prodigious

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French prodigieux, from Latin prōdigiōsus (unnatural, strange, wonderful, marvelous), from prōdigium (an omen, portent, monster). Morphologically prodigy +‎ -ous.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /pɹəˈdɪd͡ʒəs/
  • Rhymes: -ɪdʒəs
  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

prodigious (comparative more prodigious, superlative most prodigious)

  1. Very big in size or quantity; colossal, gigantic, huge.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:large
    • 1712, Humphry Polesworth [pseudonym; John Arbuthnot], “How John Look’d Over His Attorney’s Bill”, in Law is a Bottomless-Pit. [], London: [] John Morphew, [], OCLC 1083345579, page 20:
      When John firſt brought out the Bills, the Surprize of all the Family was unexpreſſible, at the prodigious Dimenſions of them; []
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      Its prodigious size made me shrink again; yet I could not, without pleasure, behold, and even ventur'd to feel, such a length, such a breadth of animated ivory!
    • 1820, William Hazlitt, “Lecture I. Introductory.”, in Lectures Chiefly on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth. [], London: Stodart and Steuart, []; Edinburgh: Bell and Bradfute, OCLC 457734854, page 2:
      [T]hey were not the spoiled children of affectation and refinement, but a bold, vigorous, independent race of thinkers, with prodigious strength and energy, with none but natural grace, and heartfelt unobtrusive delicacy.
  2. Extraordinarily amazing or exciting.
  3. Freakish; monstrous.
  4. (obsolete) Ominous, portentous.

Derived terms[edit]

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