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From Latin ēnormis. An assimilated form of ex- (out of) + norma (rule, norm) + -ous.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪˈnɔː(ɹ)məs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)məs


enormous (comparative more enormous, superlative most enormous)

  1. (obsolete) Deviating from the norm; unusual, extraordinary.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970:
      , New York 2001, p.105:
      all shall be rather enforced than hindered, except they be dismembered, or grievously deformed, infirm, or visited with some enormous hereditary disease is body or mind [].
  2. (obsolete) Exceedingly wicked; atrocious or outrageous.
  3. Extremely large; greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28:
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
    • 2018 May 17, “Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think”, in The Economist[2]:
      Piecing together Corbynomics is difficult, not least because it has evolved during Mr Corbyn’s time in charge of Labour. The gulf between the Labour leadership’s past positions and the milder proposals in the manifesto means that enormous uncertainty hangs over what a Corbyn-led government would do in office.