[ hev-ee ]
See synonyms for: heavyheavierheaviestheavies on Thesaurus.com

adjective,heav·i·er, heav·i·est.
  1. of great weight; hard to lift or carry: a heavy load.

  2. of great amount, quantity, or size; extremely large; massive: a heavy vote; a heavy snowfall.

  1. of great force, intensity, turbulence, etc.: a heavy sea.

  2. of more than the usual or average weight: a heavy person; heavy freight.

  3. having much weight in proportion to bulk; being of high specific gravity: a heavy metal.

  4. of major import; grave; serious: a heavy offense.

  5. deep or intense; profound: a heavy thinker; heavy slumber.

  6. Military.

    • thickly armed or equipped with guns of large size.: Compare heavy cruiser.

    • (of guns) of the more powerful sizes: heavy weapons.: Compare heavy artillery.

  7. hard to bear; burdensome; harsh; oppressive: heavy taxes.

  8. hard to cope with; trying; difficult: a heavy task.

  9. being as indicated to an unusually great degree: a heavy buyer.

  10. broad, thick, or coarse; not delicate: heavy lines drawn in charcoal.

  11. weighted or laden: air heavy with moisture.

  12. fraught; loaded; charged: words heavy with meaning.

  13. depressed with trouble or sorrow; showing sorrow; sad: a heavy heart.

  14. without vivacity or interest; ponderous; dull: a heavy style.

  15. slow in movement or action; clumsy: a heavy walk.

  16. loud and deep; sonorous: a heavy sound.

  17. (of the sky) overcast or cloudy.

  18. exceptionally dense in substance; insufficiently raised or leavened; thick: heavy doughnuts.

  19. (of food) not easily digested.

  20. being in a state of advanced pregnancy; nearing childbirth: heavy with child;heavy with young.

  21. having a large capacity, capable of doing rough work, or having a large output: a heavy truck.

  22. producing or refining basic materials, as steel or coal, used in manufacturing: heavy industry.

  23. sober, serious, or somber: a heavy part in a drama.

  24. Chemistry. of or relating to an isotope of greater than normal atomic weight, as heavy hydrogen or heavy oxygen, or to a compound containing such an element, as heavy water.

  25. Slang.

    • very good; excellent.

    • very serious or important: a really heavy relationship.

  26. Phonetics. (of a syllable)

noun,plural heav·ies.
  1. a somber or ennobled theatrical role or character: Iago is the heavy in Othello.

  2. the theatrical role of a villain.

  1. an actor who plays a theatrical heavy.

  2. Military. a gun of great weight or large caliber.

  3. Slang. a very important or influential person: a reception for government heavies.


Origin of heavy

First recorded before 900; Middle English hevi, Old English hefig, equivalent to hef(e) “weight” + -ig; cf. heave-y1

synonym study For heavy

14. Heavy, momentous, weighty refer to anything having a considerable amount of figurative weight. Heavy suggests the carrying of a figurative burden: words heavy with menace. Momentous emphasizes the idea of great and usually serious consequences: a momentous occasion, statement. Weighty, seldom used literally, refers to something heavy with importance, often concerned with public affairs, which may require deliberation and careful judgment: a weighty matter, problem.

Other words for heavy

Other words from heavy

  • heav·i·ness, noun
  • o·ver·heav·i·ness, noun
  • o·ver·heav·y, adjective
  • ul·tra·heav·y, adjective
  • un·heav·i·ness, noun
  • un·heav·y, adjective

Words Nearby heavy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use heavy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for heavy


/ (ˈhɛvɪ) /

adjectiveheavier or heaviest
  1. of comparatively great weight: a heavy stone

  2. having a relatively high density: lead is a heavy metal

  1. great in yield, quality, or quantity: heavy rain; heavy traffic

  2. great or considerable: heavy emphasis

  3. hard to bear, accomplish, or fulfil: heavy demands

  4. sad or dejected in spirit or mood: heavy at heart

  5. coarse or broad: a heavy line; heavy features

  6. (of soil) having a high clay content; cloggy

  7. solid or fat: heavy legs

  8. (of an industry) engaged in the large-scale complex manufacture of capital goods or extraction of raw materials: Compare light 2 (def. 19)

  9. serious; grave

  10. military

    • armed or equipped with large weapons, armour, etc

    • (of guns, etc) of a large and powerful type

  11. (of a syllable) having stress or accentuation: Compare light 2 (def. 24)

  12. dull and uninteresting: a heavy style

  13. prodigious: a heavy drinker

  14. (of cakes, bread, etc) insufficiently leavened

  15. deep and loud: a heavy thud

  16. (of music, literature, etc)

    • dramatic and powerful; grandiose

    • not immediately comprehensible or appealing

  17. slang

    • unpleasant or tedious

    • wonderful

    • (of rock music) having a powerful beat; hard

  18. weighted; burdened: heavy with child

  19. clumsy and slow: heavy going

  20. permeating: a heavy smell

  21. cloudy or overcast, esp threatening rain: heavy skies

  22. not easily digestible: a heavy meal

  23. (of an element or compound) being or containing an isotope with greater atomic weight than that of the naturally occurring element: heavy hydrogen; heavy water

  24. horse racing (of the going on a racecourse) soft and muddy

  25. slang using, or prepared to use, violence or brutality: the heavy mob

  26. heavy on informal using large quantities of: this car is heavy on petrol

nounplural heavies
    • a villainous role

    • an actor who plays such a part

  1. military

    • a large fleet unit, esp an aircraft carrier or battleship

    • a large calibre or weighty piece of artillery

  1. the heavies (usually plural) informal a serious newspaper: the Sunday heavies

  2. informal a heavyweight boxer, wrestler, etc

  3. slang a man hired to threaten violence or deter others by his presence

  4. Scot strong bitter beer

    • in a heavy manner; heavily: time hangs heavy

    • (in combination): heavy-laden

Origin of heavy

Old English hefig; related to hebban to heave, Old High German hebīg

Derived forms of heavy

  • heavily, adverb
  • heaviness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with heavy


In addition to the idioms beginning with heavy

  • heavy going
  • heavy hand, with a
  • heavy heart, with a
  • heavy hitter

also see:

  • hot and heavy
  • make heavy weather of
  • play the heavy
  • time hangs heavy

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