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  1. greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.; huge; immense: an enormous fortune.
  2. outrageous or atrocious: enormous wickedness; enormous crimes.

Origin of enormous

First recorded in 1525–35; enorm + -ous
Related formse·nor·mous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for enormous

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for enormous


  1. unusually large in size, extent, or degree; immense; vast
  2. archaic extremely wicked; heinous
Derived Formsenormously, adverbenormousness, noun

Word Origin for enormous

C16: from Latin ēnormis, from ē- out of, away from + norma rule, pattern
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 enormous

1530s, from Latin enormis "out of rule, irregular, shapeless, extraordinary, very large," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + norma "rule, norm" (see norm), with English -ous substituted for Latin -is.

Meaning "extraordinary in size" is attested from 1540s; original sense of "outrageous" is more clearly preserved in enormity. Earlier in same sense was enormyous (mid-15c.). Related: Enormously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper