Meaning of BIG in English



1. big objects/buildings/organizations etc

2. very big

3. big places, areas, cities

4. big people

5. large numbers/amounts

6. very large numbers or amounts

7. having a big effect

8. how big something is

9. to become bigger

10. to make something bigger




a tall person : ↑ TALL

a fat person : ↑ FAT

a high building, tree etc : ↑ HIGH

see also





1. big objects/buildings/organizations etc

▷ big /bɪg/ [adjective]

of greater than average size :

▪ He lives in a big house in upstate New York.

▪ ‘Which is your car?’ ‘The big red one next to the wall.’

▪ The wind got louder and the waves grew bigger and bigger.

▪ She struggled up the hill, carrying the baby and her big black bag.

▷ large /lɑːʳdʒ/ [adjective]

big. Large is more formal than big, and is more common in written English :

▪ On the other side of the fence there was a large bull.

▪ The hotel was quite large and very cold.

▪ large agricultural corporations

▪ Take the larger cushion to sit on -- you’ll be more comfortable.

▪ The largest urban areas in Britain lost population and employment in the 1950s and 60s.

▷ biggish /ˈbɪgɪʃ/ [adjective] especially British, spoken

fairly big, but not very big :

▪ These chocolates cost £2 for a biggish box.

▪ ‘What’s the house like?’ ‘Well, it has a biggish kitchen but all the other rooms are quite small.’

▷ bulky /ˈbʌlki/ [adjective]

a bulky object is big and difficult to carry or move around, or difficult to fit into a normal-sized space :

▪ The men were carrying bulky packages under their arms.

▪ The room was full of bulky old furniture.

▪ a bulky camera from the 1950s

▷ cumbersome /ˈkʌmbəʳs ə m/ [adjective]

too big and heavy to carry or move easily :

▪ I used to have one of those old sewing machines, but it was too cumbersome.

▪ The room was dominated by an enormous, cumbersome leather armchair.

2. very big

▷ huge/enormous /hjuːdʒ, ɪˈnɔːʳməs/ [adjective]

very big and impressive :

▪ She wears an engagement ring set with a huge diamond.

▪ My grandmother was wearing an enormous hat.

▪ She looked at the huge motorcycle. ‘I’ll never be able to ride that!’

▪ There was an enormous spider in the bottom of the bath.

▪ By the time of his death the company had grown into an enormous multi-national operation.

▷ great /greɪt/ [adjective only before noun]

very big and impressive - used especially in literature :

▪ Like great sailing ships, the clouds sped across the sky.

▪ As far as the eye could see, there stretched a great herd of buffalo.

▷ great big /ˈgreɪt bɪg/ [adjective only before noun] spoken

extremely big :

▪ They’ve built a great big shopping mall in the centre of town.

▪ There are fish in the pool, great big ones.

▪ She was given a great big bunch of flowers.

▷ massive /ˈmæsɪv/ [adjective]

use this about things that are extremely big and impressive, especially when they are solid and heavy :

▪ Her house is massive.

▪ The ancient temple’s massive stone pillars had begun to crumble.

▪ The bell is massive, weighing over forty tons.

▷ gigantic /dʒaɪˈgæntɪk/ [adjective]

much bigger than other things of the same type, often in a slightly strange or frightening way :

▪ Gigantic waves more than 40 feet high crashed against the boat.

▪ These gigantic creatures became extinct in the Jurassic period.

▷ colossal /kəˈlɒs ə lǁkəˈlɑː-/ [adjective]

extremely and surprisingly big - used especially about structures, buildings, and other things that have been built :

▪ There was a colossal statue of the King in the middle of the square.

▪ A crane arrived, its colossal arm reaching out of the sky toward the building.

▷ giant /ˈdʒaɪənt/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about a plant or animal that has grown to an unusually large size, or is of a type that is always much larger than ordinary plants or animals :

▪ Giant cabbages grew in the garden.

▪ Be careful. The forest is full of giant snakes and spiders.

▪ ...and then this giant green monster appeared from the cave.

▷ extra large /ˌekstrə ˈlɑːʳdʒ◂/ []

use this about packets, bottles, or other products that are much bigger than the size that is usually sold :

▪ an extra large packet of cornflakes

▪ Extra large eggs are generally a better buy than medium or large.

▷ be a whopper /biː ə ˈwɒpəʳǁ-ˈwɑː-/ [verb phrase] spoken informal

to be extremely big compared to the usual size :

▪ Look at the size of that pumpkin -- it’s a whopper.

