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- (now rare) Size. [from 15th c.]
- 1575, Jacques du Fouilloux, “Of the Termes of Venery”, in George Gascoigne, transl., The Noble Art of Venerie or Hunting. […], London: […] Thomas Purfoot, published 1611, OCLC 948181259, page 244:
- His [a hart's] head when it commeth firſt out, hath a ruſſet pyll vpon it, the which is called Veluet, […]. When his head is growne out to the full bigneſſe, then he rubbeth of that pyll, and that is called fraying of his head.
- 1594 (first publication), Christopher Marlow[e], The Trovblesome Raigne and Lamentable Death of Edvvard the Second, King of England: […], London: […] [Eliot’s Court Press] for Henry Bell, […], published 1622, OCLC 837836359, [Act II]:
- Mine old lord, whiles he liv'd, was so precise, / That he would take exceptions at my buttons, / And, being like pins' heads, blame me for the bigness; / Which made me curate-like in mine attire,
- 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 1051-1053:
- And, fast by, hanging in a golden chain, / This pendent World, in bigness as a star / Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
- 1704, I[saac] N[ewton], “[The Third Book of Opticks.] Part I”, in Opticks: Or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. […], London: […] Sam[uel] Smith, and Benj[amin] Walford, printers to the Royal Society, […], OCLC 1118497469, page 346:
- Do not several sorts of Rays make Vibrations of several bignesses, which according to their bignesses excite Sensations of several Colours, much after the manner that the Vibrations of the Air, according to their several bignesses excite Sensations of several Sounds?
- 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: […] Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput):
- [T]he tallest horses and oxen are between four and five inches in height, the sheep an inch and half, more or less: their geese about the bigness of a sparrow, and so the several gradations downwards till you come to the smallest, which to my sight, were almost invisible […]
- 1913 January–May, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Gods of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as The Gods of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1918, OCLC 2775350, page 48:
- Among the ornaments […] was a small mirror, about the bigness of a lady's hand glass, […]
- The characteristic of being big. [from 15th c.]
- 1944, Emily Carr, "Art and the House", The House of Small:
- They liked what they liked—would tolerate no innovations. My change in thought and expression had angered them into fierce denouncement. To expose a thing deeper than its skin surface was to them an indecency. They ridiculed my striving for bigness, depth.