big

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From a northern Middle English dialectal term big, bigge (powerful, strong), of uncertain origin, possibly from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare dialectal Norwegian bugge (great man).

Adjective[edit]

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. Of great size, large.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68: 
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
    Elephants are big animals, and they eat a lot.
  2. (of an industry or other field) Thought to have undue influence.
    There were concerns about the ethics of big science.
  3. Popular.
    That style is very big right now in Europe, especially among teenagers.
  4. (informal) Adult.
    Kids should get help from big people if they want to use the kitchen.
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft:
      By midnight, however, the last light had fled / For even big people have then gone to bed[.]
  5. (informal) Fat.
    Gosh, she is big!
  6. (informal) Important or significant.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3-3 Blackburn”, BBC Sport:
      It proved a big miss as Hoilett produced a sublime finish into the top corner of the net from 20 yards after evading a couple of challenges in first-half stoppage time.
    What's so big about that? I do it all the time.
  7. (informal, with on) Enthusiastic (about).
    I'm not big on the idea, but if you want to go ahead with it, I won't stop you.
  8. (informal) Mature, conscientious, principled.
    That's very big of you, thank you!
    I tried to be the bigger person and just let it go, but I couldn't help myself.
  9. (informal) Well-endowed, possessing large breasts in the case of a woman or a large penis in the case of a man.
    Whoa, Nadia has gotten pretty big since she hit puberty.
  10. (sometimes figuratively) Large with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce.
    She was big with child.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Addison
      [Day] big with the fate of Cato and of Rome.
  11. (informal) Used as an intensifier, especially of negative-valence nouns
    You are a big liar.
    Why are you in such a big hurry?
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adverb[edit]

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. In a loud manner.
  2. In a boasting manner.
    He's always talking big, but he never delivers.
  3. In a large amount or to a large extent.
    He won big betting on the croquet championship.
  4. On a large scale, expansively
    You've got to think big to succeed at Amalgamated Plumbing.
  5. Hard.
    He hit him big and the guy just crumpled.

Noun[edit]

big (plural bigs)

  1. An important or powerful person; a celebrity; a big name.
  2. (as plural) The big leagues, big time.
    • 2004 June 23, Michelle Boorstein, “Ballclub^s Pullout Caps Va. Town^s Run of Woes; Struggling Martinsville No Longer Celebrates Its Boys of Summer”, Washington Post:
      In the Appalachian League, where Cal Ripken once played in Bluefield, W.Va., a ballplayer's chances of making it to the bigs are less than one in six.
Synonyms[edit]

Verb[edit]

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle bigging, simple past and past participle bigged) (up)

  1. (transitive) To praise or recommend

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English biggen, byggen, from Old Norse byggja, byggva (to build, dwell in, inhabit), a secondary form of Old Norse búa (to dwell), related to Old English būan (to dwell). Cognate with Danish bygge, Swedish bygga.

Verb[edit]

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle bigging, simple past and past participle bigged)

  1. (transitive, archaic or UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to inhabit; occupy
  2. (reflexive, archaic or UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to locate one's self
  3. (transitive, archaic or UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to build; erect; fashion
  4. (intransitive, archaic or UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to dwell; have a dwelling

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English byge, from Old Norse bygg (barley, probably Hordeum vulgare, common barley), from Proto-Germanic *bewwuz (crop, barley). Cognate with Old English bēow (barley).

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

big (uncountable)

  1. One or more kinds of barley, especially six-rowed barley.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

big m, f (plural biggen, diminutive biggetje n)

  1. piglet, little pig

Irish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

big

  1. vocative masculine singular of beag
  2. genitive masculine singular of beag
  3. (archaic) dative feminine singular of beag

Mutation[edit]

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
big bhig mbig
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

big m (invariable)

  1. star (entertainment)
  2. big shot, big noise

Lojban[edit]

Rafsi[edit]

big

  1. rafsi of bilga.

Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse byggja (inhabit, build).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

tae big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle biggin, simple past biggit, past participle biggit)

  1. to build

Torres Strait Creole[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English big, cognate with (the first part of) Bislama bikfala, bigfala, Pijin bigfala, Tok Pisin bikpela.

Adjective[edit]

big

  1. big

Derived terms[edit]


Western Apache[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Athabaskan *-wə̓t̕.

Cognates: Navajo -bid, Plains Apache -bid.

Noun[edit]

big (inalienable, e.g., shibig "my belly", bibig "her/his/their belly")

  1. belly, stomach, abdomen

Usage notes[edit]

  • The form -big occurs in the White Mountain varieties; -bid occurs in San Carlos and Dilzhe’eh (Tonto).