\ ˈgrāt How to pronounce great (audio) , Southern also ˈgre(ə)t \

Definition of great

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : notably large in size : huge all creatures great and small
b : of a kind characterized by relative largeness used in plant and animal namesthe great horned owl
c : elaborate, ample great detail
2a : large in number or measure : numerous great multitudes
b : predominant the great majority
3 : remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness great bloodshed
4 : full of emotion great with anger
5a : eminent, distinguished a great poet
b : chief or preeminent over others often used in titlesLord Great Chamberlain
c : aristocratic, grand great ladies
6 : long continued a great while
7 : principal, main a reception in the great hall
8 : more remote in a family relationship by a single generation than a specified relative great-grandfather
9 : markedly superior in character or quality especially : noble great of soul
10a : remarkably skilled great at tennis
b : marked by enthusiasm : keen great on science fiction
11 used as a generalized term of approvalhad a great timeit was just great



Definition of great (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a great manner : well Things are going great.


plural great or greats

Definition of great (Entry 3 of 3)

: an outstandingly superior or skillful person a tribute to the greats of baseball

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Examples of great in a Sentence

Adjective all creatures great and small The project will require a great amount of time and money. The building was restored at great expense. a great quantity of fish The low cost of these products gives them great appeal. There is a very great need for reform. They're in no great hurry to finish. There is a great demand for his services. an actress of great charm Is there any love greater than that between parent and child? Adverb We had some problems at first, but now things are going just great. Keep up the good work. You're doing great!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But perhaps his greatest assignment will be to repair the broken corporate culture that seems to be at the core of all Uber’s troubles. Deb Gabor, Fortune, "Why Uber Was Right Not to Hire a Female CEO," 30 Aug. 2017 Prior to Houston’s floods, the Sacramento region was often described as the U.S. metropolitan area at second-greatest risk of a devastating flood, after New Orleans. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Think Harvey-like flooding couldn’t happen to Sacramento? Think again.," 30 Aug. 2017 While most residents were satisfied with their interactions with police, white respondents reported greater satisfaction than their non-white counterparts., "Trust damaged between Milwaukee police and community, Department of Justice draft report says," 30 Aug. 2017 Photograph courtesy of Barcade Once named one of America’s best bars by Esquire, Barcade boasts seven locations around greater New York, but this will be their first venture outside the I-95 corridor. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Barcade Is Opening in L.A., and Our Joystick Thumbs Are Trembling," 30 Aug. 2017 Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. Scott Spillman, New Republic, "War, Civil War, or Revolution?," 30 Aug. 2017 Indonesia joins Bolivia, Argentina and other countries that have sought a greater say in the resources under their soil. Jon Emont, New York Times, "Freeport to Give Indonesia a Majority Stake in Its Grasberg Mine," 29 Aug. 2017 Those students who ended up at better schools made greater academic gains than those who did not, and again, the effect was most pronounced for black and Hispanic students in poverty. Monique Judge, The Root, "Closing Low-Performing Schools More Likely to Negatively Affect Black and Hispanic Students: Report," 29 Aug. 2017 Now, as one can see, there’s greater flexibility among journalists. The Hive, "How Silicon Valley Has Changed Hurricane Coverage," 28 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Simplify your life with these make-ahead meals that taste great now and even better later. Sunset Magazine, "Your Meal Prep Master Plan for the New Year," 10 Jan. 2020 The thought that this once great, powerful, independent nation may not be great again really terrifies me. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Looking for the leaker is wrong; Unity should be top priority; The Post can play a role in a return to civility (11/6/19)," 6 Nov. 2019 The 6-foot-3, 190-pound freshman made spectacular catches each of the last two games and is already drawing comparisons to a former Bulldog great, A.J. Green. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Top 10 showdown as Georgia hosts Irish between the hedges," 19 Sep. 2019 Jeter, the Yankees great, hit some decent shots with a wrap-around-his-back baseball swing. