development to abnormally large size from excessive growth of the long bones accompanied by muscular weakness and sexual impotence and usually caused by hyperpituitarism before normal ossification is complete

called also macrosomia

compare acromegaly

More from Merriam-Webster on gigantism

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