\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the two games since, he barely was involved in run-heavy game plans. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb is known for making ‘unreal’ catches in big moments, but it’s his ‘dog’ mentality that sets him apart," 23 May 2020 Apart from the not-so-heavy viewing, a couple of TV gems have arrived that challenge boundaries and explore complexities rather than attempt to fit into neat genres. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: You’ve been watching a lot of TV, right? Yeah, me, too," 21 May 2020 Fox recently unveiled a fall schedule heavy on reality and animation, with L.A.’s Finest-—a middling police procedural imported from cable provider Spectrum—filling out its scripted lineup. Judy Berman, Time, "What Will TV Look Like After the Pandemic?," 21 May 2020 And though sturdy lettuces like iceberg, romaine, and kale can stand up to heavy, creamy dressings, delicate microgreens, mesclun, and herbs call for thinner vinaigrettes. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "23 Easy Green Salads," 21 May 2020 Its owner, JAB Holdings, is known for investments in storefront-heavy companies such as Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "What will Uber look like after the coronavirus?," 19 May 2020 The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index soared 3.2%, to 2,953.91, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite advanced 2.4%, to 9,234.83. Taylor Telford, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Triple whammy’ of good news powers Dow more than 900 points," 18 May 2020 Our spring rains were mud, heavy, wet mud everywhere that would dry to concrete. oregonlive, "Mount St. Helens eruption: Witnesses recall terror, awe when mountain exploded 40 years ago," 18 May 2020 The order, which takes effect Friday, applies to the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula and 17 counties in the tourism-heavy northern tip of the Lower Peninsula. Washington Post, "Michigan governor issues executive order allowing some businesses to reopen...," 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Smoke sits heavy in the wide valleys, spare of brush and only slightly rolling, a Tolkien backdrop when the sun is obscured by smoke. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "In Australia, fires heat up environmental movement," 18 Jan. 2020 Keeping pounds off the roof is crucial, especially with such a naturally top-heavy build. Drew Zieff, Outside Online, "11 Things to Take Your Van from Dirtbag to Dream Home," 16 Jan. 2020 Signing day is typically about the rich getting richer, and this year the best classes were especially top heavy. Washington Post, "AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EST," 6 Feb. 2020 That heavy-handed sensibility also influences the comic relief, which is reduced to easy laughs and borderline fourth-wall-breaking quips. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "‘The King’s Speech’ amounts to a stale retelling," 13 Feb. 2020 More or less Fargo for Mainers, this homespun murder mystery is set in the remote coastal outpost of Easter Cove, where sea salt hangs heavy in the air and local men work on the water, trawling the ocean for a fresh catch. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to stream (and skip) on Netflix and Amazon Prime this weekend," 20 Mar. 2020 There’s a spiritual component to the show as well, though one that verges on cliché thanks to a soundtrack that goes heavy on Gregorian chanting. Time, "FX on Hulu’s First Streaming Series, Devs, Is a Tech Thriller With Cosmic Ambitions," 3 Mar. 2020 Celtics coach Brad Stevens made a telling statement after the game, realizing his roster is top heavy. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Nights like Thursday in Milwaukee expose the Celtics bench," 17 Jan. 2020 On Thursday, broadcaster ITV announced that Johnson was refusing to do an interview with Julie Etchingham, another heavy-hitting journalist. Washington Post, "Breaking decades of tradition, Boris Johnson wants to dodge a notoriously tough interview with BBC’s top Rottweiler, Andrew Neil," 6 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or another large heavy-bottom, ovenproof pot over medium heat until shimmering. Rachel Levin, SFChronicle.com, "Wise Sons’ brisket recipe for Passover," 2 Apr. 2020 Expect the first round to contain plenty of wide receivers, offensive tackles and cornerbacks, but be top-heavy with quarterbacks. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "AL.com NFL mock draft: Tide, SEC could set records," 2 Apr. 2020 Otherwise, your portfolio would have become increasingly top-heavy with equities. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "When will the stock market start recovering? Turning point might may not depend on recession," 22 Mar. 2020 From baking and roasting to braising and broiling, Dutch oven recipes are a simple solution to busy weeknights, because one extra heavy, multi-cooking pot really can do it all. Ashley Leath, Country Living, "What Is a Dutch Oven and How Do I Use It?," 3 Feb. 2020 Cover with another sheet and break out your meat mallet, rolling pin or a big heavy can of tomatoes or beans. Los Angeles Times, "How to Boil Water: Chicken cutlets," 31 Mar. 2020 Organizers had canceled the run two other times, once in 2002 because of nearby wildfires and once in 1995 because of heavy late-season snowfall. Daniel Petty, The Denver Post, "Hardrock 100 endurance run canceled because of avalanche debris, snowpack," 10 June 2019 At 73, the current occupant of the White House appears to enjoy robust health despite his advancing age, his disdain for exercise, and a diet heavy on red meat, sugar, fast food and soda. Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "In a historically old presidential field, candidates refuse to release health records," 24 Feb. 2020 But four of those five appearances were by Clemson, and being top-heavy isn’t the same thing as being deep. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "New Cable Network for A.C.C. Heightens Arms Race in College Sports," 22 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for heavy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for heavy

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heavy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heavy. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for heavy



Financial Definition of heavy

What It Is

In the investing world, heavy refers to a security whose price can't seem to rise.

How It Works

Let's say Company XYZ has been trading between $12 and $15 a share for the last six months despite two quarters of good earnings. We might say the stock is heavy.

Why It Matters

Sometimes individual securities aren't the only things that are heavy; the whole market can be heavy. In those cases, the imbalance of buyers and sellers can create an opportunity to buy certain worthy stocks while they are "on sale." However, some technical analysis might find that a heavy market reflects investor hesitancy about the market and could be the precursor to a market that is about to take a big dip.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce heavy (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on heavy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heavy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heavy

Spanish Central: Translation of heavy

Nglish: Translation of heavy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heavy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heavy

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