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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  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.

Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The quality or state of being large in amount, extent, or importance:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time, about the bigness of musket bullets.
Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords, of the bigness of packthread, were fastened by hooks to many bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs.
It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven.
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.
(with a partition between); both of good state and bigness; and those not to go all the length, but to have at the further end, a winter and a summer parlor, both fair.
It is these good fellows that he gets--the fellows with the fire and the go in them, who have bigness, and warmness, and the best of the human weaknesses.
As soon as we were all set in our places, the boat was thrust off from the pier and began to move over the waters: and what with my pleasure in this new movement and my surprise at our low position, and the appearance of the shores, and the growing bigness of the brig as we drew near to it, I could hardly understand what the captain said, and must have answered him at random.
Hyde?--why, yes, I think it was!" You see, it was much of the same bigness; and it had the same quick, light way with it; and then who else could have got in by the laboratory door?
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.
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.
"It isn't the bigness, dear; its the variety," replied the girl.
Peering over the side you could just see them (as before you heard them) wallowing in the sullen, black waters, and turning over on their backs as they scooped out huge globular pieces of the whale of the bigness of a human head.