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ginormous

[ jahy-nawr-muhs ]
/ dʒaɪˈnɔr məs /
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adjective Informal.
extremely large; huge.
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Origin of ginormous

First recorded in 1940–45; gi(gantic) + (e)normous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

MORE ABOUT GINORMOUS

What does ginormous mean?

Ginormous is a very informal way of saying extraordinarily large or huge. Some things are more than huge—they’re ginormous.

Ginormous is a blend of giant or gigantic and enormous—all three of which can be used as synonyms. A similarly informal synonym is humongous. Other synonyms include gargantuan, colossal, and mammoth.

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

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 ginormous. 

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

Ginormous is sometimes casually used to mean extremely important or significant—much like the figurative use of big and huge, as in This is a ginormous win for the franchise. Sometimes, this is negative, as in ginormous error, ginormous failure, or ginormous misunderstanding. Because it’s so informal, it’s unlikely to be used in very serious situations.

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

Where does ginormous come from?

The first records of the word ginormous come from the 1940s. It’s a blend of giant or gigantic and enormous.

Combining different words for huge in a single term makes ginormous useful when you’re trying to emphasize how huge something really is. Because it’s very informal, it’s often used to be humorous or exaggerate. Humongous is often used in the same way.

​Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for ginormous?

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

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

How is ginormous used in real life?

Ginormous is very informal. It’s 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 ginormous!

Which of the following words is a synonym of ginormous?  

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

How to use ginormous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ginormous

ginormous
/ (dʒaɪˈnɔːməs) /

adjective
informal very large

Word Origin for ginormous

C20: blend of giant or gigantic and enormous
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
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