im·​mense i-ˈmen(t)s How to pronounce immense (audio)
: marked by greatness especially in size or degree
especially : transcending ordinary means of measurement
the immense universe
: supremely good
immenseness noun

Did you know?

Just how big is something if it is immense? Huge? Colossal? Humongous? Ginormous? Or merely enormous? Immense is often used as a synonym of all of the above and, as such, can simply function as yet another way for English speakers to say "really, really, really big." Immense is also used, however, in a sense which goes beyond merely really, really, really big to describe something that is so great in size or degree that it transcends ordinary means of measurement. This sense harks back to the original sense of immense for something which is so tremendously big that it has not been or cannot be measured. This sense reflects the word's roots in the Latin immensus, from in- ("un-") and mensus, the past participle of metiri ("to measure").

Choose the Right Synonym for immense

enormous, immense, huge, vast, gigantic, colossal, mammoth mean exceedingly large.

enormous and immense both suggest an exceeding of all ordinary bounds in size or amount or degree, but enormous often adds an implication of abnormality or monstrousness.

an enormous expense
an immense shopping mall

huge commonly suggests an immensity of bulk or amount.

incurred a huge debt

vast usually suggests immensity of extent.

the vast Russian steppes

gigantic stresses the contrast with the size of others of the same kind.

a gigantic sports stadium

colossal applies especially to a human creation of stupendous or incredible dimensions.

a colossal statue of Lincoln

mammoth suggests both hugeness and ponderousness of bulk.

a mammoth boulder

Example Sentences

He inherited an immense fortune. She is an artist of immense talent.
Recent Examples on the Web Both of them got her into immense amounts of trouble. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Shauna is grieving and just experienced the immense trauma of losing her baby. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2023 The muscle releases from working on the backside of my body offered immense relief. Michelle Parente, Verywell Health, 13 May 2023 But despite immense efforts from Moscow, Russian forces were unable to fully capture the area in eastern Donetsk, and Western defense officials have been left wondering why the Kremlin invested so much of its resources into an area that held little strategic value for Russia. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 12 May 2023 As number of migrants increases at the border, the Department of Homeland Security said its plan would help release the immense strain on already overcrowded border facilities. Aditi Sangal, CNN, 12 May 2023 But the floating wind turbines that are needed for deep waters face salty wind gusts and large waves, not to mention the immense challenge of installing them in the first place. IEEE Spectrum, 12 May 2023 The fandom is so immense and passionate for this universe. Samantha Highfill,, 12 May 2023 Brief official accounts of the meeting Wednesday and Thursday between Mr. Sullivan and Wang Yi, the Communist leadership’s top foreign-affairs official, hinted at the immense strains between Washington and Beijing and the struggles both sides are having in steadying ties. Charles Hutzler,, 11 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'immense.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin immensus immeasurable, from in- + mensus, past participle of metiri to measure — more at measure

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of immense was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near immense

Cite this Entry

“Immense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​mense im-ˈen(t)s How to pronounce immense (audio)
: very great in size or amount
especially : not capable of being measured by ordinary means
the immense universe
immensely adverb
immenseness noun

from early French immense "immense, huge," from Latin immensus "boundless, too great to be measured," from im-, in- "not" and mensus, past participle of metiri "to measure" — related to dimension, measure

More from Merriam-Webster on immense

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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