great

adjective
\ˈgrāt, 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 names the 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 titles Lord 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 approval had a great timeit was just great

great

adverb

Definition of great (Entry 2 of 3)

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

great

noun
plural great or greats

Definition of great (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from great

Adjective

greatness noun

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!
See More

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. jsonline.com, "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

Like a great many girl of the late ’80s/early ’90s, I was raised on Sweet Valley High, The Baby-Sitters Club, and the Judy Blume canon (Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself is an underrated classic). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Change Your Life, One Bad Phone Habit at a Time," 5 July 2018 Steam and boiling water work great on these masses of seedlings. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what’s eating your currant bushes and ‘spitting’ on your wild roses," 13 July 2018 Pop into Uphill’s new storefront in Ballard to pick up this gorgeous all-leather camera case — that would also work great as the world’s most handsome diaper bag. Sara Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "Father’s Day gifts for dads with Seattle style," 8 June 2018 Football did great, basketball did great, soccer did great, cross country won. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Ryle, Covington Catholic lead the way in 3A regional track," 13 May 2018 That has been fixed with the latest software updates, and photos do look great now. Vjeran Pavic, The Verge, "Parrot Anafi drone review: flying high, but falling short," 2 July 2018 The former France great went on to win three straight Champions League titles as coach before quitting last month. Tales Azzoni, chicagotribune.com, "New Spain coach Hierro: 'I couldn't have said no'," 13 June 2018 Pérez says Tania is doing great for an inexperienced mother, and the cubs appear healthy. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "These Are the First Jaguars Born in This Argentinian Wetland in Over a Century," 11 June 2018 The plan was going great until her husband received the doorbell notification on his phone. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Adorable Amazon Deliveryman Helps Wife Hide Packages from Husband," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Since reopening in 2016 following a $50 million renovation, the Speed Museum can rightly compare with any museum in the country outside of the all-time greats. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Die a true Louisvillian by completing this Derby City bucket list," 19 June 2018 This time around, the drama began early in 2016 with Messi, one of the all-time greats and the anointed messiah. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "For Argies, Soccer is Religion, World Cup Win is Heaven," 16 June 2018 In the not-so-distant past, blues fans could wander around Grant Park every summer and run into one of the all-time greats — Koko Taylor here, Carey Bell there, Ray Charles on the big stage one year, Chuck Berry on it another year. Steve Knopper, chicagotribune.com, "Your Chicago Blues Festival guide to the tunes that matter," 4 June 2018 Irma Thomas on the Acura stage at 3:40 -- Elegant entertainment from one of New Orleans all-time greats. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Sunday's Jazz Fest picks: Buffett, Byrne or Benson?," 28 Apr. 2018 With a large portion of their core expected to return, the Wildcats could keep this run going for the foreseeable future, further establishing themselves as all-time greats. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Villanova Wins NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship," 3 Apr. 2018 The new bridge, named after the Canadian hockey great who played for the Detroit Red Wings, will have six lanes versus four on the Ambassador Bridge. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Canada Motors Ahead on New Bridge to Detroit," 12 June 2018 Enjoy one of the Demon Deacons' all-time greats, Chris Barclay, an ACC Icon. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "No one gets the short end in college athletics more than a cheerleader," 8 June 2018 One of the game's greats has already shown an eagerness to help. Adam H. Beasley, miamiherald, "Ballage says Miami is a 'perfect fit.' But how will he fit into the Dolphins' offense? | Miami Herald," 15 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of great

Adjective

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

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for great

Adjective

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

Adverb

see great entry 1

Noun

see great entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about great

Statistics for great

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for great

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for great

great

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of great

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very well

great

noun

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

: a very successful or admired person

great

adjective
\ˈgrāt \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!