[ jahy-gan-tee-uhn, jahy-gan-tee-uhn, ji- ]
/ ˌdʒaɪ gænˈti ən, dʒaɪˈgæn ti ən, dʒɪ- /
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Origin of gigantean

1605–15; <Latin gigante(us) of giants (gigant-giant + -eus adj. suffix) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does gigantean mean?

Gigantean is a much less common way of saying gigantic—extraordinarily large or huge. Some things are more than huge—they’re gigantean.

Words like gigantic and gigantean are typically applied to physical objects whose size makes you marvel with awe. Blue whales are gigantean. Skyscrapers are gigantean. The Grand Canyon is gigantean.

Gigantic is also applied to intangible things, as in a gigantic bill for dinner, or to mean extremely important or significant, as in a gigantic win or a gigantic mistake. It’s possible for gigantean to be used like this, but it’s so rarely used in general that it’s very unlikely to see it used in these ways.

Similar adjectives are gargantuan, giant, colossal, and mammoth. A more formal synonym is massive. A more informal synonym is humongous. An even more informal synonym is ginormous (a blend of giant or gigantic and enormous).

Example: You don’t realize how gigantean the sun is until you see an image of a planet next to it for scale.

Where does gigantean come from?

The first records of the word gigantean come from the early 1600s. It comes from the Latin gigante(us), meaning “of giants.” The Latin prefix gigant- is also used to form words like gigantism and gigantesque. The ending -ean is used to form adjectives.

A less common sense of gigantic means “like a giant,” referring to an extraordinarily large person, especially the kind from fairy tales and legends. These kinds of giants are often depicted as much bigger than a human could ever be. The related word gigantesque can be used as a synonym for this sense of gigantic and gigantean.

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What are some synonyms for gigantean?

What are some words that share a root or word element with gigantean

What are some words that often get used in discussing gigantean?

How is gigantean used in real life?

Gigantean is much less commonly used than gigantic.


Try using gigantean!

Which of the following words is a synonym of gigantean?

A. gigantic
B. gargantuan
C. ginormous
D. all of the above