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: Celebrity hit-and-giggle scramble with Brett Favre is all about the fun at AmFam Championship," 23 June 2018 Hal Greer, 81, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and former Sixers great, passed away Saturday in Phoenix after battling an illness. Keith Pompey,, "Former Sixers great Hal Greer dies," 16 Apr. 2018 It’s been going great, actually, and appreciate, like Mario was saying, that so much was done by the bowl and all the people, the hotel, the facilities. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "What Mario Cristobal, Paul Chryst said on eve of Rose Bowl," 31 Dec. 2019 Lynch may end up being great in Seattle’s backfield., "returned to practice with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, clearing the way for the star defensive end to play in the team’s playoff game in two weeks.," 25 Dec. 2019 Lynch may end up being great in Seattle’s backfield. Tim Booth, The Denver Post, "Marshawn Lynch’s return provides a spark for Seahawks locker room," 25 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Take musical workshops, watch performances by ukulele greats and search the marketplace for Hawaiian snacks and goods. Sara Cagle, Los Angeles Times, "It’s playtime at the uke festival and at other weekend events in the L.A. area," 25 Sep. 2019 Perhaps most notably, running backs Jim Brown and Barry Sanders and wide receiver Calvin Johnson were all-time greats who retired with plenty of productive on-field days seemingly still ahead of them. Mark Maske, The Denver Post, "Today’s NFL is all about pampering QBs, but it didn’t work with Andrew Luck and the Colts," 25 Aug. 2019 Punk ranks among pro wrestling’s all-time greats, and his ability to cut some of the most prolific promos in the history of the business only enhanced his legacy. Justin Barrasso,, "CM Punk To Appear At Starrcast For Interview," 18 July 2019 Joining her in Mulan’s cast are action movie greats like Jet Li and Donnie Yen. Allegra Frank, Vox, "Disney’s live-action Mulan remake isn’t a musical, it’s a feminist action movie," 8 July 2019 Jerseys, magazine covers and photographs of baseball greats decorate the wall. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "From Popeyes to Macayo's, these were the biggest moments in metro Phoenix dining in 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 With the list of artistic greats the Thread Shop represents, Jimi will be at home among giants. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Sony Music's Thread Shop Signs Worldwide Deal for Jimi Hendrix Merch," 16 Dec. 2019 The first show, to run from September 2020 until January 2021 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, will star paintings by Sandro Botticelli, one of the Italian Renaissance’s greats. Washington Post, "Italy’s Uffizi to partner with Hong Kong on art exhibitions," 28 Nov. 2019 Mayweather, who was undefeated in his career with a record of 50-0, is considered one of boxing's all-time greats. Ben Morse, CNN, "Floyd Mayweather says he is 'coming out of retirement in 2020' after UFC talks," 22 Nov. 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for great

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English grete, from Old English grēat; akin to Old High German grōz large

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Time Traveler for great

Time Traveler

The first known use of great was before the 12th century

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Statistics for great

Cite this Entry

“Great.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for great


How to pronounce great (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of great

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very large in size : very big
used in the names of animals that are larger than similar animals
: very large in amount or extent



English Language Learners Definition of great (Entry 2 of 3)

informal : very well



English Language Learners Definition of great (Entry 3 of 3)

: a very successful or admired person


\ ˈgrāt How to pronounce great (audio) \
greater; greatest

Kids Definition of great

1 : very large in size : huge a great mountain
2 : large in amount a great crowd
3 : long entry 1 sense 2 a great while
4 : much beyond the ordinary a great success
5 : important sense 1, distinguished a great artist
6 : very talented or successful She's great at diving.
7 : very good We had a great time.

Other Words from great

greatly adverb He's greatly admired.

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More from Merriam-Webster on great

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for great

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with great

Spanish Central: Translation of great

Nglish: Translation of great for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of great for Arabic Speakers

Comments on great

What made you want to look up great? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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