Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[big-wig] /ˈbɪgˌwɪg/
noun, Informal.
an important person, especially an official:
senators and other political bigwigs.
Origin of bigwig
First recorded in 1725-35; rhyming compound from phrase big wig, i.e., person important enough to wear such a wig
Related forms
bigwigged, adjective
[big-wig-id-nis] /ˈbɪgˈwɪg ɪd nɪs/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bigwig
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bigwig, with an inordinate ambition to become a minister, (p. 276) invited him to dinner.

    An Englishman in Paris Albert D. (Albert Dresden) Vandam
  • This he said to his private secretary, who came to notice the arrival of some bigwig.

    Framley Parsonage Anthony Trollope
  • And abruptly changing the subject, he talked of pictures to the pleasant bigwig in the sleepy afternoon.

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • On the present occasion he welcomed Arkady with all the bonhomie, all the jocosity, of an "enlightened" bigwig.

    Fathers and Sons Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
  • And now and again some bigwig versed in science murmured the word 'Fats.'

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • Matvei Ilyitch was just such a bigwig, although he called himself a Liberal.

    Fathers and Sons Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
  • Once a year some 'bigwig' comes from Bangalore to review them.

  • He heard me out, looked at my deceased poppies, and arranged a conference with a bigwig from the State Department.

    Revenge Arthur Porges
British Dictionary definitions for bigwig


(informal) an important person
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
Word Origin and History for bigwig

1731, from big + wig, in reference to the imposing wigs formerly worn by men of rank or authority.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bigwig



A very important person, often self-important: bigwigs all over the restaurant (1731+)

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bigwig

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bigwig

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bigwig