3. big places, areas, cities

▷ big /bɪg/ [adjective]

▪ The nearest big town is twenty miles away.

▪ Which is bigger, Tokyo or London?

▪ We’ve got a big park fairly near our house.

▪ Germany is much bigger than Britain.

▷ large /lɑːʳdʒ/ [adjective]

use this about an area that is bigger than average size :

▪ He lived alone on the edge of a large forest.

▪ The farm buildings are spread over a large area.

▪ Philip found himself in a large playground surrounded by high brick walls.

▷ spacious/roomy /ˈspeɪʃəs, ˈruːmi/ [adjective]

use this about a room, building, or car that has a lot of space inside :

▪ The holiday villas are spacious, airy, and close to the sea.

▪ Spacious and luxurious apartments are available to company employees.

▪ The new Toyota saloon is both roomy and comfortable.

▪ Their new apartment’s very roomy.

▷ be a fair size /biː ə ˌfeəʳ ˈsaɪz/ [verb phrase] spoken

to be fairly big, especially big enough or bigger than you expect :

▪ Braintree is a fair size but it isn’t exactly a lively town.

▪ I’m sure it would hold 500 cars. It’s quite a fair size.

fair-sized [adjective only before noun]

▪ The house has a fair-sized yard at the back and a smaller one in front.

▷ huge/enormous /hjuːdʒ, ɪˈnɔːʳməs/ [adjective]

extremely big :

▪ Archeologists have found the remains of a huge city in the middle of the desert.

▪ The drawing room looked out over a huge lawn.

▪ The farm is huge, stretching for over fifteen miles.

▪ The distances between cities in Russia are simply enormous.

▷ immense /ɪˈmens/ [adjective]

extremely large :

▪ Migrating birds cover immense distances every winter.

▪ 60 million years ago, the whole area was an immense desert.

▷ vast /vɑːstǁvæst/ [adjective]

use this about areas of land, deserts, distances etc that are extremely large and usually have very few people in them :

▪ Vast areas of the Amazon rainforest have been destroyed.

▪ Vast distances separate one isolated community from another.

▪ a vast area of waste land

▷ palatial /pəˈleɪʃ ə l/ [adjective]

use this about houses or rooms that are extremely big and impressive :

▪ a palatial residence with a fine collection of 18th century paintings

▪ She lives in a palatial New York apartment.

4. big people

▷ big/large /bɪg, lɑːʳdʒ/ [adjective]

use this about someone who is tall and has a large body :

▪ My father was a big man, with legs like tree trunks.

▪ A large woman in her early 50s answered the door.

▷ huge/enormous /hjuːdʒ, ɪˈnɔːʳməs/

very big and tall, in a way that is impressive or frightening :

▪ The other wrestler was enormous - he must have weighed over 250 pounds.

▪ A huge policeman stood outside the gate.

▷ well-built /ˌwel ˈbɪlt◂/ [adjective]

use this about someone who is big and strong and has a lot of muscles :

▪ He was handsome and well-built, like a Hollywood movie star.

5. large numbers/amounts

▷ large /lɑːʳdʒ/ [adjective usually before noun]

▪ She’s used to working with large sums of money.

▪ Large numbers of seabirds have been killed by pollution following the oil spillage.

▪ A large proportion of the audience consisted of teenaged girls.

▷ high /haɪ/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this about rates, levels, measurements etc that are bigger than is usual or than is acceptable :

▪ Someone on such a high salary shouldn’t have to borrow money.

▪ High levels of radiation have been reported near the nuclear plant.

▪ I always try to avoid foods with a high fat content.

▷ considerable/sizeable/sizable /kənˈsɪd ə rəb ə l, ˈsaɪzəb ə l/ [adjective usually before noun]

fairly large :

▪ £1000 is a considerable sum for most people.

▪ She receives a sizable income from her investments.

▪ A considerable number of voters changed their minds at the last minute.

▪ Sugar is added in considerable quantities to most soft drinks.

▷ substantial/significant /səbˈstænʃ ə l, sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt/ [adjective]

large enough to be useful or to have an important effect :

▪ The survey showed that substantial numbers of 15-year-olds were already smoking twenty cigarettes a week.

in substantial/significant numbers

▪ Women began to enter the British Parliament in significant numbers in the 1990s.

a substantial/significant proportion of

▪ A significant proportion of drivers fail to keep to speed limits.

