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Be big on

large, as in size, height, width, or amount:
a big house; a big quantity.
of major concern, importance, gravity, or the like:
a big problem.
outstanding for a specified quality:
a big liar; a big success.
important, as in influence, standing, or wealth:
a big man in his field.
grown-up; mature:
big enough to know better.
my big sister.
doing business or conducted on a large scale; major in size or importance:
big government.
consisting of the largest or most influential companies in an industry:
Big steel wants to lower prices, but the smaller mills don’t.
Informal. known or used widely; popular:
Nouvelle cuisine became big in the 1970s.
magnanimous; generous; kindly:
big enough to forgive.
boastful; pompous; pretentious; haughty:
a big talker.
loud; orotund:
a big voice.
(of clothing or a clothing design) made of or distinguished by voluminous fabric that is loosely or softly shaped and fitted:
a big shirt; the big look.
(of a wine) having more than average flavor, body, and alcoholic content.
filled; brimming:
eyes big with tears.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. pregnant.
Obsolete. very strong; powerful.
Informal. boastfully; pretentiously:
to act big; to talk big.
Informal. with great success; successfully:
to go over big.
the bigs, Sports Slang. the highest level of professional competition, as the major leagues in baseball.
be big on, to have a special liking or enthusiasm for:
Mother is big on family get-togethers.
big with child. great (def 23).
adjective bigger, biggest
of great or considerable size, height, weight, number, power, or capacity
having great significance; important: a big decision
important through having power, influence, wealth, authority, etc: the big four banks
(intensifier usually qualifying something undesirable): a big dope
(informal) considerable in extent or intensity (esp in the phrase in a big way)

elder: my big brother
grown-up: when you’re big, you can stay up later

generous; magnanimous: that’s very big of you
(in combination): big-hearted

(often foll by with) brimming; full: my heart is big with sadness
extravagant; boastful: he’s full of big talk
(of wine) full-bodied, with a strong aroma and flavour
too big for one’s boots, too big for one’s breeches, conceited; unduly self-confident
in an advanced stage of pregnancy (esp in the phrase big with child)
(informal) big on, enthusiastic about: that company is big on research
adverb (informal)
boastfully; pretentiously (esp in the phrase talk big)
in an exceptional way; well: his talk went over big with the audience
on a grand scale (esp in the phrase think big)
verb (Scot) bigs, bigging, bigged, bug (bʌɡ)
to build
to excavate (earth) into a pile

c.1300, northern England dialect, “powerful, strong,” of obscure origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian dialectal bugge “great man”). Old English used micel in many of the same senses. Meaning “of great size” is late 14c.; that of “grown up” is attested from 1550s. Sense of “important” is from 1570s. Meaning “generous” is U.S. colloquial by 1913.

Big band as a musical style is from 1926. Slang big head “conceit” is first recorded 1850. Big business “large commercial firms collectively” is 1905; big house “penitentiary” is U.S. underworld slang first attested 1915 (in London, “a workhouse,” 1851). In financial journalism, big ticket items so called from 1956. Big lie is from Hitler’s grosse Lüge.

verb phrase

To e enthusiasti about or laudatory of someone or something: The boss is very big on this guy, as of now (1960s+)


Important; powerful: the big names in this business/ the big guy (late 1500s+)
Popular; successful: If I do say so, we were very big/ The book’s big in Chicago (1910+)


Successfully; outstandingly well: The wing-dancing and funny acts catch on big (1886+)

Related Terms

big with someone, go over big, make it big, take it hard, talk big


Good; decent; admirable •Used as an epithet for an admired person: Hey, what’s up, Big Charlie?

Related Terms

mister big
see: big on

big and bold
big as life
big bucks
big cheese
big daddy
big deal
big enchilada
big fish in a small pond
big head, have a
big league
big mouth, have a
big of one
big on
big shot
big stink
big time
big top
big wheel


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