Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of considerable size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent; large. synonym: large.
  • adjective Having great strength or force.
  • adjective Of great significance; momentous.
  • adjective Mature or grown-up.
  • adjective Older or eldest. Used especially of a sibling.
  • adjective Filled up; brimming over.
  • adjective Bountiful; generous.
  • adjective Pregnant.
  • adjective Having or exercising considerable authority, control, or influence.
  • adjective Conspicuous in position, wealth, or importance; prominent.
  • adjective Loud and firm; resounding.
  • adjective Informal Widely liked, used, or practiced; popular.
  • adjective Informal Self-important; cocky.
  • adverb In a pretentious or boastful way.
  • adverb With considerable success.
  • adverb In a thorough or unmistakable way; emphatically.
  • idiom (big on) Enthusiastic about; partial to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of great strength or power.
  • Having great size; large in bulk or magnitude, absolutely or relatively.
  • Great with young; pregnant; ready to give birth; hence, figuratively, full of something important; ready to produce; teeming.
  • . Distended; full, as of grief, passion, courage, determination, goodness, etc.
  • . Tumid; inflated, as with pride; hence, haughty in air or mien, or indicating haughtiness; pompous; proud; boastful: as, big looks; big words.
  • . Great as regards influence, standing, wealth, etc.
  • Synonyms Large, etc. (see great), bulky, huge, massive.
  • 5. Lofty, pompous, arrogant, important.
  • noun A kind of winter barley cultivated in northern Europe, especially in Scotland; properly, four-rowed barley, Hordeum vulgare, inferior to but hardier than H. hexastichon, of which it is sometimes called a variety. See bear.
  • . To inhabit; occupy.
  • 2. Reflexively, to locate one's self.
  • 3. To build; erect; fashion.
  • To dwell; have a dwelling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb Scot. & North of Eng. Dial. To build.
  • noun (Bot.) Barley, especially the hardy four-rowed kind.
  • adjective Having largeness of size; of much bulk or magnitude; of great size; large.
  • adjective Great with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce; -- often figuratively.
  • adjective Having greatness, fullness, importance, inflation, distention, etc., whether in a good or a bad sense. As applied to looks, it indicates haughtiness or pride.
  • adjective to talk loudly, arrogantly, or pretentiously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of great size, large.
  • adjective of an industry or other field Thought to have undue influence.
  • adjective Popular.
  • adjective informal Adult.
  • adjective informal Fat.
  • adjective informal Important or significant.
  • adjective informal, with on Enthusiastic (about).
  • adjective informal Mature, conscientious, principled.
  • adjective informal Well-endowed, possessing large breasts in the case of a woman or a large penis in the case of a man.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • Bush has helped his corporate \'base\ 'create a \'New World Order\' in which robber barons of big oil, assisted by \'big media\ ', rule the world and plunder its resources.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: How Bush Helped Establish a Corporate 'New World Order'

  • Pale skin, smooth all over, little pink nipples on a smooth, flat chest, snub nose with a little pale spray of freckles, big, _big_ blue eyes, naked as a jaybird, but for the brass-colored bobby-pins holding up her braids.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • They looked just as puzzled as he probably did, he saw; they knew they were being called in on something big, and in the IES big meant _big_.

    The Judas Valley

  • “Ah, but you wouldn’t say they looked like fools when they landed a big pike, I can tell you, ” said Tom, who had never caught anything that was “big” in his life, but whose imagination was on the stretch with indignant zeal for the honor of sport.

    III. The New Schoolfellow. Book II—School-Time

  • I don't know what paved streets an 'stall feedin' do for a man, but any one 'at's lived sixty year on the ground knows' at this whole old earth is jest teemin 'with work' at's too big for anything but a God, an 'a mighty _big_ God at that!

    The Song of the Cardinal

  • And I want to be a great, big, big, _big_ little boy.

    The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays

  • "Didn't you ever ask the Lord to let you do some big, _big_ things?" insisted Bobby.

    Bobby of the Labrador

  • They say that there are white men who come over the great salt lake from far-off lands in big _big_ canoes.

    The Walrus Hunters A Romance of the Realms of Ice

  • Football is a rough sport, thats why we watch it, thats why we pay big$$ for tickets and buy big screen TVs.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • However, they will fail to eliminate big corporations (Home Depot comes to mind) who spend countless dollars on their own lobbyists whose sole purpose is to influence legislation in its (i. e.-big corporation's) favor.

    James Sanford At The Movies - MLive.com

Comments

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  • Means "piglet" in Dutch.

    July 13, 2009

  • "To build a nest. A common use of the term in Scotland." --Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.

    May 26, 2011