\ ˈhe-vē How to pronounce heavy (audio) \
heavier; heaviest

Definition of heavy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having great weight also : characterized by mass or weight how heavy is it?
b : having a high specific gravity : having great weight in proportion to bulk Lead and gold are heavy metals.
c(1) of an isotope : having or being atoms of greater than normal mass for that element heavy carbons
(2) of a chemical compound : containing heavy isotopes heavy ammonia
2 : difficult to bear specifically : causing or characterized by severe pain or suffering a heavy sorrow
3 : of weighty import : serious heavy consequences
4 : characterized by depth or intensity : profound a heavy silence
5a : borne down by something oppressive : burdened returned with heavy spirit
b : pregnant especially : approaching parturition She is heavy with child.
6a : slow or dull from loss of vitality or resiliency : sluggish a tired heavy step
b : lacking sparkle or vivacity : drab a heavy writing style
c : lacking mirth or gaiety : cheerless
d : characterized by declining prices The market is heavy.
7 : dulled with weariness : drowsy eyes were growing heavy
8 : greater in quantity or quality than the average of its kind or class: such as
a : of unusually large size or amount a heavy turnout
b : of great force heavy seas
c : threatening to rain or snow a heavy sky heavy clouds
d(1) : impeding motion heavy traffic
(2) : full of clay and inclined to hold water heavy soil
e : coming as if from a depth : loud heavy breathing
f : thick, dense a heavy beard a heavy growth of timber heavy syrup
g : oppressive, overwhelming heavy perfume heavy weather rule with a heavy hand
h : steep, acute on a heavy grade
i : laborious, difficult heavy going
j : immoderate a heavy smoker
k : more powerful than usual for its kind a heavy cavalry a heavy cruiser
l : of large capacity or output a heavy pump
9a : very rich and hard to digest heavy desserts
b : not properly raised or leavened heavy bread
10 : producing goods (such as coal, steel, or chemicals) used in the production of other goods heavy industry
11a : having stress (see stress entry 1 sense 5a) a heavy rhythm used especially of syllables in accentual verse
b : being the strongest degree of stress in speech the heavy stress on the first syllable of basketball
12 : relating to theatrical parts of a grave or somber nature playing heavy roles
13 : possessing a high degree or a great deal of something specified : long heavy on ideas
14 : important, prominent a heavy politician



Definition of heavy (Entry 2 of 3)

: to a great or overwhelming degree weighed heavy on her mind : with or as if with great weight : in a heavy manner : heavily Clouds hung heavy in the sky.


plural heavies

Definition of heavy (Entry 3 of 3)

2a : a theatrical role of a dignified or somber character also : an actor playing such a role
b : a character in a story or play who opposes the hero : villain
c : one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty : villain
d : someone or something influential, serious, or important

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from heavy


heaviness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for heavy


heavy, weighty, ponderous, cumbrous, cumbersome mean having great weight. heavy implies that something has greater density or thickness than the average of its kind or class. a heavy child for his age weighty suggests having actual and not just relative weight. a load of weighty boxes ponderous implies having great weight because of size and massiveness with resulting great inertia. ponderous elephants in a circus parade cumbrous and cumbersome imply heaviness and bulkiness that make for difficulty in grasping, moving, carrying, or manipulating. wrestled with the cumbrous furniture early cameras were cumbersome and inconvenient

