\ 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 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



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


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?


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

The numbers back up Bill Nye By most measures of well-being, humans are doing great. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Bill Nye wants you to remember it’s still the best time to be alive," 11 June 2019 Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz has been hospitalized after being shot in his native Dominican Republic. Rob Carr / Getty Images, San Diego Union-Tribune, "David Ortiz, former Red Sox star, stable after Dominican Republic ambush shooting," 10 June 2019 The stock market is doing great, unemployment is low. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Jeb Bush, done with politics, thinks a Democrat who preaches civility will win nomination," 8 June 2019 There is a distance so great between the lovers that no contact is ever made that is not an abstract contact. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 Gauges of investor sentiment showed supreme confidence that everything was going great; one, the long-running Investors Intelligence survey of the attitude of investment newsletter writers, hit its highest since 1986. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Markets Corrected Investor Mistakes This Year, And it Hurts," 20 Dec. 2018 The Stanley 99 is a classic example of the less-is-more industrial design that makes utility knives great. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "Stanley Made a Lightweight Plastic Utility Knife. So Is It Any Good?," 14 Nov. 2018 There are surely some womenswear brands that have this kind of inspiration and do great, however their journey isn’t that easy as streetwear is mostly rooted in menswear and unisex. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Think Streetwear Is a New Phenomenon? Meet Luca Benini Who Started the Hype 30 Years Ago," 11 Jan. 2019 Oh, and the cocktail and wine lists are pretty great too. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "17 Best Bars in Las Vegas," 4 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Paradise Camp, where former Hurricanes greats not only coach prospective recruits but spend time with current Miami players, is the brainchild of former Hurricanes coach Mark Richt, a Miami football alum himself. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "How Hurricanes hope former UM greats, new recruiting tactics will help land top prospects at annual Paradise Camp," 21 June 2019 His current delegation includes kicker Stephen Gostkowski and former greats Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Vince Wilfork, Kevin Faulk and Andre Tippett. Aron Heller, Houston Chronicle, "Israel honors Patriots owner Robert Kraft amid solicitation case," 20 June 2019 His current delegation includes kicker Stephen Gostkowski and former greats Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Vince Wilfork, Kevin Faulk and Andre Tippett. Aron Heller,, "Robert Kraft pledges $20 million to fight anti-Semitism," 20 June 2019 And two greats of the WNBA have joined NBA front offices: Sue Bird (Denver) and Swin Cash (New Orleans). Bruce Jenkins,, "DeMarcus Cousins looks like a fit with Warriors, but it’s complicated," 18 June 2019 Just a few days before, Golden State’s best player, Kevin Durant, one of the league’s all-time greats, had ruptured his Achilles tendon while trying to play after weeks away with an injury. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "The Raptors’ Joyous N.B.A. Finals Victory Brings the Warriors Dynasty to an End," 14 June 2019 Equally noted as an author, educator, pianist and composer, his recording credits include solo outings and albums with the late saxophone greats Johnny Griffin and Eddie Lockjaw Davis. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego summer concerts go from ‘A’ (Anderson.Paak) to ‘Z’ (The Zombies)," 13 June 2019 Recently, Ortiz teamed up with fellow beefy baseball greats Prince and Cecil Fielder for a very naked and very hilarious ad for Kingsford charcoal (Ortiz is known to enjoy a good lunch). Aj Willingham, CNN, "Why David Ortiz is beloved beyond baseball (and how he got the nickname Big Papi)," 10 June 2019 Over many seasons, the Scottsdale restaurant hosted baseball greats including Bob Uecker, George F. Will and Bud Selig. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "Here are the biggest Arizona restaurant closings of 2019 so far," 8 June 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

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

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More Definitions for great



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with great

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


showing courage and determination

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