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giant

[jahy-uh nt]
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noun
  1. (in folklore) a being with human form but superhuman size, strength, etc.
  2. a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.; major figure; legend: a giant in her field; an intellectual giant.
  3. (often initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of the Gigantes.
  4. Mining. monitor(def 12).
  5. Astronomy. giant star.
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adjective
  1. unusually large, great, or strong; gigantic; huge.
  2. greater or more eminent than others.
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Origin of giant

1250–1300; Middle English geant < Old French < Latin gigant- (stem of gigās) < Greek Gígās; replacing Old English gigant < Latin, as above
Related formsgi·ant·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for giants

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The giants upon the hillside were just awakening from their night's sleep.

  • The people in this land were giants, and a giant's daughter found them.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • One was deep in a socialist book, the other in news of the Giants.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • He admitted this while he walked unresistingly between two of the giants.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • And I am but a scrub-oak in this forest of giants, my Brothers.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani


British Dictionary definitions for giants

giant

noun
  1. a mythical figure of superhuman size and strength, esp in folklore or fairy talesAlso (feminine): giantess (ˈdʒaɪəntɪs)
  2. a person or thing of exceptional size, reputation, etca giant in nuclear physics
  3. Greek myth any of the large and powerful offspring of Uranus (sky) and Gaea (earth) who rebelled against the Olympian gods but were defeated in battle
  4. pathol a person suffering from gigantism
  5. astronomy See giant star
  6. mining another word for monitor (def. 8)
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adjective
  1. remarkably or supernaturally large
  2. architect another word for colossal
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Derived Formsgiant-like, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French geant, from Vulgar Latin gagās (unattested), from Latin gigās, gigant-, from Greek
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 giants

giant

n.

c.1300, from Old French geant, earlier jaiant (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *gagantem (nominative gagas), from Latin gigas "giant," from Greek gigas (genitive gigantos), one of a race of savage beings, sons of Gaia and Uranus, eventually destroyed by the gods, probably from a pre-Greek language. Replaced Old English ent, eoten, also gigant. The Greek word was used in Septuagint to refer to men of great size and strength, hence the expanded use in modern languages. Of very tall persons from 1550s; of persons who have any quality in extraordinary degree, from 1530s.

In þat tyme wer here non hauntes Of no men bot of geauntes. [Wace's Chronicle, c.1330]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper