View synonyms for great


[ greyt ]


, great·er, great·est.
  1. unusually or comparatively large in size or dimensions:

    A great fire destroyed nearly half the city.

    Synonyms: grand, vast, huge, gigantic, enormous, immense

    Antonyms: small

  2. large in number; numerous:

    Great hordes of tourists descend on Europe each summer.

  3. unusual or considerable in degree, power, intensity, etc.:

    great pain.

  4. wonderful; very good; first-rate:

    We had a great time.

    That's great!

  5. being such in an extreme or notable degree:

    great friends;

    a great talker.

  6. exceptionally outstanding; notable; remarkable:

    a great occasion.

    Synonyms: noteworthy

  7. highly significant or consequential; important:

    the great issues in American history.

    Synonyms: critical, vital, momentous, serious, weighty

    Antonyms: insignificant

  8. a great inventor.

    Synonyms: prominent, notable, noted, eminent, famed, renowned

    Antonyms: insignificant

  9. of noble or lofty character:

    great thoughts.

    Synonyms: dignified, exalted, elevated

  10. chief or principal:

    the great hall;

    his greatest novel.

    Synonyms: leading, grand, main

  11. of high rank, official position, or social standing:

    a great noble.

    Antonyms: insignificant

  12. much in use or favor:

    “Humor” was a great word with the old physiologists.

  13. of extraordinary powers; having unusual merit; very admirable:

    a great statesman.

  14. of considerable duration or length:

    We waited a great while for the train.

  15. Informal.
    1. enthusiastic about some specified activity (usually followed by at, for, or on ):

      He's great on reading poetry aloud.

    2. skillful; expert (usually followed by at or on ):

      He's great at golf.

  16. being of one generation more remote from the family relative specified (used in combination):

    a great-grandson.


  1. Informal. very well:

    Things have been going great for him.


, plural greats, (especially collectively) great.
  1. a person who has achieved importance or distinction in a field:

    She is one of the theater's greats.

  2. great persons, collectively:

    England's literary great.

  3. (often initial capital letter) greats, (used with a singular verb) Also called great go. British Informal.
    1. the final examination for the bachelor's degree in the classics and mathematics, or Literae Humaniores, especially at Oxford University and usually for honors.
    2. the course of study.
    3. the subject studied.


  1. (used to express acceptance, appreciation, approval, admiration, etc.)
  2. (used ironically or facetiously to express disappointment, annoyance, distress, etc.):

    Great! We just missed the last train home.




  1. being the parent of a person's grandparent (in the combinations great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great-grandparent )
  2. being the child of a person's grandchild (in the combinations great-grandson, great-granddaughter, great-grandchild )



/ ɡreɪt /


  1. relatively large in size or extent; big
  2. relatively large in number; having many parts or members

    a great assembly

  3. of relatively long duration

    a great wait

  4. of larger size or more importance than others of its kind

    the great auk

  5. extreme or more than usual

    great worry

  6. of significant importance or consequence

    a great decision

    1. of exceptional talents or achievements; remarkable

      a great writer

    2. ( as noun )

      the great

      one of the greats

  7. arising from or possessing idealism in thought, action, etc; heroic

    great deeds

  8. illustrious or eminent

    a great history

  9. impressive or striking

    a great show of wealth

  10. much in use; favoured

    poetry was a great convention of the Romantic era

  11. active or enthusiastic

    a great walker

  12. doing or exemplifying (a characteristic or pursuit) on a large scale

    he's not a great one for reading

    what a great buffoon

  13. often foll by at skilful or adroit

    you are great at singing

    a great carpenter

  14. informal.
    excellent; fantastic
  15. informal.

    a dirty great smack in the face

  16. archaic.
    postpositivefoll bywith
    1. pregnant

      great with child

    2. full (of)

      great with hope

  17. (intensifier, used in mild oaths)

    Great Scott!

  18. be great on informal.
    1. to be informed about
    2. to be enthusiastic about or for


  1. informal.
    very well; excellently

    it was working great


  1. Also calledgreat organ the principal manual on an organ Compare choir swell

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgreatness, noun
  • ˈgreatly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • great·ness noun
  • half-great adjective
  • o·ver·great adjective
  • o·ver·great·ly adverb
  • qua·si-great adjective
  • qua·si-great·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of great1

First recorded before 900; Middle English greet, Old English grēat; cognate with Dutch groot, German gross

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Word History and Origins

Origin of great1

Old English grēat; related to Old Frisian grāt, Old High German grōz; see grit , groat

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. great with child, being in the late stages of pregnancy.

More idioms and phrases containing great

  • 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

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Example Sentences

Along with Noma chef René Redzepi, Puglisi is a groundbreaking chef of new Nordic Cuisine, which turned Copenhagen into one of the world’s greatest dining destinations.

From Eater

There's also an influx of counterfeit cheaper whiskies seeping into the markets, which could pose an even greater challenge, albeit less of a headline-grabbing one.

In 2012, 85 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats said the United States was the greatest nation.

“China is a great nation, and we should hope for the continued expansion.”

Florida’s way down, Texas is now way down, Arizona, governor’s done a great job.

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.

“He turned pale, trembled to a great degree, was much agitated, and began to cry,” she told the court.

"Capital, capital," his lordship would remark with great alacrity, when there was no other way of escape.

I waited three months more, in great impatience, then sent him back to the same post, to see if there might be a reply.

After a minute's pause, while he stood painfully silent, she resumed in great emotion.

The country is well inhabited, for it contains fifty-one cities, near a hundred walled towns, and a great number of villages.

This is a feature by means of which it is always possible to distinguish the Great Horsetail from any other species.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say great?

Something that is great may be unusually or comparatively large in size or number. How is great different from the adjectives large and big? Find out more on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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