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Big time

Informal. the highest or most important level in any profession or occupation:
She’s a talented violinist, but she’s not ready for the big time.
Slang. a very good time.
Theater. (in vaudeville) any highly successful circuit of theaters that produces two performances daily.
Contemporary Examples

No Drama Obama’s Israel Ambivalence James Poulos July 25, 2014
From Lady Gaga To Jay-Z, “Serious” Art Is Ruining Pop Music James Poulos November 23, 2013
Leading the Anti-Bachmann Army David A. Graham July 18, 2011
L.A. Riots Anniversary: Stacey Koon’s Disturbing Testimony Christine Pelisek April 27, 2012
Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s Folly: Great Coaches Protect Their Players Stuart Stevens December 1, 2013

Historical Examples

In the Cards Alan Cogan
White Dandy; or, Master and I Velma Caldwell Melville
The Art of Stage Dancing Ned Wayburn
John Wesley, Jr. Dan B. Brummitt
Dawson Black: Retail Merchant Harold Whitehead


the big time, the highest or most profitable level of an occupation or profession, esp the entertainment business
(as modifier): a big-time comedian

An enjoyable or exciting time, as in The children came home exhausted but happy; they really had a big time at the circus. [ Mid-1800s ]
The highest or most important level in any enterprise, as in I knew that when I made it through the last audition, I was finally in the big time. [ ; c. 1900 ]
Also see: big league


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