Examples of heavy in a Sentence

Adjective “Is that box too heavy for you to lift?” “No, it's not very heavy.” The truck was carrying a heavy load. The man was six feet tall with a heavy build. Turnout for the election is expected to be heavy. We got caught in heavy traffic. Heavy rains caused flooding in the area. She was wearing sunglasses and heavy makeup. The storm caused heavy damage to the building. The company is facing heavy losses this quarter. a day of heavy fighting Adverb The smoke hung heavy in the air. Noun He played the heavy in film after film. The conference will be attended by several media heavies. They have become one of the industry heavies.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective It was last pressed into use in November due to the heavy turnout of Election Day voters at Hillside Middle School. John Benson, cleveland, "Seven Hills using $50,000 county grant to purchase new 14-passenger community bus," 30 Apr. 2021 Carlson may be viewed as an instrument to build up Fox’s presence in streaming media; witness the heavy promotion of his Fox Nation programming. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Tucker Carlson mystery: How does his show survive without major advertisers?," 30 Apr. 2021 Some have blamed the problems on poor planning and heavy bureaucracy by Delhi. Shan Li, WSJ, "India’s Covid-19 Surge Worsens as Nation Stumbles in Vaccine Expansion," 30 Apr. 2021 Biden’s Wisconsin victory was also powered by overwhelming turnout in liberal Madison and strong performance in Democratic-heavy Milwaukee. Thomas Beaumont, ajc, "'I'm still exhaling': Swing-state voters on Biden's 100 days," 30 Apr. 2021 It was destroyed by fire in 1966, rebuilt quickly and later restored, accentuated by heavy Mission-style furniture, historic photos, and modern conveniences such as in-room mini-fridges and microwaves. Washington Post, "Four national parks in four seasons," 30 Apr. 2021 Rounds of heavy showers and thunderstorms will persist Friday through Sunday in Texas. Jackson Dill And Monica Garrett, CNN, "Colliding seasons will bring wind, snow and severe storms to eastern US this weekend," 30 Apr. 2021 In Notre Dame's run-heavy offense, Eichenberg displayed the strength and power to push defensive tackles out of the pocket. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "Protection for Joe Burrow: Bengals' best options in the second round of the NFL Draft," 30 Apr. 2021 Riggio is sharing time with junior Conor Clancy, feeding the ball to heavy hitters Nyherowo Omene, Kyle Pietrzak, Andrew Kopinski and Mike Uldrych. Jeff Vorva, chicagotribune.com, "Meals and deals: Neil Riggio sets up hitters at Marist while working with teammates to supply free meals for nurses and hospital staff," 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb His co-stars Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo scored nominations, but Tatum did his share of heavy-lifting in this tragic film. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Channing Tatum’s 10 best movies ranked," 26 Apr. 2021 Republicans across the country portray the idea as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Jill Biden, Gay Men’s Chorus, eel fishery: News from around our 50 states," 23 Apr. 2021 For some, there’s also an awareness that an industry dominated by wealthy white men could be seen as heavy-handed at a time when many Bostonians hope to elect a nonwhite mayor for the first time. BostonGlobe.com, "Developers are hedging their bets in a six-way mayoral race," 11 Apr. 2021 Anybody looking for something substantial to glom on to here — to see if there’s an engine rumbling and purring underneath the genre hood — will unfortunately have to settle for a political metaphor that’s heavy-handed even in zero gravity. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "‘Voyagers’: Teenagers, Lost (and Horny) in Space," 8 Apr. 2021 The heavy-lifting for most of the game was carried by Tre Gomillion (18 points, six rebounds) and Torrey Patton (16 points, 10 rebounds). Terry Pluto, cleveland, "A walk-on ‘MVP’, a stunning championship season for Cleveland State – Terry Pluto," 22 Feb. 2021 The first moving job Fully Loaded Deliveries owner Chris Berg did involved a very substantial — and valuable — 6-foot farm table, with his wife as his heavy-lifting partner. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "How a high-end moving Phoenix company got its start, and what it does differently," 19 Feb. 2021 That heavy-eyed little hoophead Ponda posted a picture of is now the first No. 1 overall pro draft pick from either the Texas women’s or men’s basketball programs. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Dallas Wings select Texas' Charli Collier No. 1 in WNBA draft," 15 Apr. 2021 The threat of the virus hangs heavy - not only in the risk of infection, but also in the steep consequences of disruption on a vessel. Author: Taylor Telford, Jacob Bogage, Anchorage Daily News, "Essential, invisible: COVID has 200,000 merchant sailors stuck at sea," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kenneth Branagh tries to give it some muscular direction but makes the critical mistake of casting himself as the Russian heavy, who’s like a worse workshop version of his already over-the-top villain in Tenet. Tim Grierson, Vulture, "Tom Clancy Movies, Ranked," 30 Apr. 2021 The supporting characters are all great: especially Olle Sarri as tech titan Tomas Storm and Dada Fungula Bozela as a menacing drug heavy. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "3 Swedish Shows to Binge When You're Done Watching French TV," 27 Apr. 2021 On a show less interested in character development, a speech like that might mark Terry as a heavy. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Rutherford Falls Reckons Optimistically With America’s Flawed Past and Present," 20 Apr. 2021 When teams want to neutralize the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the best strategies is to send a heavy to separate the player from the puck. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Chicago Blackhawks’ deadline trades carried a theme — get bigger or faster or bust — and it didn’t cost them much to do it," 13 Apr. 2021 This year’s class of tight ends may be considered top heavy with a potential top-five pick in the mix. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Miami Dolphins’ NFL draft options: Tight ends," 7 Apr. 2021 Our tester also loved the heavy, thumping bass on these cans, as well as their extended battery life, which ran about 40 hours on a single charge. Nishka Dhawan, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this weekend," 3 Apr. 2021 Contracts for the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 ticked down 0.4%. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "Goldman, Discovery, Houghton: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today," 29 Mar. 2021 Choose the Advanced Settings option at the bottom, though, and the old black and white, text-heavy menus are replaced by much more streamlined, white on see-through grey menus. John Archer, Forbes, "LG OLED65G1 OLED TV Review: Walk On The Bright Side," 19 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heavy.' 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 heavy


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heavy

Adjective and Adverb

Middle English hevy, from Old English hefig; akin to Old High German hebīc heavy, Old English hebban to lift — more at heave entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heavy

Time Traveler for heavy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for heavy

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heavy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heavy. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heavy



English Language Learners Definition of heavy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having great weight : difficult to lift or move
: large in size and weight
: having a particular weight



English Language Learners Definition of heavy (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a heavy way



English Language Learners Definition of heavy (Entry 3 of 3)

: a bad person in a movie or play
US, informal : a person or thing that is serious, important, or powerful


\ ˈhe-vē How to pronounce heavy (audio) \
heavier; heaviest

Kids Definition of heavy

1 : having great weight
2 : unusually great in amount, force, or effect heavy rain heavy sleep heavy damage
3 : made with thick strong material heavy rope
4 : dense and thick heavy eyebrows
5 : hard to put up with a heavy responsibility
6 : sad or troubled It's with a heavy heart that I leave you.
7 : having little strength or energy My legs grew heavier with every step.

Other Words from heavy

heaviness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on heavy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heavy

Nglish: Translation of heavy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heavy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heavy

What made you want to look up heavy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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