🤩 Discover new information from across the web

big definition

Overview

This page has 38 definitions of big with English translations in 7 languages. Big is an adjective, an adverb, noun and verb. Examples of how to use big in a sentence are shown. Also define these 95 related words and terms: large, ample, huge, sizeable, stoor, jumbo, massive, little, small, tiny, minuscule, miniature, minute, houses, good, many, them, most, part, courtesy, valley, glimpse, sometime, distance, court, farm, church, cluster, village, capitalisation, popular, all the rage, in demand, well liked, adult, grown up, young, fat, chubby, plus-size, rotund, important, significant, essential, paramount, weighty, enthusiastic, fanatical, mad, worked up, of, mature, conscientious, principled, generous, well-endowed, busty, macromastic, stacked, pregnant, swell, full, great, heavy, populous, old, loud, big name, big league, big time, BDSM, ageplay, older, role, praise, recommend, promote, inhabit, occupy, locate, build, erect, fashion, dwell, barley, piglet, pig, keu, beag, star, big shot, big noise, belly, stomach, and abdomen.

See also: BIG

English big definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From a northern Middle English dialectal term big, bigge (powerful, strong), of unknown origin, possibly from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare dialectal Norwegian bugge (great man).

Adjective

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. Of great size, large.
    Synonyms: ample, huge, large, sizeable, stoor, jumbo, massive; see also Thesaurus:big
    Antonyms: little, small, tiny, minuscule, miniature, minute
    Elephants are big animals, and they eat a lot.
    • Sizeable definition
      Alternative spelling of sizable
    • Them definition
      Those ones.
      1. Used as the direct object of a verb. (1 of 8 them definitions)
    • Court definition
      An enclosed space; a courtyard; an uncovered area shut in by the walls of a building, or by different buildings; also, a space opening from a street and nearly surrounded by houses; a blind alley. (1 of 15 court definitions)
  2. (of an industry or other field, often capitalized) Thought to have undue influence.
    There were concerns about the ethics of big pharma.
    Big Tech
    • 2019 April 25, Samanth Subramanian, “Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands”, in The Guardian[1]:
      After the Airblade’s launch, a battle began to boil, pitting the dryer industry against the world’s most powerful hand-drying lobby: Big Towel.
    • 2020 July 28, “Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Prepare for Their ‘Big Tobacco Moment’”, in New York Times[2]:
      “The C.E.O.s don’t want to be testifying. Even having this collective hearing creates a sense of quasi-guilt just because of who else has gotten called in like this — Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Banks,” said Paul Gallant, a tech policy analyst at the investment firm Cowen. “That’s not a crowd they want to be associated with.”
  3. Popular.
    Synonyms: all the rage, in demand, well liked
    That style is very big right now in Europe, especially among teenagers.
    • 1984, “Big in Japan”, in Forever Young, performed by Alphaville:
      Big in Japan, alright, pay then I'll sleep by your side / Things are easy when you're big in Japan
    • Well Liked definition
      Liked by many people, popular
  4. (informal) Adult.
    Synonyms: adult, fully grown, grown up; see also Thesaurus:full-grown
    Antonyms: little, young
    Kids should get help from big people if they want to use the kitchen.
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft:
      By midnight, however, the last light had fled / For even big people have then gone to bed[.]
  5. (informal) Fat.
    Synonyms: chubby, plus-size, rotund; see also Thesaurus:overweight
    Gosh, she is big!
  6. (informal) Important or significant.
    Synonyms: essential, paramount, weighty; see also Thesaurus:important
    What's so big about that? I do it all the time.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, OCLC 491297620:
      "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. I never did that. I always made up my mind I'd be a big man some day, and—I'm glad I didn't steal."
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3-3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport:
      It proved a big miss as Hoilett produced a sublime finish into the top corner of the net from 20 yards after evading a couple of challenges in first-half stoppage time.
  7. (informal, with on) Enthusiastic (about).
    Synonyms: fanatical, mad, worked up; see also Thesaurus:enthusiastic
    • 2019, Louise Taylor, Alex Morgan heads USA past England into Women’s World Cup final (in The Guardian, 2 July 2019)[3]
      Neville is big on standing by his principles and he deserves plaudits for acknowledging he got his starting system wrong, reverting to 4-2-3-1 and introducing Kirby in the No 10 role.
    I'm not big on the idea, but if you want to go ahead with it, I won't stop you.
  8. (informal, transitive with of) Mature, conscientious, principled; generous.
    That's very big of you; thank you!
    I tried to be the bigger person and just let it go, but I couldn't help myself.
    • 2011, Joe Pieri, The Big Men, →ISBN:
      So the bloke says, 'Fine, that's real big of you, much appreciated,' and off he goes with Big John back to Ferrari's.
    • Of definition
      Expressing distance or motion.
      1. From (of distance, direction), "off".
      2. Since, from (a given time, earlier state etc.).
      3. From, away from (a position, number, distance etc.). (1 of 49 of definitions)
    • Principled definition
      Based on, having or manifesting principles.
  9. (informal) Well-endowed, possessing large breasts in the case of a woman or a large penis in the case of a man.
    Synonyms: busty, macromastic, stacked; see also Thesaurus:busty
    Whoa, Nadia has gotten pretty big since she hit puberty.
    • Busty definition
      Having large breasts.
  10. (sometimes figuratively) Large with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce.
    Synonyms: full, great, heavy; see also Thesaurus:pregnant
    She was big with child.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 1, scene 1]:
      [Day] big with the fate of Cato and of Rome.
  11. (informal) Used as an intensifier, especially of negative-valence nouns
    You are a big liar.  Why are you in such a big hurry?
  12. (of a city) populous
  13. (informal, slang, rare, of somebody's age) old, mature. Used to imply that somebody is too old for something, or acting immaturely.
    • 2020, Candice Carty-Williams, Notting Hill Carnival
      I don't think so, if you're shouting at people across the playground at your big age.
    • Old definition
      Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time. (1 of 15 old definitions)
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. In a loud manner.
  2. In a boasting manner.
    He's always talking big, but he never delivers.
  3. In a large amount or to a large extent.
    He won big betting on the croquet championship.
  4. On a large scale, expansively.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 3, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 25:
      'You've got to put it over big,' he was saying in a loud nasal voice.
    You've got to think big to succeed at Amalgamated Plumbing.
  5. Hard.
    He hit him big and the guy just crumpled.

