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adj. big·ger, big·gest
a. Of considerable size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent; large. See Synonyms at large.
b. Having great strength or force: a big wind; in a big rage.
c. Of great significance; momentous: a big decision; a big victory.
a. Mature or grown-up: big enough to take the bus by herself.
b. Older or eldest. Used especially of a sibling: My big brother is leaving for college next week.
a. Filled up; brimming over: felt big with love.
b. Bountiful; generous: had a big heart.
4. Pregnant: big with child.
a. Having or exercising considerable authority, control, or influence: a big official; a big chief.
b. Conspicuous in position, wealth, or importance; prominent: a big figure in the peace movement.
6. Loud and firm; resounding: a big voice.
7. Informal Widely liked, used, or practiced; popular: "The Minneapolis indie-rock band was big in the blogosphere, beloved by hipsters, and unknown to pretty much everyone else" (Robert Levine).
8. Informal Self-important; cocky: You're too big for your own good.
1. In a pretentious or boastful way: talked big about the new job.
2. Informal
a. With considerable success: made it big with their recent best-selling album.
b. In a thorough or unmistakable way; emphatically: failed big at the box office.
big on
Enthusiastic about; partial to: "a patriotic youth organization big on military-style marching drills" (Earl Swift).

[Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]

big′gish adj.
big′ly adv.
big′ness n.




  1. Ample as a fat man’s waistline —Anon
  2. As large as life —Maria Edgeworth
  3. As large as life and twice as natural —Anon

    While this is most commonly attributed to Lewis Carroll, who used it in Through the Looking Glass in 1873, Stevenson’s Proverbs, Maxims and Famous Phrases includes an earlier (though likely not the earliest) source, Cuthbert Bede’s 1853 work, Verdant Green.

  4. Big as a braggart’s mouth —Anon
  5. Big as a den bear —Richard Ford
  6. Big as a draft animal —William Brammer
  7. Big as all out of doors —Anon
  8. [A man] big as an express train —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  9. (Bombers) big as bowling alleys —Marge Piercy
  10. A big man, filling the chair like a great mound of wheat —H.R.F. Keating
  11. Great as man’s ambition —Dame Edith Sitwell
  12. Huge as a planet —Lord Byron
  13. Huge as mountains —Walter Savage Landor
  14. Immense as whales —Sir William Davenant
  15. Large as a log of maple —Refrain from “Yankee Doodle,” early American folk song
  16. (My disappointment) large as capsized tugs —Richard Eberhart
  17. A large business organization is like a damn big dragon. You kick it in the tail, and two years later, it feels it in the head —Frederick Kappell, Look, August 28, 1962

    Kappell, chairman of American Telephone and Telegraph, began his comparison with “The Bell System is …” instead of the more general phrase used here.

    See Also: BUSINESS

  18. A list big as a comedian’s gag file —Anon
  19. Over-sized like a clown’s shoes —Anon
  20. She’s big as a damned barn and tough as knife metal —Ken Kesey

    See Also: TOUGHNESS

  21. She was big as three women —Ernest Hemingway
  22. Vast as water —Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Vast like the inside of a Pharaoh’s tomb —Arthur A. Cohen

    In Cohen’s novel, In the Days of Simon Stern, the comparison describes New York’s Madison Square Garden.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bigness - the property of having a relatively great sizebigness - the property of having a relatively great size
size - the physical magnitude of something (how big it is); "a wolf is about the size of a large dog"
ampleness - the property of impressive largeness in size; "he admired the ampleness of its proportions"
bulkiness, massiveness - an unwieldy largeness
immenseness, immensity, sizeableness, vastness, enormousness, grandness, greatness, wideness - unusual largeness in size or extent or number
commodiousness, spaciousness, capaciousness, roominess - spatial largeness and extensiveness (especially inside a building); "the capaciousness of Santa's bag astounded the child"; "roominess in this size car is always a compromise"; "his new office lacked the spaciousness that he had become accustomed to"
voluminosity, voluminousness, fullness - greatness of volume
giantism, gigantism - excessive largeness of stature
littleness, smallness - the property of having a relatively small size


The quality or state of being large in amount, extent, or importance:
References in classic literature ?
At times, it seemed as if for every one of the hundred blossoms there was one of these tiniest fowls of the air,--a thumb's bigness of burnished plumage, hovering and vibrating about the bean-poles.
From what I have seen of him at a distance, I should say that he was about the bigness of a grampus.
they but now who seemd In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race Beyond the INDIAN Mount, or Faerie Elves, Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side Or Fountain fome belated Peasant sees, Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth & dance Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear; At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time, about the bigness of musket bullets.
Sometimes it was an orchard, whose fruit far exceeded in bigness any that grew in my father's garden.
All this coast is much infested with ravenous beasts, monkeys, and serpents, of which last here are some seven feet in length, and thicker than an ordinary man; in the head of this serpent is found a stone about the bigness of an egg, resembling bezoar, and of great efficacy, as it is said, against all kinds of poison.
It was of about the bigness of a lead pencil and thinking that it might be in the nature of a speaking tube I put my mouth to it and was about to call into it when a voice issued from it asking me whom I might be, where from, and the nature of my errand.
Why here the wind has been all day at the south, and now there’s a lull, as if the last blast was out of the bellows; and there’s a streak along the mountains, to the northard, that, just now, wasn’t wider than the bigness of your hand; and then the clouds drive afore it as you’d brail a mainsail, and the stars are heaving in sight, like so many lights and beacons, put there to warn us to pile on the wood; and, if so be that I’m a judge of weather, it’s getting to be time to build on a fire, or you'll have half of them there porter bottles, and them dimmyjohns of wine, in the locker here, breaking with the frost, afore the morning watch is called.
The same phenomenon is said to occur occasionally in the adjacent province of Guayra, where stones of the bigness of a man's hand are exploded, with a loud noise, from the bosom of the earth, and scatter about glittering and beautiful fragments that look like precious gems, but are of no value.
He tried to think of the lama - to wonder why he had tumbled into a brook - but the bigness of the world, seen between the forecourt gates, swept linked thought aside.
Everything about Rose--every line, every tone of her coloring suggested warmth, generosity, bigness.
Each hair was about the bigness of a large angleworm, and as the thing moved the muscles of its scalp this awful head-covering seemed to writhe and wriggle and crawl about the fearsome face as though indeed each separate hair was endowed with independent life.