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

  • adjective Having relatively great weight.
  • adjective Having relatively high density; having a high specific gravity.
  • adjective Large, as in number or quantity.
  • adjective Large in yield or output.
  • adjective Of great intensity.
  • adjective Having great power or force.
  • adjective Violent; rough.
  • adjective Equipped with massive armaments and weapons.
  • adjective Large enough to fire powerful shells.
  • adjective Indulging to a great degree.
  • adjective Involved or participating on a large scale.
  • adjective Of great import or seriousness; grave.
  • adjective Having considerable thickness.
  • adjective Broad or coarse.
  • adjective Dense; thick.
  • adjective Slow to dissipate; strong.
  • adjective Too dense or rich to digest easily.
  • adjective Insufficiently leavened.
  • adjective Full of clay and readily saturated.
  • adjective Weighed down; burdened.
  • adjective Emotionally weighed down; despondent.
  • adjective Marked by or exhibiting weariness.
  • adjective Sad or painful.
  • adjective Hard to do or accomplish; arduous.
  • adjective Not easily borne; oppressive.
  • adjective Lacking vitality; deficient in vivacity or grace.
  • adjective Sharply inclined; steep.
  • adjective Having a large capacity or designed for rough work.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or involving the large-scale production of basic products, such as steel.
  • adjective Of or relating to a serious dramatic role.
  • adjective Physics Of or relating to an isotope with an atomic mass greater than the average mass of that element.
  • adjective Loud; sonorous.
  • adjective Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a syllable ending in a long vowel or in a vowel plus two consonants.
  • adjective Of great significance or profundity.
  • adjective Very popular or important.
  • adverb Heavily.
  • noun A serious or tragic role in a play.
  • noun An actor playing such a role.
  • noun Slang A villain in a story or play.
  • noun Slang A mobster.


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

[Middle English hevi, from Old English hefig; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hevy, heviȝ, from Old English hefiġ, hefeġ, hæfiġ ("heavy; important, grave, severe, serious; oppressive, grievous; slow, dull"), from Proto-Germanic *habīgaz (“heavy, hefty, weighty”), from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (“to take, grasp, hold”), equivalent to heave +‎ -y. Cognate with Scots hevy, havy, heavy ("heavy"), Dutch hevig ("violent, severe, intense, acute"), Middle Low German hēvich ("violent, fierce, intense"), German hebig (cf. heftig ("fierce, severe, intense, violent, heavy")), Icelandic höfugur ("heavy, weighty, important"), Latin capāx ("large, wide, roomy, spacious, capacious, capable, apt").


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  • I enjoy hearing this word used to describe sounds or events: "Suddenly, there was a heavy explosion. The ground heaved. Windows shattered."

    August 8, 2008