Meaning of GREAT in English
/ greɪt; NAmE / adjective , noun , adverb
( great·er , great·est )
[ usually before noun ] very large; much bigger than average in size or quantity :
A great crowd had gathered.
People were arriving in great numbers.
The great majority of (= most) people seem to agree with this view.
He must have fallen from a great height.
She lived to a great age.
[ only before noun ] ( informal ) used to emphasize an adjective of size or quality :
There was a great big pile of books on the table.
He cut himself a great thick slice of cake.
much more than average in degree or quantity :
a matter of great importance
The concert had been a great success.
Her death was a great shock to us all.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today.
Take great care of it.
You've been a great help.
We are all to a great extent the products of our culture.
➡ note at big
extremely good in ability or quality and therefore admired by many people :
He has been described as the world's greatest violinist.
Sherlock Holmes, the great detective
Great art has the power to change lives.
( informal ) very good or pleasant :
He's a great bloke.
It's great to see you again.
What a great goal!
We had a great time in Madrid.
'I'll pick you up at seven.' 'That'll be great, thanks.'
( ironic )
Oh great, they left without us.
You've been a great help, I must say (= no help at all) .
IMPORTANT / IMPRESSIVE
[ only before noun ] important and impressive :
The wedding was a great occasion.
As the great day approached, she grew more and more nervous.
The great thing is to get it done quickly.
One great advantage of this metal is that it doesn't rust.
having high status or a lot of influence :
the great powers (= important and powerful countries)
We can make this country great again.
Alexander the Great
IN GOOD HEALTH
in a very good state of physical or mental health :
She seemed in great spirits (= very cheerful) .
I feel great today.
Everyone's in great form.
[ not usually before noun ] great at (doing) sth ( informal ) able to do sth well :
She's great at chess.
great for (doing) sth ( informal ) very suitable or useful for sth :
This gadget's great for opening jars.
Try this cream—it's great for spots.
[ only before noun ] used when you are emphasizing a particular description of sb/sth :
We are great friends.
I've never been a great reader (= I do not read much) .
She's a great talker, isn't she?
great- added to words for family members to show a further stage in relationship :
my great-aunt (= my father's or mother's aunt)
her great-grandson (= the grandson of her son or daughter)
my great-great-grandfather (= the father of my grandfather)
LARGER ANIMALS / PLANTS
[ only before noun ] used in the names of animals or plants which are larger than similar kinds :
the great tit
Greater used with the name of a city to describe an area that includes the centre of the city and a large area all round it :
see oak noun [ U ]
- be going great guns
- be a great one for (doing) sth
- be no great shakes
- great and small
- great minds think alike
- the great ... in the sky
—more at pains , sum noun
[ usually pl. ] ( informal ) a very well-known and successful person or thing :
He was one of boxing's all-time greats.
( informal , non-standard ) very well :
Well done. You did great.
cool ♦ fantastic ♦ fabulous ♦ terrific ♦ brilliant ♦ awesome
These are all informal words that describe sb/sth that is very good, pleasant, enjoyable, etc.
( informal ) very good; giving a lot of pleasure:
We had a great time in Madrid.
( informal ) used to show that you admire or approve of sth, often because it is fashionable, attractive or different:
I think their new song's really cool.
( informal ) extremely good; giving a lot of pleasure:
'How was your holiday?' ' Fantastic!'
( informal ) extremely good:
Jane's a fabulous cook.
( Fabulous is slightly more old-fashioned than the other words in this set.)
( informal ) extremely good; wonderful:
She's doing a terrific job.
( BrE informal ) extremely good; wonderful:
'How was the show?' 'Brilliant!'
( informal , especially NAmE ) very good, impressive, or enjoyable:
The show was just awesome.
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :
really / absolutely great / cool / fantastic / fabulous / terrific / brilliant / awesome
to look / sound great / cool / fantastic / fabulous / terrific / brilliant / awesome
to feel great / fantastic / fabulous / terrific / awesome
to have a(n) great / cool / fantastic / fabulous / terrific / brilliant / awesome time
Old English grēat big , of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch groot and German gross .
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005