big time

See synonyms for big time on
  1. Informal. the highest or most important level in any profession or occupation: She's a talented violinist, but she's not ready for the big time.

  2. Slang. a very good time.

  1. Theater. (in vaudeville) any highly successful circuit of theaters that produces two performances daily.

Origin of big time

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65

Other words from big time

  • big-time, adjective
  • big-timer, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use big time in a sentence

  • At least it did in Cleveland; and although they were a day late, the Clevelanders determined to have a big time.

  • Big-time Caribbean piracy had grown from very respectable origins.

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • I could name a plenty that'll stick in the big time until their toes curl.

    Joan Thursday | Louis Joseph Vance
  • big time may mean Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and any or all the larger cities on the various "circuits."

  • Lefty's big scene at Nick's fixed it so you won't be welcome in a big-time poker game anywhere in town.

    Card Trick | Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for big time

big time

  1. informal

    • the big time the highest or most profitable level of an occupation or profession, esp the entertainment business

    • (as modifier): a big-time comedian

Derived forms of big time

  • big-timer, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with big time

big time

An enjoyable or exciting time, as in The children came home exhausted but happy; they really had a big time at the circus. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.