Noun

big (plural bigs)

  1. Someone or something that is large in stature
  2. An important or powerful person; a celebrity; a big name.
  3. (as plural) The big leagues, big time.
    • 2004 June 23, Michelle Boorstein, “Ballclub^s Pullout Caps Va. Town^s Run of Woes; Struggling Martinsville No Longer Celebrates Its Boys of Summer”, in Washington Post:
      In the Appalachian League, where Cal Ripken once played in Bluefield, W.Va., a ballplayer's chances of making it to the bigs are less than one in six.
  4. (BDSM, slang) The participant in ageplay who acts out the older role.
    • Ageplay definition
      A form of roleplay in which the player deliberately acts an age different from their own (and usually younger).
Synonyms
Antonyms

Verb

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle bigging, simple past and past participle bigged) (up)

  1. (transitive) To praise, recommend, or promote.
    • 2017, Daniel Tammet, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, →ISBN, page 162:
      Some say of me, "There's Adrian again in the media, bigging himself up.

Etymology 2

From Middle English biggen, byggen, from Old Norse byggja, byggva (to build, dwell in, inhabit), a secondary form of Old Norse búa (to dwell), related to Old English būan (to dwell). Cognate with Danish bygge, Swedish bygga.

Verb

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle bigging, simple past and past participle bigged)

  1. (transitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to inhabit; occupy
  2. (reflexive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to locate oneself
    • Locate definition
      To place; to set in a particular spot or position. (1 of 4 locate definitions)
  3. (transitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to build; erect; fashion
    • Fashion definition
      A current (constantly changing) trend, favored for frivolous rather than practical, logical, or intellectual reasons. (1 of 5 fashion definitions)
  4. (intransitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to dwell; have a dwelling
    • Dwell definition
      A period of time in which a system or component remains in a given state. (1 of 4 dwell definitions)

Etymology 3

From Middle English byge, from Old Norse bygg (barley, probably Hordeum vulgare, common barley), from Proto-Germanic *bewwuz (crop, barley). Cognate with Old English bēow (barley).

Alternative forms

Noun

big (uncountable)

  1. One or more kinds of barley, especially six-rowed barley.

Anagrams


Dutch big definition

Etymology

From Middle Dutch bagge, vigge. Originally a word exclusive to the Northern Dutch dialects.

Pronunciation

Noun

big m or f (plural biggen, diminutive biggetje n)

  1. piglet, little pig
    Synonym: keu
    • Piglet definition
      A young pig
    • Keu definition
      cue (for playing billiards)

Derived terms

  • biggenkruid

Irish big definition

Pronunciation

Adjective

big

  1. inflection of beag:
    1. vocative/genitive masculine singular
    2. (archaic) dative feminine singular
    • Beag definition
      A ring.

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
big bhig mbig
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Italian big definition

Noun

big m (invariable)

  1. star (entertainment)
    • Star definition
      Any small luminous dot appearing in the cloudless portion of the night sky, especially with a fixed location relative to other such dots. (1 of 11 star definitions)
  2. big shot, big noise
    • Big Noise definition
      An important or influential person.

Scots big definition

Etymology

From Old Norse byggja (inhabit, build).

Pronunciation

Verb

big (third-person singular present bigs, present participle biggin, past biggit, past participle biggit)

  1. to build

Torres Strait Creole big definition

Etymology

From English big, cognate with (the first part of) Bislama bikfala, bigfala, Pijin bigfala, Tok Pisin bikpela.

Adjective

big

  1. big

Derived terms

 

Welsh big definition

Pronunciation

Noun

big

  1. Soft mutation of pig.

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
pig big mhig phig
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Western Apache big definition

Etymology

From Proto-Athabaskan *-wə̓t̕.

Cognates: Navajo -bid, Plains Apache -bid.

Pronunciation

Noun

big (inalienable)

  1. belly, stomach, abdomen
    shibigmy belly
    bibigher/his/their belly

Usage notes

  • The form -big occurs in the White Mountain varieties; -bid occurs in San Carlos and Dilzhe’eh (Tonto).