Meaning of BIG in English

BIG

/ bɪg; NAmE / adjective , adverb , verb

■ adjective

( big·ger , big·gest )

LARGE

1.

large in size, degree, amount, etc. :

a big man / house / increase

This shirt isn't big enough.

It's the world's biggest computer company.

( informal )

He had this great big grin on his face.

They were earning big money.

The news came as a big blow.

OLDER

2.

( informal ) older :

You're a big girl now.

my big brother

IMPORTANT

3.

[ only before noun ] important; serious :

a big decision

Tonight is the biggest match of his career.

You are making a big mistake.

She took the stage for her big moment .

( informal )

Do you really think we can take on the big boys (= compete with the most powerful people) ?

AMBITIOUS

4.

( informal ) ( of a plan ) needing a lot of effort, money or time to succeed :

They're full of big ideas.

POPULAR

5.

big (in ... ) ( informal ) popular with the public; successful :

Orange is the big colour this year.

The band's very big in Japan.

ENTHUSIASTIC

6.

( informal ) enthusiastic about sb/sth :

I'm a big fan of hers.

DOING STH A LOT

7.

doing sth often or to a large degree :

a big eater / drinker / spender

GENEROUS

8.

big of sb (usually ironic ) kind or generous :

He gave me an extra five pounds for two hours' work. I thought 'That's big of you'.

►  big·ness noun [ U ]

IDIOMS

- be / get too big for your boots

- a big cheese

- big deal!

- the big enchilada

- a big fish (in a small pond)

- a big girl's blouse

- a big noise / shot / name

- the big picture

- the big stick

- the big three, four, etc.

- give sb / get a big hand

- have a big mouth

- me and my big mouth

- no big deal

—more at eye noun , fish noun , thing , way noun

■ adverb

in an impressive way :

We need to think big.

IDIOMS

- go over big (with sb)

- make it big

—more at hit verb

■ verb

( -gg- )

PHRASAL VERBS

- big sb/sth up

••

SYNONYMS

big / large / great

These adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:

| big ~ | large ~ | great \~ |

| man | numbers | success |

| house | part | majority |

| car | area | interest |

| boy | room | importance |

| dog | company | difficulty |

| smile | eyes | problem |

| problem | family | pleasure |

| surprise | volume | beauty |

| question | population | artist |

| difference | problem | surprise |

Large is more formal than big and should be used in writing unless it is in an informal style. It is not usually used to describe people, except to avoid saying 'fat'.

Great often suggests quality and not just size. Note also the phrases:

a large amount of

a large number of

a large quantity of

a great deal of

in great detail

a person of great age

.

••

WORD ORIGIN

Middle English (in the sense strong, mighty ): of unknown origin.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.