Dictionary.com

big top

Save This Word!

noun
the largest or main tent of a circus.
a circus.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of big top

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use big top in a sentence

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with big top

big top

1

The main tent of a circus, as in The high-wire act is almost always in the big top. [c. 1840]

2

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK