Definitions

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

  • adj. Impressively great in size, force, or extent; enormous: a prodigious storm.
  • adj. Extraordinary; marvelous: a prodigious talent.
  • adj. Obsolete Portentous; ominous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very big in size or quantity; gigantic; colossal; huge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of the nature of a prodigy; marvelous; wonderful; portentous.
  • adj. Extraordinary in bulk, extent, quantity, or degree; very great; vast; huge; immense

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the character or partaking of the nature of a prodigy; portentous.
  • Wonderfully large; very great in size, quantity, or extent; monstrous; immense; huge; enormous.
  • Very great in degree; excessive; extreme.
  • Synonyms Monstrous, marvelous, amazing, astonishing, astounding, extraordinary.

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

  • adj. far beyond what is usual in magnitude or degree
  • adj. so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
  • adj. of momentous or ominous significance

Etymologies

Latin prōdigiōsus, portentous, monstrous, from prōdigium, omen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French prodigieux, from Latin prodigiosus ("unnatural, strange, wonderful, marvelous"), from prodigium ("an omen, portent, monster"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He grew foolishly proud and fond of what he called my prodigious advance.

    Lazarre

  • The effect may be comic, but the fact that Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer would know words like "prodigious" is pretty amazing if you think about it nowadays.

    New Paradigms in Law

  • I think prodigious is the word that best describes Winston Churchill the man-artist, orator, soldier, journalist, proud father and devoted husband, a connoisseur of food and wine and beauty, a passionate lover of life, of its great moments and its small pleasures.

    Winston Churchill

  • And so it came to pass that daily thereafter did we practise for an hour or so in the armoury with sword and buckler, and with every lesson my proficiency with the iron grew in a manner that Falcone termed prodigious, swearing that I was born to the sword, that the knack of it was in the very blood of me.

    The Strolling Saint; being the confessions of the high and mighty Agostino D'Anguissola, tyrant of Mondolfo and Lord of Carmina in the state of Piacenza

  • In a memo of an April 9, 2009 interview the ethics office conducted with Jackson, Nayak was described as a "prodigious and obsessive supporter" of Blagojevich.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • You are to observe the winter method of fishing here, is to break openings like small fish ponds on the ice, to which the fish coming for air, are taken in prodigious quantities on the surface.

    The History of Emily Montague

  • From afar the blaze of colour could be seen, and then the sisters would loosen the reins, letting their horses fly along till they reached the oasis of colour they had seen from afar shining between the trees; sometimes it seemed like a blue sheet of water; but when they reached the spot it was seen to be millions and millions of blue irises and hyacinths, growing in prodigious masses, and smelling, oh, so sweet!

    The Lily of Life: A Fairy Tale

  • Notwithstanding that the majority of its inhabitants were generally of dusky hue and its political masters theoretically implacably hostile to South Africa, those same politicians had so swiftly beggared the nation after independence with its pursuit of unbridled socialism that it quickly succumbed to the lure of the Rands and Dollars which landing fees and the profits from refuelling SAA’s Boeing 747s generated in prodigious quantities.

    Archive 2008-03-23

  • Dunter, the stout journeyman of the smith, made what was called a prodigious cast; but the Highlander, making a desperate effort, threw beyond it by two or three feet, and looked with an air of triumph to Henry, who again smiled in reply.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • Ancient Egyptians have long been known as prodigious beer drinkers, sipping brews both sociably and as medicine.

    Mummy Beerest

Comments

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  • S: colossal, monstrous, extraordinary, astonishing, astounding

    A: small, teeny, tiny, ordinary, unsignificant

    October 25, 2013

  • A spectacular word for indicating amazement. Why, it's prodigious!

    March 21, 2009

  • Seanahan, you will be glad to hear:

    prodigious

    1552, "having the appearance of a prodigy," from L. prodigiosus "strange, wonderful, marvelous," from prodigium (see prodigy). Meaning "vast, enormous" is from 1601.

    June 17, 2007

  • It is weird, this word means something different than prodigy.

    February 2, 2007

  • Crowds have gathered at the windows of the hospital's nursery ward to marvel at Antonio, who is already 56cm (22in) long and drinks "prodigious amounts of milk."

    February 1, 2007