▷ generous /ˈdʒen ə rəs/ [adjective]

use this about an amount, especially of food or money, that is larger than what is needed or expected :

▪ He heaped the plate with a generous serving of meat and potato pie.

▪ I usually stir a generous quantity of rum into the cake mixture.

▪ The company offers bonuses, stock options, and a generous benefit package.

▷ handsome /ˈhæns ə m/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this about an amount of money someone gets or is paid that is surprisingly large :

▪ Ozzie left a very handsome tip on the plate.

▪ She received a handsome reward for finding the wallet.

▪ The big oil companies made a handsome profit out of the fuel crisis.

▷ hefty /ˈhefti/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about a surprisingly large amount of money, especially one that someone has to pay :

▪ The other driver received a hefty fine for his role in the accident.

▪ hefty admission fees

▪ It was a $350,000 contract, plus hefty bonuses and expenses.

6. very large numbers or amounts

▷ huge/enormous /hjuːdʒ, ɪˈnɔːʳməs/ [adjective]

▪ A huge number of people turned up for the demonstration.

▪ Their profits are enormous.

▪ Joan had very little money, and her hotel bill was huge.

▪ Enormous sums of money were spent on the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

▷ vast /vɑːstǁvæst/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this about an amount, number etc that is so large that it cannot be easily measured :

▪ The refugees arrived in vast numbers from villages all along the border.

▪ Vast quantities of food and drink were consumed at the wedding.

▷ massive /ˈmæsɪv/ [adjective]

extremely large :

▪ The system is capable of recording massive amounts of information.

▪ Union leaders are warning of massive job losses.

▪ The sums involved are massive -- over £12 billion in the first year alone.

▷ colossal /kəˈlɒs ə lǁkəˈlɑː-/ [adjective]

use this about numbers or amounts, especially of money, that are extremely and surprisingly large :

▪ Children are failing exams and dropping out of school in colossal numbers.

▷ whopping /ˈwɒpɪŋǁˈwɑː-/ [adjective only before noun] spoken informal

a whopping sum of money or number is extremely large :

▪ He managed to get a TV celebrity to open the theatre -- but at a whopping fee.

▪ In the divorce proceedings, she demanded the car and a whopping two-thirds of the family business.

7. having a big effect

▷ big /bɪg/ [adjective only before noun]

▪ The city has a big problem with drugs.

▪ If you think I’m coming with you, you’re making a big mistake.

▷ major /ˈmeɪdʒəʳ/ [adjective only before noun]

having a serious and important effect, especially on a lot of people, places, situations etc :

▪ Heavy traffic is a major problem in most cities.

▪ Think carefully before you decide on such a major undertaking.

▪ Nuclear weapons are a major obstacle on the road to peace.

▷ considerable /kənˈsɪd ə rəb ə l/ [adjective usually before noun] formal

having a fairly large or important effect :

▪ The recent slowdown in the US economy is likely to have a considerable impact on the rest of the world.

▪ There was a considerable delay in the processing of our application.

▷ great /greɪt/ [adjective only before noun]

use this to emphasize how much of an effect something has, especially a good effect :

▪ Thanks. You’ve been a great help.

▪ It would be of great assistance if customers could have the exact money ready.

▪ I have great difficulty in reading without my glasses.

▷ huge/enormous/immense /hjuːdʒ, ɪˈnɔːʳməs, ɪˈmens/ [adjective]

use this to emphasize that something is extremely big, important, or serious :

▪ The city of Detroit has a huge crime problem.

▪ Enormous changes are taking place in the way we communicate with each other.

▪ The difference between living in the country and living in the city is immense.

▪ His contribution to the team’s success has been immense.

▷ tremendous /trɪˈmendəs/ [adjective]

use this to emphasize how big, important, and often exciting an effect will be :

▪ My new job will be a tremendous challenge.

▪ Your advice has been a tremendous help to us.

▪ It was a tremendous thrill, meeting her in person.

▷ large scale/large-scale /ˌlɑːʳdʒ ˈskeɪl◂/ [adjective]

involving a lot of money or effort, or a lot of people or places :

▪ Large-scale development has given new life to the inner city.

▪ We need large-scale investment in the industry’s future.

on a large scale

▪ Developing countries will need help on a large scale for many years to come.

8. how big something is

▷ size /saɪz/ [uncountable noun]

▪ He was incredibly aggressive - it was only his size that stopped me from hitting him.

▪ The sheer size of the building was amazing.

