Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang

big top

the largest or main tent of a circus.
a circus.
Origin of big top
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for big top
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Presently the side-show tent was up and the “big top” rising.

  • And I don't want the side show to dim the performance in the big top.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • Saying goodbye to her father, she bought a ticket and hastened into the big top.

    The Wishing Well Mildred A. Wirt
  • The big top was down, and poles and animal cages were being loaded on long trucks as he emerged.

    Anything Once Douglas Grant
  • Garry and Phil looked at all the animals as they passed through to the big top.

  • At the end of the landing on which their big top room opened was a short iron ladder.


    M. Leonora Eyles
  • In the summer, with the big top, I often simulated the ringmaster to make announcements from the center ring.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • He was walking around the end of the big top when a sudden flash of crimson appeared against the canvas.

    The Crimson Flash

    Roy J. Snell
  • These he had bought from a fat, red faced man who was a guard at the entrance to the big top.

    The Crimson Flash

    Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for big top

big top

noun (informal)
the main tent of a circus
the circus itself
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with big top

big top

The main tent of a circus, as in The high-wire act is almost always in the big top. [ c. 1840 ]
Underworld slang for a maximum-security prison, as in He was sentenced to ten years in the big top. [ 1950s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for big top

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for big

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for big top