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big man


a man of the highest status or power within a group, as a leader


The idea of a "big man" actually comes from the concept of the leader in American Subarctic cultures.

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Usage Note

informal's 21st Century Lexicon
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Examples from the Web for big man
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I'll tell you how it is," said the big man in the tone of one who is willing to argue a point.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • The big man opened his mouth to say something more, then turned on his heel.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • It had seemed to baffle the others; it baffled the big man now.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • A five, a four and the main,' shouted the big man, with a voice like the flap of a sail.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • At the door she met a bluff, big man, gross from head to foot.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
Slang definitions & phrases for big man

big man

noun phrase

A male school or campus leader: the prep school ''big man'' (1920s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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