- large, as in size, height, width, or amount: a big house; a big quantity.
- of major concern, importance, gravity, or the like: a big problem.
- outstanding for a specified quality: a big liar; a big success.
- important, as in influence, standing, or wealth: a big man in his field.
- grown-up; mature: big enough to know better.
- elder: my big sister.
- doing business or conducted on a large scale; major in size or importance: big government.
- consisting of the largest or most influential companies in an industry: Big steel wants to lower prices, but the smaller mills don't.
- Informal. known or used widely; popular: Nouvelle cuisine became big in the 1970s.
- magnanimous; generous; kindly: big enough to forgive.
- boastful; pompous; pretentious; haughty: a big talker.
- loud; orotund: a big voice.
- (of clothing or a clothing design) made of or distinguished by voluminous fabric that is loosely or softly shaped and fitted: a big shirt; the big look.
- (of a wine) having more than average flavor, body, and alcoholic content.
- filled; brimming: eyes big with tears.
- Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. pregnant.
- Obsolete. very strong; powerful.
- Informal. boastfully; pretentiously: to act big; to talk big.
- Informal. with great success; successfully: to go over big.
- the bigs, Sports Slang. the highest level of professional competition, as the major leagues in baseball.
- be big on, to have a special liking or enthusiasm for: Mother is big on family get-togethers.
- big with child. great(def 23).
Origin of big1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to build.
Origin of big2
- four-rowed barley.
Origin of bigg1
Examples from the Web for big
In that photo, Merabet has a big smile that spreads across his whole face and lights up his eyes.The Muslim Cop Killed by Terrorists
January 9, 2015
The Big Five banks dubbed too big to fail, are 35 percent bigger than they were when the meltdown was triggered.Sen. Warren’s Main Street Crusade to Pressure Clinton
January 8, 2015
Their three-day scientific outing was paid for by Epstein and was big success.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking
January 8, 2015
I really wanted Trenchmouth to succeed and at the time wished we were as big as Green Day.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
The big slug happened to hit the suspect in the street, passing through his arm and then striking Police Officer Andrew Dossi.Shot Down During the NYPD Slowdown
January 7, 2015
Can't tell; you don't know how big pills she's been smokin'.
She's one of the build that aren't so big as they look, nor yet so small as they look.
I saw 'em fur years, with a big cuttin' out to show the cross-section.
And there was big, handsome, Eddie Arledge, whose father had treated him shabbily.
Now don't breathe a word of this, but there's a big deal on in Consolidated Copper.
- of great or considerable size, height, weight, number, power, or capacity
- having great significance; importanta big decision
- important through having power, influence, wealth, authority, etcthe big four banks
- (intensifier usually qualifying something undesirable)a big dope
- informal considerable in extent or intensity (esp in the phrase in a big way)
- eldermy big brother
- grown-upwhen you're big, you can stay up later
- generous; magnanimousthat's very big of you
- (in combination)big-hearted
- (often foll by with) brimming; fullmy heart is big with sadness
- extravagant; boastfulhe's full of big talk
- (of wine) full-bodied, with a strong aroma and flavour
- too big for one's boots or too big for one's breeches conceited; unduly self-confident
- in an advanced stage of pregnancy (esp in the phrase big with child)
- big on informal enthusiastic aboutthat company is big on research
- boastfully; pretentiously (esp in the phrase talk big)
- in an exceptional way; wellhis talk went over big with the audience
- on a grand scale (esp in the phrase think big)
- to build
- to excavate (earth) into a pile
Word Origin and History for big
c.1300, northern England dialect, "powerful, strong," of obscure origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian dialectal bugge "great man"). Old English used micel in many of the same senses. Meaning "of great size" is late 14c.; that of "grown up" is attested from 1550s. Sense of "important" is from 1570s. Meaning "generous" is U.S. colloquial by 1913.
Big band as a musical style is from 1926. Slang big head "conceit" is first recorded 1850. Big business "large commercial firms collectively" is 1905; big house "penitentiary" is U.S. underworld slang first attested 1915 (in London, "a workhouse," 1851). In financial journalism, big ticket items so called from 1956. Big lie is from Hitler's grosse Lüge.
Idioms and Phrases with big
In addition to the idioms beginning with big
- big and bold
- big as life
- big bucks
- big cheese
- big daddy
- big deal
- big enchilada
- big fish in a small pond
- big head, have a
- big league
- big mouth, have a
- big of one
- big on
- big shot
- big stink
- big time
- big top
- big wheel
- go over big
- great (big) guns
- hit it big
- in a big way
- little frog in a big pond
- make a federal case (big deal)
- talk big
- think big
- too big for one's breeches
- what's the (big) idea
Also see underbigger.