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

Examples of gigantism in a Sentence

the gigantism that is this newest ocean liner is impossible to describe
Recent Examples on the Web The wrestler’s size was a result of gigantism caused by excess growth hormone, which later resulted in acromegaly, a disorder that can cause joint pain and headaches, along with a host of other complications. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 29 Feb. 2024 Eggs attached to rocky bottom become camouflaged in algae Moran, whose lab has studied polar gigantism for more than a decade, led a field research expedition in October 2021 to Antarctica with Ph.D. students Aaron Toh and Graham Lobert to study the continent's sea spider population. Eric Lagatta, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 Nevertheless, 2023 saw several interesting developments in fusion, mostly in connection with startup companies pursuing alternative approaches to the money-pit gigantism of ITER and the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. IEEE Spectrum, 31 Dec. 2023 The isolation of Madagascar also likely played a crucial role in the development of the elephant bird's extraordinary size, a phenomenon known as island gigantism. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 6 Dec. 2023 The ability to continue growing throughout the year may have been a key innovation, sustained by great migrations, that facilitated the emergence of gigantism in early sauropods. Michael D. D'emic, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2023 But Khan’s most significant effort to discourage corporate gigantism isn’t about mergers or private equity at all. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 3 Oct. 2023 Millhauser is also fascinated by miniaturization—models, replicas, doll houses, the smaller the better—and by its opposite, gigantism. Charles McGrath, The New Yorker, 7 Aug. 2023 In fact, the findings suggest that the trend toward gigantism in marine mammals may have begun earlier than thought, according to the study. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023

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 12 Jun. 2024.

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

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