adjective, great·er, great·est.
- enthusiastic about some specified activity (usually followed by at, for, or on): He's great on reading poetry aloud.
- skillful; expert (usually followed by at or on): He's great at golf.
noun, plural greats, (especially collectively) great.
- the final examination for the bachelor's degree in the classics and mathematics, or Literae Humaniores, especially at Oxford University and usually for honors.
- the course of study.
- the subject studied.
- greasy spoon,
- greasy wool,
- great abaco,
- great ajax,
- great alföld,
- great ape,
- great attractor
Origin of great
Examples from the Web for great
Tend to your own garden, to quote the great sage of free speech, Voltaire, and invite people to follow your example.
It would became one of the first great mysteries in the United States of America, as it was only then 23 years old.
Unfortunately, this is more about protecting the legacy of a ‘great man.’
Great American leaders have long contributed profound thoughts of tremendous consequence to the public discourse.Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner!|Olivia Nuzzi|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“He turned pale, trembled to a great degree, was much agitated, and began to cry,” she told the court.
You have great influence with the children, I have remarked many times.Rossmoyne|Unknown
In the porch he paused a moment, to draw on his woollen gloves, and button his great coat, and for something besides.Gifts of Genius|Various
The Great Man is, I suppose, among the most difficult themes to treat convincingly in fiction.
His arms were growing heavy with fatigue, his mouth was parched, and great beads of perspiration stood upon his brow.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
It was a hope which came from something one of the great poets of the past had said, in prophecy.How to Tell Stories to Children|Sara Cone Bryant
- of exceptional talents or achievements; remarkablea great writer
- (as noun)the great; one of the greats
- pregnantgreat with child
- full (of)great with hope
- to be informed about
- to be enthusiastic about or for
Word Origin for great
Old English great "big, tall, thick, stout; coarse," from West Germanic *grautaz "coarse, thick" (cf. Old Saxon grot, Old Frisian grat, Dutch groot, German groß "great").
Said to have meant originally "big in size, coarse," and, if so, perhaps from PIE root *ghreu- "to rub, grind." It took over much of the sense of Middle English mickle, and is now largely superseded by big and large except for non-material things.
As a prefix to terms denoting "kinship one degree further removed" (early 15c., earliest attested use is in great uncle) it is from the similar use of French grand, itself used as the equivalent of Latin magnus. An Old English way of saying "great-grandfather" was þridda fæder, literally "third father."
In the sense of "excellent, wonderful" great is attested from 1848. Great White Way "Broadway in New York City" is from 1901. Great Spirit "high deity of the North American Indians," 1703, originally translates Ojibwa kitchi manitou. The Great War originally (1887) referred to the Napoleonic Wars, later (1914) to what we now call World War I (see world).
"The Great War" -- as, until the fall of France, the British continued to call the First World War in order to avoid admitting to themselves that they were now again engaged in a war of the same magnitude. [Arnold Toynbee, "Experiences," 1969]
Also formerly with a verb form, Old English greatian, Middle English greaten "to become larger, increase, grow; become visibly pregnant," which became archaic after 17c.
In addition to the idioms beginning with great
- great deal
- great guns
- great many
- great minds run in the same channel, all
- great shakes
- great white hope
- good (great) deal
- good (great) many
- go to any length (great lengths)
- have a good (great) mind to
- make great strides
- no great shakes
- set (great) store by