Word of the Day : March 3, 2012

immense

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adjective ih-MENSS

Definition

1 : marked by greatness especially in size or degree; especially : transcending ordinary means of measurement

2 : supremely good

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" as something which is so tremendously big that it has not 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").


Examples

I often find it difficult to convey to the students in my science classes how immense the universe truly is.

"Even moderate rains -- and Rio is a city of immense downpours-turn many thoroughfares into rushing rivers...."-From an article by Jenny Barchfield in the Chicago Sun-Times, February 5, 2012



Word Family Quiz

What relative of "immense" begins with "d" and can refer to the length, width, height, or depth of something? The answer is ...


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