\ 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 Retail and institutional trades may flow in opposite directions, which is great for market makers who can provide bids to buy for one and offers to sell for the other. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Robinhood’s speedy rise is shaking up the brokerage market," 19 Sep. 2020 But this gourd is great for so much more: hearty salads, sheet roasts, dips, curries, pastas, and sweet treats. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "33 Butternut Squash Recipes That Taste Like Fall," 18 Sep. 2020 New projects like this are great, but the real opportunity is with operators that are shifting their existing networks to O-RAN, according to Thierry Maupilé, Altiostar’s executive vice president of strategy and product management. Ian King,, "Huawei Ban Spurs New Competition for Ericsson, Nokia," 18 Sep. 2020 The Skymasters stand out from others in our field with their 40x magnification power, which is great for stars. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Hundreds of Thousands of Birds Are Suddenly Dropping Dead. No One Knows Why.," 17 Sep. 2020 Covered in cute kitties, trucks, dinosaurs and more, this lightweight microfiber set is also great for hot sleepers. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "We found the coolest, cutest and coziest kids’ sheets," 17 Sep. 2020 The velvet box is great for presentation and safekeeping. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Time-honored classics: Yenke Peddler antiques," 17 Sep. 2020 Squash, eggplant, and green tomatoes are all great. Stephanie Loomis Pappas, Bon Appétit, "Your “Expired” Milk Still Has So Much More to Give," 17 Sep. 2020 The numbers are great, the talent and depth exceptional. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "'Homesick' USC commit OL Saia Mapakaitolo leaves California for senior season at Red Mountain," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Heat have a a lineup of good to very good players — and one or two who play great with a big game on the line. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Dragic’s big ending reduces Celtics to locker-room shouting match | Commentary," 17 Sep. 2020 Find quick info below of four great-performing indoor trainers, then scroll for helpful buying advice and longer reviews of these and other top options. Bobby Lea, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Indoor Trainers for Dedicated Cyclists," 17 Sep. 2020 And succulents tend to do great in full or partial sun. Lia Picard, House Beautiful, "Side Yards Are the New Backyards," 11 Sep. 2020 While my day-to-day has changed considerably since last year, my desire for great-sounding music and the ability to block out noise—car alarms and my partner’s conference calls rather than the drone of an airplane—hasn’t. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Just Got Even Better," 11 Sep. 2020 Stroia said the restaurant initially did great with take-out business. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Downriver restaurant resorts to a $200 finder's fee to find cooks," 10 Sep. 2020 Bish was hurt, and Anton went in and won a lot of games for us, played great. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "In the biggest games of his career, Anton Khudobin is playing a starring role in the Stars’ playoff run," 8 Sep. 2020 There are so many things that make Queen Bey great. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "One day is much to small to celebrate Beyoncé. She needs a monument.," 4 Sep. 2020 The button would look great alone on a denim jacket or even amongst a cluster of other pins. Patrice J. Williams, USA TODAY, "10 fashion items you can wear to encourage voting for the 2020 election," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ricky Simms, Bolt's agent, confirmed the Olympic great's positive test to CNN. Ravi Ubha And Aleks Klosok, CNN, "Olympic great Usain Bolt tests positive for the coronavirus," 25 Aug. 2020 Never mind the Yankee great died 72 years ago – Curzon was determined to get a message through to him. CBS News, "A 10-year-old's heartfelt plea to Babe Ruth to bring back baseball," 12 June 2020 Selena took her place among RodeoHouston greats during Sunday's Star Trail of Fame ceremony. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Selena's family and fans celebrate her legacy at RodeoHouston Star Trail of Fame ceremony," 9 Mar. 2020 Giving them their rightful place among the game’s greats is not the same as condoning or absolving any cheating. Globe Staff,, "Clemens and Bonds belong in the Hall . . . and other baseball thoughts," 23 Jan. 2020 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, among other tennis greats, have also agreed to participate. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Serena Williams wins first title in 3 years — and donates prize money to Australia wildfire relief," 12 Jan. 2020 Turnbull also doubles as a gallery, with stunning black and white photography by the likes of Ansel Adams, Dorethea Lange, and Walker Evans, among other renowned 20th-century greats. The Editors, Outside Online, "Everything Our Editors Loved in November," 7 Dec. 2019 Lin-Manuel Miranda While posing for photographer Mark Seliger’s at the edge of roof four-stories high, Lin-Manuel Miranda was thinking about how Seliger’s image of him may hang among the American greats for years. Andrea Michelson, Smithsonian, "Here’s What NPG Gala Honorees Have to Say About Their Portraits," 23 Nov. 2019 These are the luxe-yet-practical accessories securing our tablescape’s place among the greats. Bon Appétit, "Create a Festive Thanksgiving Table, No Heirloom China Required," 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

Last Updated

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Great.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 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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Comments on great

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