- adj. & adv.
—adj. (bigger, biggest)
1 a of considerable size, amount, intensity, etc. (a big mistake; a big helping). b of a large or the largest size (big toe; big drum).
2 important; significant; outstanding (the big race; my big chance).
3 a grown up (a big boy now). b elder (big sister).
4 colloq. a boastful (big words; big mouth). b often iron. generous (big of him). c ambitious (big ideas).
5 (usu. foll. by with) advanced in pregnancy; fecund (big with child; big with consequences).
—adv. colloq. in a big manner, esp.:
1 effectively (went over big).
2 boastfully (talk big).
3 ambitiously (think big).
Phrases and idioms:
Big Apple US sl. New York City. big band a large jazz or pop orchestra. big bang Stock Exch. (in the UK) the introduction in 1986 of important changes in the regulations and procedures for trading, esp. the widening of membership, the relaxation of rules for brokers, and the introduction of computerized communications. big bang theory the theory that the universe began with the explosion of dense matter. Big Ben the great clock tower of the Houses of Parliament and its bell. Big Board US colloq. the New York Stock Exchange. Big Brother an all-powerful supposedly benevolent dictator (as in Orwell's 1984). big bud a plant disease caused by the gall-mite. big bug sl. = BIGWIG. big business large-scale financial dealings, esp. when sinister or exploitative. Big Chief (or Daddy) sl. = BIGWIG. big deal! sl. iron. I am not impressed. big dipper
1 a fairground switchback.
2 US = the Great Bear (see BEAR(2)). big end (in a motor vehicle) the end of the connecting-rod that encircles the crankpin. big game large animals hunted for sport. big gun sl. = BIGWIG. big-head colloq. a conceited person. big-headed colloq. conceited. big-headedness colloq. conceitedness. big-hearted generous.
1 the principal house in a village etc.
2 sl. a prison. big idea often iron. the important intention or scheme. big money large amounts; high profit; high pay. big name a famous person. big noise (or pot or shot) colloq. = BIGWIG. big smoke Brit.
2 any large town. big stick a display of force. Big Three (or Four etc.) the predominant few. the big time sl. success in a profession, esp. show business. big-timer sl. a person who achieves success. big top the main tent in a circus. big tree US a giant evergreen conifer, Sequoiadendron giganteum, usu. with a trunk of large girth.
1 a Ferris wheel.
2 US sl. = BIGWIG. come (or go) over big make a great effect.
in a big way
1 on a large scale.
2 colloq. with great enthusiasm, display, etc. look (or talk) big boast. think big be ambitious. too big for one's boots (or breeches) sl. conceited.
biggish adj. bigness n.
Etymology: ME: orig. unkn.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.