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Origin of humongous
Words nearby humongous
What does humongous mean?
Humongous is an informal way of saying extraordinarily large or huge. Some things are more than huge—they’re humongous.
The word is most often applied to physical objects whose size makes you marvel with awe. Blue whales are humongous. Skyscrapers are humongous. The Grand Canyon is humongous.
But it can also be applied to intangible things, as in With all the champagne and caviar that we ordered, the bill for dinner is going to be humongous.
Like any adjective used to describe something’s size, humongous is often used in a way that’s relative to the situation. Many things described as humongous are objectively huge, like redwood trees or the planet Jupiter. But something might be considered humongous only in comparison to other similar things. For example, an unusually large grapefruit might be described as humongous even though it’s not all that big in general—it’s simply humongous compared to normal-sized grapefruits.
Humongous is sometimes casually used to mean extremely important or significant—much like the figurative use of big and huge, as in This is a humongous win for the franchise. Sometimes, this is negative, as in humongous error, humongous failure, or humongous misunderstanding. Because it’s so informal, it’s unlikely to be used in very serious situations.
Example: You don’t realize how humongous the sun is until you see an image of a planet next to it for scale.
Where does humongous come from?
The first records of the word humongous come from around 1970. It’s origin is uncertain, but it’s probably modeled after or based on a combination of words like huge, monstrous, and tremendous. It was first used in the U.S.
Humongous is typically used to emphasize how huge something really is. Because it’s very informal, it’s often used to be humorous or exaggerate. Ginormous is often used in the same way.
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How is humongous used in real life?
Humongous is informal. It’s used to describe things that are truly massive. It’s also commonly used in an exaggerated way to describe something that’s very large compared to others of its kind.
— Anna Ercilla (@annaercilla) August 10, 2017
Holy guacamole! That is such a humongous ship! 😱😱 https://t.co/YSEIODmZg9
— Sara Sihaloho (@caramelalo) May 11, 2015
— CBC Canadian News (@CBCCanada) November 14, 2020
Try using humongous!
Which of the following words is a synonym of humongous?
D. all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for humongous
He suggests that putting on a humongous road race is the perfect way to celebrate our deliverance from the plague.Will Major Marathons Actually Come Back This Fall?|Martin Fritz Huber|February 4, 2021|Outside Online
It was getting pretty gross, and my lips were just absolutely humongous.Covid may cause rashes and swelling. That doesn’t mean you’re ‘allergic,’ experts say.|Allyson Chiu|December 10, 2020|Washington Post
And much of what could be a humongous tab will be shouldered by taxpayers.How Congress Already Helped Hurricane Sandy Victims|Eleanor Clift|November 1, 2012|DAILY BEAST
A former prime minister, Ayad Allawi, is a Shiite with humongous support among Sunnis.
The art and branding ventures during Art Basel were less financially humongous, but agile and ambitious.