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big (bĭg)
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adj. big·ger, big·gest
1.
a. Of considerable size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent; large. See Synonyms at large.
b. Having great strength or force: a big wind; in a big rage.
c. Of great significance; momentous: a big decision; a big victory.
2.
a. Mature or grown-up: big enough to take the bus by herself.
b. Older or eldest. Used especially of a sibling: My big brother is leaving for college next week.
3.
a. Filled up; brimming over: felt big with love.
b. Bountiful; generous: had a big heart.
4. Pregnant: big with child.
5.
a. Having or exercising considerable authority, control, or influence: a big official; a big chief.
b. Conspicuous in position, wealth, or importance; prominent: a big figure in the peace movement.
6. Loud and firm; resounding: a big voice.
7. Informal Widely liked, used, or practiced; popular: "The Minneapolis indie-rock band was big in the blogosphere, beloved by hipsters, and unknown to pretty much everyone else" (Robert Levine).
8. Informal Self-important; cocky: You're too big for your own good.
adv.
1. In a pretentious or boastful way: talked big about the new job.
2. Informal
a. With considerable success: made it big with their recent best-selling album.
b. In a thorough or unmistakable way; emphatically: failed big at the box office.
Idiom:
big on
Enthusiastic about; partial to: "a patriotic youth organization big on military-style marching drills" (Earl Swift).

[Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]

biggish adj.
bigly adv.
bigness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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