Meaning of HEAVY in English


I. heav ‧ y 1 S1 W1 /ˈhevi/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative heavier , superlative heaviest )

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: hefig ]

1 . WEIGHT weighing a lot OPP light :

The wardrobe was too heavy for me to move on my own.

a heavy suitcase

The males are seven times heavier than the females.

How heavy is the parcel (=how much does it weigh?) ?

2 . AMOUNT/DEGREE/SEVERITY great in amount, degree, or severity:

The traffic going into London was very heavy.

Heavy rain has caused flooding in many areas.

Heavy fighting was reported near the border.

Heavy drinking during pregnancy can damage your baby.

I used to be a heavy smoker.

the heavy burden of taxation

If found guilty, they face heavy fines or even prison.

There were heavy casualties on both sides.

England’s heavy defeat in yesterday’s match

She’s in bed with a heavy cold.

the film’s heavy use of special effects

3 . NEEDING PHYSICAL EFFORT needing a lot of physical strength and effort:

My son does most of the heavy outdoor work.

She has a bad back and can’t do any heavy lifting.

4 . NEEDING MENTAL EFFORT not easy or entertaining and needing a lot of mental effort:

I want something to read on holiday – nothing too heavy.

5 . heavy going difficult to understand or deal with:

I found his latest novel a bit heavy going.

6 . be heavy on something informal to use a lot or too much of something:

The car’s rather heavy on oil.

7 . heavy with something literary full of something:

The apple trees were heavy with fruit.

The garden was heavy with the scent of summer.

‘Of course,’ she said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.

8 . heavy schedule/timetable/day etc a time in which you have a lot to do:

Let’s go to bed. We’ve got a heavy day tomorrow.

9 . heavy breathing breathing that is slow and loud ⇨ ↑ heavy breather

10 . make heavy weather of something British English to make something that you are doing seem more difficult or complicated than it really is – used to show disapproval:

Why does he need to make such heavy weather of a simple task?

11 . WEAPONS/MACHINES [only before noun] large and powerful:

tanks and other heavy weapons

heavy artillery (=large powerful guns)

a company which manufactures heavy machinery

12 . MATERIALS/CLOTHES ETC heavy materials, clothes, shoes, or objects are thick or solidly made:

a heavy winter coat

the sound of heavy boots

Melt the butter in a heavy pan over a medium heat.

heavy velvet curtains

13 . FOOD solid and making your stomach feel full and uncomfortable OPP light :

a heavy meal

heavy fruitcake

14 . EYES if your eyes are heavy, it is difficult to keep them open, usually because you are tired:

His eyes felt heavy with fatigue.


a) large, broad, and solid:

his heavy features

Kyle is a tall man with a heavy build (=a large broad body) .

b) American English used to politely describe someone who is fat SYN large

16 . WITH FORCE hitting something or falling with a lot of force or weight:

the sound of heavy footsteps in the hall

Ali caught him with a heavy blow to the jaw.


a) soil that is heavy is thick and solid

b) a sports ground or race track that is heavy is muddy:

a very heavy pitch

The going was heavy (=it was muddy for the horse races) at Cheltenham yesterday.

18 . SMELL strong and usually sweet

heavy scent/perfume etc

the heavy scent of the lilies

19 . AIR too warm and not at all fresh because there is no wind:

Even at dusk the air was still heavy.

20 . EMOTIONS informal a relationship or situation that is heavy involves serious or strong feelings:

She didn’t want things to get too heavy at such an early stage in their relationship.

21 . get heavy (with somebody) informal to start behaving in a threatening or strict way:

He came round and started getting heavy about the money I owed him.

22 . heavy silence/atmosphere a situation in which people do not speak and feel sad, anxious, or embarrassed:

A heavy silence fell upon the room.

23 . heavy sky/clouds clouds that look dark and grey as though it will soon rain

24 . heavy sleeper someone who does not wake easily

25 . heavy irony/sarcasm remarks that very clearly say the opposite of what you really feel

26 . heavy seas sea with big waves

27 . with a heavy heart literary feeling very sad:

It was with a heavy heart that Kate said goodbye.

28 . heavy date American English a very important ↑ date (=an occasion when you meet someone you like in a romantic way) with a ↑ boyfriend or ↑ girlfriend – usually used humorously

—heaviness noun [uncountable]

II. heavy 2 BrE AmE adverb

1 . time hangs/lies heavy on your hands if time hangs or lies heavy on your hands, it seems to pass slowly because you are bored or have nothing to do

2 . be heavy into something American English spoken informal to be very involved in an activity, especially one that is not good for you:

Eric was real heavy into drugs for a while.

III. heavy 3 BrE AmE noun ( plural heavies ) [countable]

informal a large strong man who is paid to protect someone or to threaten other people

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.