bigwig

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See also: big-wig and big wig

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First arose in the 1730s, from big +‎ wig. Formerly, English men of authority wore wigs. Bigwig plays on the idea that higher authority is denoted by a larger wig.

Noun[edit]

bigwig (plural bigwigs)

  1. (humorous) A person of importance to a group or organization.
    Synonyms: big cheese, VIP; see also Thesaurus:important person
    The company bigwig is gathering his staff together for a meeting today.
    • 1891, Grace L. Keith Johnston, The Halletts: A Country Town Chronicle (volume 3, page 34)
      [] more innocently, and no doubt profitably, than if he had dined at a big-wig's board or bemused himself with smoke and beer among his brethren of the pen.
    • 2016 May 5, “Reality star Bethenny Frankel talks hats, hangovers and her Kentucky Derby party at Empire City Casino”, in New York Daily News:
      Before her hay-day, she attended many derbys under her dad's celebrity where she'd hobnob with the bigwigs in Millionaire's Row.

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