- 1 English
- 2 Old English
- 3 Scots
From Middle English greet (“great, large”), from Old English grēat (“big, thick, coarse, stour, massive”), from Proto-Germanic *grautaz (“big in size, coarse, coarse grained”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrewə- (“to fell, put down, fall in”). Cognate with Scots great (“coarse in grain or texture, thick, great”), West Frisian grut (“large, great”), Dutch groot (“large, stour”), German groß (“large”), Old English grēot (“earth, sand, grit”), Latin grandis (“great, big”), Albanian ngre (“I lift, heave, stand, elevate”). More at grit.
- Very big, large scale.
- A great storm is approaching our shores.
1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
- “[…] the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes like // Here's rattling good luck and roaring good cheer, / With lashings of food and great hogsheads of beer. […]”
1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, The China Governess:
- ‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. […]’
2013 July 19, Timothy Garton Ash, “Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 18:
- Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail, a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it's geopolitics too. The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.
- Very good.
- Dinner was great.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, The Mirror and the Lamp:
- He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
- Title referring to an important leader.
- Alexander the Great
- Superior; admirable; commanding; applied to thoughts, actions, and feelings.
- a great nature
- Endowed with extraordinary powers; uncommonly gifted; able to accomplish vast results; strong; powerful; mighty; noble.
- a great hero, scholar, genius, philosopher, etc.
- (obsolete) Pregnant; large with young.
- More than ordinary in degree; very considerable.
- to use great caution; to be in great pain
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- We have all / Great cause to give great thanks.
- 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, Ch.I:
- Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; […].
2014 November 14, Blake Bailey, “'Tennessee Williams,' by John Lahr [print version: Theatrical victory of art over life, International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 13]”, The New York Times:
- (obsolete, except with 'friend') Intimate; familiar.
- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
- those that are so great with him
- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
In simple situations, using modifiers of intensity such as fairly, somewhat, etc. can lead to an awkward construction, with the exception of certain common expressions such as “so great” and “really great”. In particular “very great” is unusually strong as a reaction, and in many cases “great” or its meaning of “very good” will suffice.
- 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.
- Expression of gladness and content about something.
- Great! Thanks for the wonderful work.
- sarcastic inversion thereof.
- Oh, great! I just dumped all 500 sheets of the manuscript all over and now I have to put them back in order.
great (plural greats)
- A person of major significance, accomplishment or acclaim.
- Newton and Einstein are two of the greats of the history of science.
- (typographically plural, grammatically singular proper noun) A course of academic study devoted to the works of such persons and also known as Literae Humaniores; the "Greats" name has official status with respect to Oxford University's program and is widely used as a colloquialism in reference to similar programs elsewhere.
- Spencer read Greats at Oxford, taking a starred first.
- (music) The main division in a pipe organ, usually the loudest division.
great (not comparable)
- very well (in a very satisfactory manner)
- Those mechanical colored pencils work great because they don't have to be sharpened.
From Proto-Germanic *grautaz (“big in size, coarse, coarse grained”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrewə- (“to fell, put down, fall in”). Cognate with Old Saxon grōt (“large, thick, coarse, stour”), Old High German grōz (“large, thick, coarse”), Old English grot (“particle”). More at groat.
|Genitive||grēatra, grēatena||grēatra, grēatena||grēatra, grēatena|