Meaning of BIG in English


I. ˈbig adjective

( bigger ; biggest )

Etymology: Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect bugge important man — more at boast


a. obsolete : of great physical strength : powerful in body

Sir Launcelot was big and strong again — Thomas Malory

b. : of great force or vehemence : violent

farewell the big wars that make ambition virtue — Shakespeare

— now used only of natural phenomena

the night of the big blow

2. : large 4a:

a. : large in physical dimensions, bulk, or mass

a big bag of potatoes

the big white house on the hill

b. : of great extent

a big tract of open country

c. : large in magnitude

a big change from our simple country life

also : large in quantity, number, or amount

a big fleet

d. : formed or conducted on a large scale

big government

a big merchandising combine

e. : having the largeness of — used chiefly in the comparative

a little fish scarcely bigger than a mosquito larva

3. : full:

a. : pregnant ; especially : nearly ready to give birth — usually used with with

a white heifer big with calf

b. : full to bursting : filled , brimming, swelling , teeming — usually used with with

eyes big with tears

big with rage

no period bigger with opportunity for the daring man

c. of the voice : full and resonant

4. : conspicuous or noteworthy in some respect:

a. : chief , leading , preeminent

the big issue of this campaign

the big shopping center is on 10th Avenue

b. : notorious , bad — used especially in the superlative

the biggest rascal on two feet

c. : outstanding , prominent

a big banker

especially : outstandingly worthy or able

a truly big man

the bigger they are the harder they fall

d. : of importance, moment, or significance : impressive

the big moment of his life

a big piece of news

e. : imposing , high-sounding , pretentious

such big words to put abroad such petty thoughts

often : boastful , pompous , threatening

his big words were never backed by deeds

f. : having or showing greatness of spirit : magnanimous , generous

a heart big enough to hold no grudges

he can be trusted to do the big thing

- too big for one's breeches

II. adverb

1. : to a large amount or extent : largely

pay big for a privilege

I eat big in the mornings

2. : in a big manner : to a marked degree:

a. slang : so as to bring notable success or advantage

if the new line goes big he should clean up a fortune

: with pronounced effect

the only one to score big was George S. Kaufman — Time

b. : pompously , pretentiously

to talk big

c. : bravely , courageously

taking his losses big

3. dialect : very , extremely

big rich

big lazy

III. transitive verb

( bigged ; bigged ; bigging ; bigs )

chiefly Midland : impregnate : make pregnant

IV. noun

( -s )

: an individual or organization of outstanding importance or power

competition with the bigs of the aviation industry

V. transitive verb

( bigged ; bigged ; bigging ; bigs )

Etymology: Middle English biggen to build, dwell, inhabit, from Old Norse byggja; akin to Old English bēon to be — more at be

dialect Britain : build , construct , erect

big a new house

VI. noun

: major league 1a — usually used in plural

a chance to play in the bigs

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.