▪ I hadn’t realized the size of the problem until now.

of that size

▪ They shouldn’t keep a dog of that size in such a small apartment.

▷ how big /ˌhaʊ ˈbɪg/

use this to talk about or ask about the size of something :

▪ I’m not sure how big the house is.

▪ How big do these fish grow?

▷ scale /skeɪl/ [singular noun]

the size of something such as a problem or a change, not of an object, vehicle etc :

on a scale

▪ We were not expecting a public response on such a scale.

the scale of something

▪ Rescue workers are trying to assess the scale of the disaster.

▪ Scientists are only just beginning to realize the scale of the problem.

▷ magnitude /ˈmægnɪtjuːd, ˈmægnətjuːdǁ-tuːd/ [uncountable noun] formal

the magnitude of a problem/disaster/decision etc

how big and important or serious something is :

▪ I cannot emphasize too strongly the magnitude of this problem.

of this/such magnitude

▪ Decisions of this magnitude should not be taken by one person alone.

▪ The oil spillage in the Gulf was of such magnitude that its effects will last for decades.

9. to become bigger

▷ get bigger /ˌget ˈbɪgəʳ/ [verb phrase]

to become bigger :

▪ The hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger all the time.

▪ More workers were taken on as the organization got bigger.

▪ Teachers are reporting higher stress levels as class sizes get bigger.

get bigger and bigger

continue to become bigger

▪ The cloud of dust and debris was getting bigger and bigger as the wind grew stronger.

▷ grow /grəʊ/ [intransitive verb]

use this especially about amounts, organizations, and places :

▪ Mark’s business grew rapidly in the first year.

▪ Tandem’s annual profits grew by 24% in one year.

▪ Tokyo has grown a lot over the last ten years.

▷ expand /ɪkˈspænd/ [intransitive verb]

to become bigger in size or amount. If a business, organization, or system expands, it becomes bigger and more successful :

▪ Metals expand when they are heated.

▪ The universe is constantly expanding.

▪ Medical insurance companies expanded rapidly during the 1980s.

▪ The sports and leisure market is expanding more quickly than ever before.

▷ swell up /ˌswel ˈʌp/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a part of your body swells up, it becomes larger than usual, especially because of an illness or injury :

▪ I dropped a brick on my foot, and it swelled up like a balloon.

▪ His face had swollen up because of the operation.

swollen /ˈswəʊlən/ [adjective]

▪ a swollen ankle

▷ stretch /stretʃ/ [intransitive verb]

if something such as a piece of clothing stretches, it gets bigger and changes its shape especially because it has been pulled :

▪ Your jeans will stretch a little once you start wearing them.

▪ The elastic stretches so that the shoe can be slipped on and off.

▪ This fabric will stretch if you wash it in hot water.

10. to make something bigger

▷ expand /ɪkˈspænd/ [transitive verb]

to make something bigger - use this especially about increasing numbers or amounts, or about increasing the size of a company or organization :

▪ She intends to expand the company’s operations in the US.

▪ The university is planning to expand the number of students to over 20,000.

▷ grow /grəʊ/ [transitive verb]

to make a company or economy bigger and increase the amount of business that it does - used especially in business English :

▪ All this is necessary if we are to grow the business.

▷ stretch /stretʃ/ [transitive verb]

to pull cloth, plastic, leather, etc so that it gets bigger and changes its shape :

▪ Stretch the canvas so that it covers the whole frame.

▷ blow up/enlarge /ˌbləʊ ˈʌp, ɪnˈlɑːʳdʒ/ [transitive verb]

to make something bigger, for example a photograph or an image on a computer. Enlarge is more formal than blow up. :

▪ That’s a nice photo, why don’t you get it enlarged?

▪ If the opening is too small, you can always enlarge it later.

▪ The new photocopier will enlarge documents by up to 100%.

blow something up

▪ You should blow that picture up and frame it.

blow up something

▪ This section of the print has been blown up so that the enemy’s tanks can be clearly seen.

enlargement [countable noun]

▪ an enlargement of the wedding photo

▷ magnify /ˈmægnɪfaɪ, ˈmægnəfaɪ/ [transitive verb]

to make an image or detail bigger, especially by using a microscope :

▪ This microscope can magnify an object up to forty times.

▪ The image is magnified by a series of lenses within the telescope.

▷ extend /ɪkˈstend/ [transitive verb] British

to make a building bigger by adding more rooms or more space :

▪ The hotel has been recently renovated and extended.

▪ We’re thinking of extending the kitchen.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .