Origin of Greater
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.
Origin of great
Examples from the Web for greater
The need for an Ebola vaccine in West Africa has never been greater.
The hope was that greater transparency about performance would drive results.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future|Jonah Edelman|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Veterans are a small minority of the population, as well, serving the greater whole.A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall|Matt Gallagher|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Consider, too, that in this digital age, making something public is not only easier but has greater reach.
Mistletoes on mesquite trees in central Mexico have been linked to a greater abundance of tropical bird species.
The march to Ali-Musjid occupied the greater part of the day.Our Soldiers|W.H.G. Kingston
And perhaps for her it wore the greater dignity from her vague idea of its internal workings.Wheat and Huckleberries|Charlotte Marion (White) Vaile
The arts in general are carried among these people to a greater degree of perfection than by the other natives of Sumatra.The History of Sumatra|William Marsden
The English minsters are long, narrow and low in contrast with the greater squareness and height of French contemporary churches.
This was a greater faith than that of her daughter-in-law, Ruth, whose name is not mentioned.The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews|Thomas Charles Edwards
- 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 gryttra, Anglian *gretra; comparative of 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