\ˈhe-vē \
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


“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


The smoke hung heavy in the air.


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

The list of top donors is heavy with casino interests, payday and title lenders. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "A GOP group influential in Kentucky is funded by tobacco and casinos," 13 July 2018 While most of their testimonials weren’t heavy on tech specs, there were some common threads. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Apple's MacBook Pros Get Faster Chips, New Keyboards (Kinda)," 12 July 2018 This is heavy on hindsight, because at the time the Royals owned a playoff spot and were supremely motivated to make the most of their last season with Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas together. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The State of the Royals, Part 1 of 2: How did they get here?," 12 July 2018 Nola’s burden wouldn’t have been so heavy if only the Phillies had cashed in their opportunities late in that first game. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Aaron Nola picks up Phillies on the mound and at the plate in doubleheader split with Mets," 9 July 2018 Kyodo reported several deaths in a landslide in Hiroshima and more bodies were retrieved from collapsed housing in the ancient capital of Kyoto, both areas where the rainfall was heavy in the past few days. Time, "Death Toll Climbs to 76 As Heavy Rains Slam Southern Japan," 8 July 2018 Fruit may be as heavy as ever—here being hauled through the southwest Chinese municipality of Chongqing—but the yuan is looking rather light these days. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "U.S. Trade Tensions Send Yuan Sliding, Challenging China," 3 July 2018 Back then cameras were still heavy and fragile (or very expensive), and there was no Internet, so good in-car footage was hard to make and harder to find. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 Traffic before and after the show is heavy, so be sure to find your spot early. Brandon Rasmussen, idahostatesman, "Elk-calling contests. Fried chicken. And of course, fireworks. Your July 4 guide in SW Idaho," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The team would be top heavy, but with some shrewd maneuvering the Lakers could have their non-taxpayer mid-level exception available, a nearly $9 million chip to bring in another solid free agent. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Examining the Ripple Effects of LeBron James Forgoing Player Option," 29 June 2018 This picture is a heavy-handed pursuit of diminishing returns, given that the male lead, Vincent Elbaz, is equally unappealing as a creepy alpha male and a befuddled representative of oppressed manhood. New York Times, "In ‘Set It Up’ and 2 Other Netflix Comedies, No One Emerges Unscathed," 14 June 2018 Go heavy on the garnishes: Slice a bagful of lemons into wheels and wedges and grab a few bunches of fresh herbs. Marian Bull, GQ, "—Peter Meehan, Author Of An Upcoming Barbecue Book And Former Editor Of," 27 June 2018 The suspect is described as having a medium/heavy build and standing about six feet. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Gwinnett cops: Man threw rock through restaurant glass door to rob it," 6 July 2018 Emotion hangs heavy in the air from the moment the lights go up on designer Samantha DiGeorge’s typical elementary-school classroom. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Slow to build, 'Gidion's Knot' pays off in tangle of wrenching emotions," 28 June 2018 And while Welles has heavy touring planned for the fall, Wells, who also works at an East Nashville coffee shop, plans to keep adding to his stockpile of material. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Welles Debuts Video for Beatles & Foxygen-Inspired 'Hold Me Like I'm Leaving': Premiere," 25 June 2018 This new policy is a heavy-handed attempt to save face with Trump’s voters, since everything Trump does is for that adoration. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Here’s What Trump’s Executive Order to End Family Separation at the Border Really Means," 21 June 2018 Lebanese police have avoided such heavy-handed mass sweeps since 2012. Washington Post, "Lebanon LGBT scene empowered despite crackdown," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The defense has usually done well during the opening scrimmage of the spring and fall camp, which typically is run-heavy and allows the defense to play downhill. James Crepea, AL.com, "Auburn focusing on corrections after first spring scrimmage," 27 Mar. 2018 More processor-heavy is the fact that, unless developers are willing to live with a plunge in image quality, the frame rate essentially doubles, to some 120 frames per second. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "Why 3D Doesn't Work for TV, But Is Great for Gaming: Analysis," 11 Mar. 2010 The draw gods did Stephens no favors, pitting her against Donna Vekic of Croatia, a formidable grass court player, who hits a heavy, flat ball. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Five Thoughts From Day One of Wimbledon," 2 July 2018 What seems more likely now is that the company will launch 20 or more Falcon 9 boosters and just a few heavies each year. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Forget the Falcon Heavy’s payload and focus on where the rocket will go," 2 Feb. 2018 The addition would be top-heavy, a ponderous presence rather than a lightweight counterpoint. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Union Station plans on the wrong track," 25 June 2018 The cake is chilled, then frosted with a heavy whipped cloud of barely sweet Swiss buttercream. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "What Statement Should Your Wedding Cake Make?," 17 May 2018 In the 28 games since, their 120 innings rank second behind the 140 of Tampa Bay, which has completely revamped its pitching staff to be essentially reliever-heavy in the wake of a rash of injuries to its starting rotation. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres bullpen has shouldered load, now beginning to slump," 26 June 2018 Most fly rod cases are technical and logo-heavy; this thing is classic and pure. Michael Williams, GQ, "These Are the New Dad Status Symbols to Buy This Father’s Day," 13 June 2018

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


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


see heavy entry 1

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Statistics for heavy

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heavy

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

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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



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

: a person or thing that is serious, important, or powerful


\ˈhe-vē \
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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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).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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