\ 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 used as a generalized term of approvalhad a great timeIt was just great.
5a : eminent, distinguished a great poet
b : aristocratic, grand great ladies
c : chief or preeminent over others often used in titlesLord Great Chamberlain
6 : markedly superior in character or quality especially : noble great of soul
7a : remarkably skilled great at tennis
b : marked by enthusiasm : keen great on science fiction
8 : more remote in a family relationship by a single generation than a specified relative great-grandfather
9 : long continued a great while
10 : principal, main a reception in the great hall
11 : full of emotion great with anger



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 Tablets work great, especially ones designed with kids in mind. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "How to Set Up Your Kid’s Virtual Work/Play Space," 18 May 2020 Those would be the SLMD Comedone Extractor and Blackhead Tweezers, both of which work great on stubborn blemishes. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kim Kardashian Professed Her Love for Dr. Pimple Popper on Instagram," 25 Jan. 2020 Periods of isolation can work great for some, but many people are not built for this. Tom Stienstra,, "Going stir crazy at home? Time outdoors could work wonders," 13 Mar. 2020 So yeah, good luck Peter and Madi — seems like things are going great. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, "‘The Bachelor’ finale turns into a nightmare as Peter’s mom eviscerates the woman he chooses," 11 Mar. 2020 The odds are never great for same-party challengers when an incumbent president runs for re-election. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Joe Walsh Also Wants to Beat Donald Trump," 3 Feb. 2020 Texas as a whole is not doing so great coming in at 28th on WalletHub's state list. Stephen English, star-telegram, "Looking for happiness in North Texas? Steer clear of Dallas, WalletHub says | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 13 Mar. 2018 Green olives, on the other hand, tend to be much milder, and therefore work great as background music in dishes that have bolder foreground notes. Daryn Wright, Saveur, "The Hater’s Guide to Loving Olives," 3 Nov. 2016 This week, former Red Sox great David Ortiz called out Mike Fiers, the A’s pitcher and former Astro who was the first player to go public with the scandal. Ann Killion,, "Sign stealing vs. steroid scandal: Hall of Fame voters left to decide," 22 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Braves greats Eddie Mathews and Johnny Logan were on hand, as was former Braves coach Fred Haney. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Baseball returns to Milwaukee after four-year absence," 27 Apr. 2020 The 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class is loaded with all-time greats – one of most anticipated classes in years. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan among 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame inductees," 5 Apr. 2020 You will be remembered as one of the greats, your legacy will be legendary. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Longtime Frisco Wakeland volleyball coach Kim Watson announces retirement," 3 Apr. 2020 Slated to air live on HBO on April 16, the show was to feature standup acts from up-and-coming comedians as well as the greats; former TV host and comedian John Stewart was even supposed to make a rare return to the stage. Ineye Komonibo,, "All The Hollywood Films Being Affected By The Coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 Chandler Nationals Little League that went to two Little League World Series produced many Hamilton greats, including Cody Bellinger, who also was part of the Chandler Babe Ruth team that won the World Series in 2009. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Hamilton baseball builds success on coaching continuity, youth breeding ground," 24 Feb. 2020 One of San Francisco’s greats, La Folie restaurant, will close in March after 32 years in business. Esther Mobley,, "The appropriate way to drink wine and beer during Super Bowl LIV," 30 Jan. 2020 Respect to all the other Jeopardy! greats—and there are plenty—but these really are the three undisputed best to have played the game. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Jeopardy!: Greatest of All Time," 14 Jan. 2020 One method is to strive for some allegedly objective collection of movie greats, high points that most people might agree on without too much thought. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The 10 Best Movies of the 2010s," 13 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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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

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