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
Synonyms for great
Antonyms for great
Related Words for greatesthuge, enormous, tremendous, big, terrible, high, immense, strong, considerable, vast, extreme, major, impressive, remarkable, outstanding, grand, famous, glorious, excellent, fine
Examples from the Web for greatest
Contemporary Examples of greatest
What had been the greatest asset of the paperback revolution,” observes Rabinowitz, “became its greatest danger.How Pulp Fiction Saved Literature
January 8, 2015
Who else would see a former spouse accused of underage sex and call him ‘the greatest man there is’?Fergie Dives Into Prince Andrew’s Sex Scandal
January 5, 2015
In my opinion Lee was one of the greatest actors of all time.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
But as everyone knows, he went on to say—not once but many times—that that was the greatest error of his career by far.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game
January 2, 2015
With her help, we've gathered the ultimate list of the country's greatest influential bars.The Bars That Made America Great
December 28, 2014
Historical Examples of greatest
While a Treasury surplus is not the greatest evil, it is a serious evil.
"I am making the greatest minister England ever saw," was the reply.
But for this change of study he might not have become the greatest of Chancellors of the Exchequer.
The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.
But on the first two and greatest articles of his creed, how Jasper labored!Way of the Lawless
- 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
early 13c., superlative 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