\ 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 Our names are also heavy with historic and cultural context. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "What’s in a name? Ask Thandiwe Newton," 6 Apr. 2021 Keep in mind that these balls can be heavy, so toddlers or extremely active children might not love the style of rolling the balls instead of chucking them. Become Alice in Wonderland and host a croquet party. Laura Wheatman Hill, chicagotribune.com, "Lawn games for kids," 4 Apr. 2021 Hour-long martial arts lessons are offered by iaidō and kendo masters, styles that are both heavy on swordplay. Richard Morgan, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Historic Japanese Castle Is Now Open for Year-Round Stays," 1 Apr. 2021 Mark gets a piece, but is also ridiculously out of breath and is shocked at how heavy the pieces are. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The Challenge: All Stars premiere recap: Welcome (back) to The Challenge," 1 Apr. 2021 The quarterback position is top heavy with talent among the first 10 picks. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "SportsDay’s NFL draft guide: Cowboys storylines and targets, area prospects, and more," 1 Apr. 2021 There had been serious pre-race concern that the 3,400-pound Cup cars were too heavy for the Goodyear tires on the dirt surface. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "NASCAR’s Joey Logano prevails on Bristol’s dirt for first victory of season," 30 Mar. 2021 While much of the report was heavy on detail about molecular studies, virus evolution and possible animal hosts, the section dealing with the possibility of a lab leak was cursory at best. New York Times, "Virus Origins Remain Unclear in W.H.O.-China Inquiry," 29 Mar. 2021 Periods of rain are likely on Wednesday and Wednesday night, and could be heavy at times. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Brisk sunshine today, milder into midweek, then sharply colder," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Some Republicans in the U.S. see them as heavy-handed government intrusion. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Food banks, passing on passports, governors’ shots: News from around our 50 states," 7 Apr. 2021 But Republicans portray them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices. Star Tribune, "The Latest: Navajo Nation reports 4 new virus deaths," 3 Apr. 2021 Other judges are starting to question the government’s heavy-handed approach to defendants charged with unlawfully entering the Capitol but not attacking police or destroying property. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Brushback for Capitol Riot Prosecutors," 30 Mar. 2021 The metaphor to the DNC is a bit heavy-handed, but also, effective — the DNC is part of the machine that has, arguably, elevated the interests of a few wealthy people at the devastating expense of the working class. Brienne Walsh, Forbes, "Celeste Dupuy-Spencer Compares Progressives To Evangelicals In A New Painting," 12 Mar. 2021 In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, pour enough of the lemon water to come about 1 inch up the sides. Washington Post, "How to prep, cook and enjoy stuffed artichokes," 11 Mar. 2021 At the time, both local officials and the Pentagon were concerned about not repeating the optics of last June, when Guard troops backed up a heavy-handed response to largely peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Pentagon to be called to account for slow National Guard response to Jan. 6 Capitol riot," 24 Feb. 2021 Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat until bubbly. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "5 recipes to bring comfort, from Hainanese chicken rice to stewed short ribs with adobo," 30 Oct. 2020 President Biden, in his first phone call with Mr. Putin since being sworn in, raised concerns over Mr. Navalny’s detention and the heavy-handed treatment of peaceful protesters by Russian security forces. Alex Leary, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Russia Over Moves Against Navalny," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Their at-times abusive, monologue-heavy back and forth involves, among other things, his forgetting to thank her for her contributions to his project, which centers on a recovering addict much like Marie. New York Times, "Zendaya on ‘Malcolm & Marie’ and That Toxic Relationship," 21 Feb. 2021 The two bookends of the remaining schedule on either end of that home-heavy stretch, marked by the Nuggets’ two remaining road trips, include just two games at home out of 14. Joel Rush, Forbes, "Breaking Down The Denver Nuggets’ Remaining Regular-Season Schedule," 28 Feb. 2021 Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 rose 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "Palantir, BorgWarner, Occidental Petroleum: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today," 16 Feb. 2021 The East has become top heavy with Boston, Brooklyn, Miami, Philadelphia and Toronto having title aspirations as well. Broderick Turner Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "NBA preview: It’s all or nothing for Bucks in the East," 22 Dec. 2020 Good teams are strong in their 20th through 30th players and aren’t just top-heavy with stars. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns beat the Giants in what was a boring (and enormous) win: Doug Lesmerises," 20 Dec. 2020 There's the cross-genre appeal of Brenda Lee on holiday-heavy AC stations as well as on country and oldies stations, not to mention streaming becoming more and more prevalent with an older crowd each year. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Mariah Returns to No. 1, Other Holiday Favorites Overwhelm Hot 100," 15 Dec. 2020 This comfort food-heavy Oakland restaurant is celebrating Hanukkah on one night only (Dec. 10), and pre-orders need to come by Sunday. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "9 Bay Area restaurants serving Hanukkah feasts for takeout," 3 Dec. 2020

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heavy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heavy. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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

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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

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