\ ˈhef-tē \
heftier; heftiest

Definition of hefty

1 : quite heavy
2a : marked by bigness, bulk, and usually strength a hefty football player
c : impressively large : substantial hefty portions

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Other Words from hefty

heftily \ ˈhef-​tə-​lē \ adverb
heftiness \ -​tē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hefty


heavy, massive, ponderous, weighty


light, weightless

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Examples of hefty in a Sentence

He was a tall, hefty man. Her boss gave her a hefty raise. a hefty dose of irony He gave the door a hefty kick.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But Tacoma schools, unlike districts in wealthier parts of Washington, did not receive as large a windfall to pay for hefty raises. Neal Morton, The Seattle Times, "Tacoma teachers reach deal with district; schools could open Monday," 14 Sep. 2018 Average hourly earnings rose 2.9% in August from a year earlier, the fastest clip since mid-2009, suggesting that employers are being forced to shell out heftier raises to attract and retain workers. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Jobs Report Bolsters Federal Reserve in Its Gradual Rate Increases," 7 Sep. 2018 However, the reports are supposed to be confidential, and there are hefty penalties for unlawfully disclosing them: fines of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Reports on Other ‘Suspicious’ Michael Cohen Transactions Have Gone Missing," 17 May 2018 Failure to comply with the GDPR also comes with a hefty penalty. NBC News, "What is GDPR? A look at the European data privacy rules that could change tech," 25 Apr. 2018 Related Violating drone-operating rules in the U.K. can incur hefty fines and a prison sentence of up to five years, though penalties are typically more lenient. Robert Wall, WSJ, "U.K. Police Detain Two Over Drone Activity at London’s Gatwick Airport," 22 Dec. 2018 If the Commission were to decide the company violated the agreement, it could be presented with a hefty fine. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Facebook fends off new anti-monopoly questions after UK email release," 5 Dec. 2018 As Traveler previously reported when the ban was being trialled earlier this year, anyone caught violating the rules will be slapped with a hefty fine of between €40 ($45) and €240 ($269). Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rome Cracking Down on Street Drinking, Bad Tourist Behavior With New Laws," 28 Nov. 2018 Those who disobeyed faced whippings, hefty fines, detention, and even execution—often in public rituals designed to terrify others into submission. Sophia Jones, Marie Claire, "The Truth About The Wives of ISIS," 4 Oct. 2018

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

1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near hefty

Hefner candle




hefty price tag



Statistics for hefty

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hefty

The first known use of hefty was in 1863

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More Definitions for hefty



English Language Learners Definition of hefty

: large and heavy : big and strong
: very large
: very forceful


\ ˈhef-tē \
heftier; heftiest

Kids Definition of hefty

2 : very forceful He opened the door with a hefty shove.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hefty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hefty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hefty

Spanish Central: Translation of hefty

Nglish: Translation of hefty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hefty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hefty

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


excited commotion or publicity

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