\ 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

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 But public relations-wise, things haven’t been going great for the royal household of late. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Spending Christmas This Year," 3 Dec. 2018 There are systemic causes of the violence that causes the disproportionate rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, of which a great many cases go unsolved. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "10 Native Activism Organizations to Show Your Support This Thanksgiving," 22 Nov. 2018 Try this beet in your flower border — the wine-red leaves are highly ornamental and look great all summer. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Beets This Fall for a Hearty Autumn Harvest," 21 Aug. 2018 Getty ImagesMax Mumby/Indigo For the most part, Meghan Markle's life has been going great. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Is Reportedly Planning a Secret Trip to Visit Her Estranged Father, Thomas Markle," 5 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Getting to know him and Max McGee and Paul (Hornung) and Jerry (Kramer) and Fuzzy (Thurston), the greats, Willie Davis, over the years has been a blast. Mark Inabinett |,, "Aaron Rodgers on Bart Starr’s death: ‘That was tough’," 4 June 2019 Eventually, that Walk of Fame will turn into a Hall of Fame building that will honor all the sports greats in Houston. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Plans in the works for Houston sports Hall of Fame," 9 Feb. 2018 The comedy boasts a lineup of greats, including Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Rachel Dratch, and Ana Gasteyer. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "How Amy Poehler’s Real-Life Girls’ Trips Inspired Netflix’s Wine Country," 10 May 2019 Watch Youtube videos of the greats (like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks) and practice your walk in the full length mirrors in your room or at the gym. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Model?," 17 July 2018 The Spirit Voyage channel features various kundalini greats to guide you through unique classes and meditations. Hannah Chenoweth, SELF, "The 9 Best YouTube Yoga Channels I Discovered While Practicing Yoga at Home for 6 Years," 5 May 2019 And maybe with a win, Shields will start to inch closer in popularity with some of the other greats in women’s sports. Dan Gelston, The Seattle Times, "Shields wants to lift women’s boxing into mainstream," 12 Apr. 2019 The Boston Red Sox joined the pantheon of those all-time greats Sunday night. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Boston Red Sox Win the World Series," 29 Oct. 2018 West also recalled how Kobe Bryant was drafted 13th overall by Charlotte in 1996 and became one of the NBA's all-time greats after he was traded by the Hornets to the Lakers on draft night. Broderick Turner,, "Clippers land the 12th and 13th picks in the 2018 NBA draft lottery; Suns will pick No. 1," 16 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.

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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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Statistics for great

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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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 great care, attention, and effort

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