big tent

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

big tent (plural big tents)

  1. (idiomatic) A group, philosophy, or social or political movement that encompasses or seeks to attract a broad range of members or constituents.
    • 1995, Elizabeth Gleick et al., "Sobering Times for A.A.," Time, 10 July:
      The newcomers often bring an array of ancillary problems to meetings, including emotional trauma and addiction to other drugs. As the organization metamorphoses, its supporters wonder whether A.A. [Alcoholics Anonymous] can or should be such a big tent.
    • 1996, "Why Cowboys Became Kings," Newsweek, 8 Sept.:
      They are not a slice of Americana, as we usually say, but rather, a broad brush of it. While most of our successful sports franchises display some distinct personality, only the Cowboys offer the big tent.
  2. (attributive, sometimes hyphenated) Pertaining to, representing, or advocating such a group, philosophy, or movement.
    • 2008 January 19, Mo Rocca, Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, National Public Radio:
      Kucinich is a pretty big tent kinda guy. He’s very liberal.

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