gigantic

[ jahy-gan-tik, ji- ]
/ dʒaɪˈgæn tɪk, dʒɪ- /

adjective

very large; huge: a gigantic statue.
of, like, or befitting a giant.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
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Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of gigantic

1605–15; from Latin gigant- giant + -ic

synonym study for gigantic

1. Gigantic, colossal, mammoth, monstrous are used of whatever is physically or metaphorically of great magnitude. Gigantic refers to the size of a giant, or to size or scope befitting a giant: a gigantic stalk of corn. Colossal refers to the size of a colossus, to anything huge or vast as befitting a hero or god: a colossal victory. Mammoth refers to the size of the animal of that name and is used especially of anything large and heavy: a mammoth battleship. Monstrous means strikingly unusual or out of the normal in some way, as in size: a monstrous blunder.

OTHER WORDS FROM gigantic

gi·gan·ti·cal·ly, adverbgi·gan·tic·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does gigantic mean?

Gigantic means extraordinarily large or huge. Some things are more than huge—they’re gigantic.

The word is most often applied to physical objects whose size makes you marvel with awe. Blue whales are gigantic. Skyscrapers are gigantic. The Grand Canyon is gigantic.

But it can also be applied to intangible things, as in With all the champagne and caviar that we ordered, the bill for dinner is going to be gigantic. 

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). A much less common variant of gigantic is gigantean.

Like any adjective used to describe something’s size, gigantic is often used in a way that’s relative to the situation. Many things described as gigantic are objectively huge, like redwood trees or the planet Jupiter. But something might be considered gigantic only in comparison to other similar things. For example, an unusually large grapefruit might be described as gigantic even though it’s not all that big in general—it’s simply gigantic compared to normal-sized grapefruits.

Gigantic is sometimes casually used to mean extremely important or significant—much like the figurative use of big and huge, as in This is a gigantic win for the franchise. Sometimes, this is negative, as in gigantic error, gigantic failure, or gigantic misunderstanding.

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

Where does gigantic come from?

The first records of the word gigantic come from the early 1600s. It comes from the Greek gigantikos, from gigas, meaning “giant.” The Latin prefix gigant- is derived from this root and is also used to form words like gigantism and gigantesque.

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.

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What are some other forms related to gigantic

  • gigantically (adverb)
  • giganticness (noun)

What are some synonyms for gigantic?

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

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

How is gigantic used in real life?

Gigantic is used to describe things that are truly massive. It’s also commonly used in an exaggerated way to describe something that’s very large compared to others of its kind.

 

Try using gigantic!

Which of the following words is a synonym of gigantic?  

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

Example sentences from the Web for gigantic

British Dictionary definitions for gigantic

gigantic
/ (dʒaɪˈɡæntɪk) /

adjective

very large; enormousa gigantic error
Also: gigantesque (ˌdʒaɪɡænˈtɛsk) of or suitable for giants

Derived forms of gigantic

gigantically, adverbgiganticness, noun

Word Origin for gigantic

C17: from Greek gigantikos, from gigas giant
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