great

1 of 3

adjective

ˈgrāt How to pronounce great (audio)
 Southern also  ˈgre(ə)t
1
a
: notably large in size : huge
all creatures great and small
b
: of a kind characterized by relative largeness
used in plant and animal names
the great horned owl
c
: elaborate, ample
great detail
2
a
: large in number or measure : numerous
great multitudes
b
: predominant
the great majority
3
: remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness
great bloodshed
4
used as a generalized term of approval
had a great timeIt was just great.
5
a
: eminent, distinguished
a great poet
b
: aristocratic, grand
great ladies
c
: chief or preeminent over others
often used in titles
Lord Great Chamberlain
6
: markedly superior in character or quality
especially : noble
great of soul
7
a
: remarkably skilled
great at tennis
b
: marked by enthusiasm : keen
great on science fiction
8
: more remote in a family relationship by a single generation than a specified relative
great-grandfather
9
: long continued
a great while
10
: principal, main
a reception in the great hall
11
: full of emotion
great with anger

great

2 of 3

adverb

: in a great manner : well
Things are going great.

great

3 of 3

noun

plural great or greats
: an outstandingly superior or skillful person
a tribute to the greats of baseball

Example Sentences

Adjective all creatures great and small The project will require a great amount of time and money. The building was restored at great expense. a great quantity of fish The low cost of these products gives them great appeal. There is a very great need for reform. They're in no great hurry to finish. There is a great demand for his services. an actress of great charm Is there any love greater than that between parent and child? Adverb We had some problems at first, but now things are going just great. Keep up the good work. You're doing great! See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
This is great for seeing exactly where things are on Orion’s first trip. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 20 Nov. 2022 This easy-to-use color printer is great for basic printing tasks like recipes, forms, and Word documents as well as scanning, copying, and faxing. Karl Klockars, PCMAG, 20 Nov. 2022 This Duo Plus has a 6-quart capacity and is great for small to medium households. Louryn Strampe Gear Team, WIRED, 19 Nov. 2022 For MacLean and her fellow upperclassmen, two consecutive titles — with the same score on the same field — was a great way to close out their Andover careers. Kat Cornetta, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Nov. 2022 Compact models are great for camping, and can provide a convenient alternative to campfire cooking and heating. Alex Rennie, Popular Mechanics, 18 Nov. 2022 This collar can be used in lieu of a tree skirt and also hides those unattractive tree stands that aren’t great for family Christmas cards. Casey Clark, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Nov. 2022 Sturdy handle on this classic shovel and is great for chipping away at the snow. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 17 Nov. 2022 That's all great for enabling Waymo's service to get up and running, but these vehicles, which are full of controls and dials for human drivers, are driven by a robot that, in the long term, doesn't actually need a steering wheel or pedals. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 17 Nov. 2022
Adverb
Elsewhere in the essay, Moore projects the exaggerated certitude of a pitch deck—or maybe a graduate student who’s trying to assure her doctoral supervisor that her research is coming along great. WIRED, 22 Nov. 2022 These winter gloves fit great, aren’t overly designed. Jamie Prokell, Men's Health, 21 Nov. 2022 This is another feature that will work great with AR glasses. Chris Smith, BGR, 18 Nov. 2022 Sure, the cold weather months start off great, with holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas keeping things festive as the days grow frigid and gray. Caroline Mckenzie, Country Living, 16 Nov. 2022 Stallone gives great stoned, which is a nice surprise in a career's seventh decade. Darren Franich, EW.com, 11 Nov. 2022 After going 47-34 at the Bank this season — good, not great compared with several top teams — the Phillies have become monster mashers at home in playoffs. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 31 Oct. 2022 Heck, Giannis is already a part-owner of the Brewers, so this should work great. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 20 Oct. 2022 This scarecrow pumpkin stencil works great not only for Halloween but also throughout the autumn season. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Nov. 2022
Noun
But the Swiss great ended his career last month because of a persistent knee injury. Arkansas Online, 25 Oct. 2022 Following the news of his death, a number of stars took to social media to mourn the loss of the hip-hop great. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 28 Sep. 2022 Asakura, who usually weighs about 165 pounds, is more Mayweather’s size than the last opponent the American great met in Japan three years ago. oregonlive, 24 Sep. 2022 In his opening statements, Vanessa's lawyer Luis Li shared the emotional impact the images have had on the NBA great's widow. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 11 Aug. 2022 Our coaches have done a great of challenging our players; our players are challenging themselves and each other. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 25 Mar. 2022 The good as well as the great can earn rings alike, and these Giants are more than merely good. Christina Kahrl, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Sep. 2021 Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said the 80-year-old soccer great is in an intensive care unit and will be transferred to a regular room on Tuesday. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 Florida State backup quarterback McKenzie Milton nearly pulled off an emotional victory on a night the Seminoles honored Bobby Bowden, the coaching great who died at 91 of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 8. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'great.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English grete, from Old English grēat; akin to Old High German grōz large

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of great was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near great

Cite this Entry

“Great.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/great. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

great 1 of 3

adjective

ˈgrāt How to pronounce great (audio)
 in South also  ˈgre(ə)t
1
: large in size : not small or little
2
: large in number : numerous
a great crowd
3
: long continued
a great while
4
: beyond the average or ordinary
a great weight
in great pain
5
: distinguished, prominent
a great artist
6
: more distant in relationship by one generation
7
: superior in quality or character
8
: remarkable in skill
great at tennis
9
used as a term of general approval
had a great time
greatly adverb
greatness noun

great

2 of 3

adverb

: in a great manner : successfully, well

great

3 of 3

noun

plural great or greats
: an outstandingly superior or skillful person
the greats of baseball

More from Merriam-Webster on great

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