Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person or thing of great size.
  • n. A person or thing of extraordinary power, significance, or importance: a giant in the field of physics; automotive industry giants.
  • n. Greek Mythology One of a race of humanlike beings of enormous strength and stature who were destroyed in battle with the Olympians.
  • n. A being in folklore or myth similar to one of these beings.
  • adj. Marked by exceptionally great size, magnitude, or power: a giant wave; a giant impact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mythical human of very great size
  • n. Specifically, any of the Gigantes, the race of giants in the Greek mythology.
  • n. A very tall person.
  • n. A tall species of a particular animal or plant.
  • n. A star that is considerably more luminous than a main sequence star of the same temperature (eg. red giant, blue giant).
  • n. An Ethernet packet that exceeds the medium's maximum packet size of 1,518 bytes.
  • n. A very large organisation.
  • adj. very large

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Like a giant; extraordinary in size, strength, or power
  • n. A man of extraordinari bulk and stature.
  • n. A person of extraordinary strength or powers, bodily or intellectual.
  • n. Any animal, plant, or thing, of extraordinary size or power.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In classical mythology, one of a divine but monstrous race, children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gæa (Earth), and personifying destructive physical phenomena, as those of volcanic origin.
  • n. Some other imaginary being of human form but superhuman size: as, Giant Despair, in Bunyan's “Pilgrim's Progress.”
  • n. Figuratively, a person of unusual size or of extraordinary powers, physical or mental.
  • Gigantic; of extraordinary size or force, actual or relative: as, “the giant world,” ; a giant intellect.
  • n. In gold-mining, a large nozle used to direct the powerful streams employed in hydraulic work. See cut under hydraulic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a very large person; impressive in size or qualities
  • n. someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
  • n. a person of exceptional importance and reputation
  • n. an unusually large enterprise
  • adj. of great mass; huge and bulky
  • n. any creature of exceptional size
  • n. an imaginary figure of superhuman size and strength; appears in folklore and fairy tales
  • n. a very bright star of large diameter and low density (relative to the Sun)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French geant, jaiant, from Vulgar Latin *gagās, *gagant-, from Latin gigās, from Greek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek γίγας (gigas, "giant"), Middle English geant, from Old French geant, gaiant (Modern French géant) from Vulgar Latin *gagās, gagant-, from Latin gigās, gigant-. Cognate to giga- ("1,000,000,000"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As Brazil prepares to elect a successor to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Oct. 31, the Latin American giant is widely considered an economic success story among emerging markets.

    Brazilian scientists turning nation into an agro-power

  • Well who now doesn't remember the phrase "giant sucking sound"?

    Paul Tullis: What Obama Forgot About Change in Washington

  • "I hate to disappoint the world," he continued, "but the term giant doesn't really fit."

    NYT > Home Page

  • The pizza giant is also considering launching the new pizza recipe in some international markets.

    Domino's Offers Deal to Increase Check Size

  • We have to be grateful for the fact that this giant is a democracy and one that is friendly towards us, ready to help its friends.

    Forward the Anglosphere?

  • Let the lion and the lamb, says Germany, let the giant and the dwarf fight it out alone; the giant is my partner.

    The War

  • As John makes the rounds, greeting old friends and charming new neighbors, opening week at 601 Union has Marie happily reeling from what she describes as a "giant love fest."

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • And then at a certain point, toward the end of their lives, they become much bigger, up to 100 times the size, and become what we call giant stars.

    News

  • You don't often find a club referring to itself as "sleeping," even if the adjective is followed by the word "giant."

    SI.com

  • Now that's what you call a giant PR slip-up THIS is what happens when you miss a decimal point.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

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Comments

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  • A banknote worth one million British pounds. Explanation here.

    January 26, 2013

  • giANT

    April 25, 2008