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.
Slang. a very good time.
Theater. (in vaudeville) any highly successful circuit of theaters that produces two performances daily.
Origin of big time
An Americanism dating back to 1860–65Related formsbig-time, adjectivebig-tim·er, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for big-timerknow-it-all
British Dictionary definitions for big-timer
Derived Formsbig-timer, noun informal
- the big timethe highest or most profitable level of an occupation or profession, esp the entertainment business
- (as modifier)a big-time comedian
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
Word Origin and History for big-timer
"upper reaches of a profession or pursuit," c.1910 from vaudeville slang; the phrase was common in colloquial use late 19c.-early 20c. in a broad range of senses: "party, shindig, fun, frolic."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with big-timer
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 highest or most important level in any enterprise, as in I knew that when I made it through the last audition, I was finally in the big time. [Colloquial; c. 1900] Also see big league.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.