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Big league

Sports. major league.
Often, big leagues. Informal. the area of greatest competition, highest achievement or rewards, etc.:
He’s a local politician who isn’t ready for the big league.
Sports. of or belonging to a major league:
a big-league pitcher.
Informal. among the largest, foremost, etc., of its kind:
the big-league steel companies.
Contemporary Examples

Havana Bids Adios to Conrado Marrero, MLB’s Oldest Player Peter C. Bjarkman April 24, 2014
Why Women Don’t Win Massachusetts Linda Killian October 14, 2011

Historical Examples

Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
Harper’s Round Table, September 24, 1895 Various
Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
The Pioneer Boys on the Great Lakes Harrison Adams

An area of tough competition and high rewards; the largest or foremost of its kind. For example, Winning an Oscar put this unknown actress in the big league. The term alludes to the major (big) leagues of American baseball. [ Late 1800s ]
Also see: big time, def. 2.


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