Definitions

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

  • adj. Very large in size.
  • adj. Larger in size than others of the same kind.
  • adj. Large in quantity or number: A great throng awaited us. See Synonyms at large.
  • adj. Extensive in time or distance: a great delay.
  • adj. Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent: a great crisis.
  • adj. Of outstanding significance or importance: a great work of art.
  • adj. Chief or principal: the great house on the estate.
  • adj. Superior in quality or character; noble: "For he was great, ere fortune made him so” ( John Dryden).
  • adj. Powerful; influential: one of the great nations of the West.
  • adj. Eminent; distinguished: a great leader.
  • adj. Grand; aristocratic.
  • adj. Informal Enthusiastic: a great lover of music.
  • adj. Informal Very skillful: great at algebra.
  • adj. Informal Very good; first-rate: We had a great time at the dance.
  • adj. Being one generation removed from the relative specified. Often used in combination: a great-granddaughter.
  • adj. Archaic Pregnant.
  • n. One that is great: a composer considered among the greats.
  • n. Music A division of most pipe organs, usually containing the most powerful ranks of pipes.
  • n. Music A similar division of other organs.
  • adv. Informal Very well: got along great with the teacher.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very big, large scale.
  • adj. Very good.
  • adj. Important.
  • adj. Title referring to an important leader.
  • interj. Expression of gladness and content about something.
  • interj. sarcastic inversion thereof.
  • n. A person of major significance, accomplishment or acclaim.
  • adv. very well (in a very satisfactory manner)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Large in space; of much size; big; immense; enormous; expanded; -- opposed to small and little.
  • adj. Large in number; numerous
  • adj. Long continued; lengthened in duration; prolonged in time
  • adj. Superior; admirable; commanding; -- applied to thoughts, actions, and feelings.
  • adj. Endowed with extraordinary powers; uncommonly gifted; able to accomplish vast results; strong; powerful; mighty; noble
  • adj. Holding a chief position; elevated: lofty: eminent; distinguished; foremost; principal
  • adj. Entitled to earnest consideration; weighty; important.
  • adj. Pregnant; big (with young).
  • adj. More than ordinary in degree; very considerable in degree.
  • adj. Older, younger, or more remote, by single generation; -- often used before grand to indicate one degree more remote in the direct line of descent
  • n. The whole; the gross.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Unusually or comparatively large in size or extent; of large dimensions; of wide extent or expanse; large; big: as, a great rock, house, farm, lake, distance, view, etc.
  • Large in number; numerous: as, a great multitude; a great collection.
  • Exceeding or unusual in degree: as, great fear, love, strength, wealth, power.
  • Widely extended in time; of long duration; long-continued; long: as, a great delay.
  • Of large extent or scope; stately; imposing; magnificent: as, a great entertainment.
  • Of large consequence; important; momentous; weighty; impressive.
  • Chief; principal; largest or most important: as, the great seal of England; the great toe.
  • Holding an eminent or a superlative position in respect to rank, office, power, or mental or moral endowments or acquirements; eminent; distinguished; renowned: as, the great Creator; a great genius, hero, or philosopher; a great impostor; Peter the Great.
  • Grand; magnanimous; munificent; noble; aspiring: as, a great soul.
  • Expressive of haughtiness or pride; arrogant; big: as, great looks; great words.
  • Filled; teeming; pregnant; gravid.
  • Hard; difficult.
  • . Widely known; notorious.
  • Much in action; active; persistent; earnest; zealous: as, a great friend to the poor; a great foe to monopoly.
  • Much in use; much used; much affected;
  • In geneal., one degree more remote in ascent or descent: generally joined with its noun by a hyphen, and used alone only for brothers and sisters of lineal ancestors, in other cases before the prefix grand-: as, great-uncle, great-aunt (brother or sister of a grandparent); great-grandfather, great-grandson, great-grandneph-ew.
  • In music, in the comparative, same as major: as, greater third (a major third), etc.
  • In a wider sense, a colon or series.
  • The forty years' division, a. d. 1378-1417, between different parties in the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, which adhered to different popes.
  • The Black Sea.
  • The corresponding season of the church year, from Easter to Ascension.
  • n. 1. The whole; the gross; the mass; wholesale: as, to work by the great.
  • n. . A great part; the greater part; the sum and substance.
  • n. plural The great go at Cambridge. See go, n., 3.
  • To become great or large; grow large; enlarge.
  • To become great with child; become pregnant.
  • To make great; aggrandize.

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

  • adj. remarkable or out of the ordinary in degree or magnitude or effect
  • adj. of major significance or importance
  • adj. relatively large in size or number or extent; larger than others of its kind
  • adj. in an advanced stage of pregnancy
  • adj. very good
  • adj. uppercase
  • n. a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field

Etymologies

Middle English grete, from Old English grēat, thick, coarse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English greet ("great, large"), from Old English grēat ("big, thick, coarse, stour, massive"), from Proto-Germanic *grautaz (“big in size, coarse, coarse grained”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrewə- (“to fell, put down, fall in”). Cognate with Scots great ("coarse in grain or texture, thick, great"), West Frisian grut ("large, great"), Dutch groot ("large, stour"), German groß ("large"), Old English grēot ("earth, sand, grit"), Latin grandis ("great,big"), Albanian ngre ("I lift, heave, stand, elevate"). More at grit. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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    December 10, 2006