|Origin:||Probably from a Scandinavian language|
big1 S1 W1 comparative bigger, superlative biggest
of more than average size or amount: ➔ see usage note fat1
a big house
I need a bigger desk.
She had a big grin on her face.
a big increase in crime
Los Angeles is the biggest city in California.
The garage isn't big enough for two cars.
When they lose, they lose in a big way (=to a large degree).
There was this great big (=extremely big) spider in the sink.
important and serious:
a big decision
Buying your own house is a big commitment.
The big game is on Friday.
There's a big difference between understanding something and being able to explain it to others.
Everyone was getting ready for the big day (=a day when an important event will happen).
successful or popular, especially in business or entertainment:
Julia Roberts became a big star.
She's very big in Australia.
After years as a small-time actor, he suddenly made it big (=became very successful) in Hollywood.
the big boys (=the most powerful people or companies)➔ big cheese, big noise
; ➔ big shotat shot1 (14), big time
your older sister or brother
older or more like an adult - used especially by children or when you are talking to children:
Come on, don't cry. You're a big girl now.
large degree[only before noun] informal
doing something to a large degree
a big eater/drinker/spender etc
Des is a big gambler, you know.
used to emphasize how bad something is:
bad[only before noun] informal
AIDS remains a big problem in many parts of the world.
Buying that house was a big mistake.
I never said that, you big liar!
to have impressive plans for the future:
I've got big plans for this place.
to like something very much:
I'm not big on kids.
to have a lot of a quality or feature:
The new BMW is big on safety features.
used when someone has done something annoying, especially when you want them to explain why they did it:
Hey, what's the big idea? Who said you could use my computer?
used to say that someone is very kind or generous to do something
used when you really think that someone is not kind or helpful at all:
£5! That was big of her!
someone who has a big mouth cannot be trusted to keep things secret:
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have opened my big mouth.
me and my big mouth (=said when you wish you had not told someone a secret)➔ bigmouth
big letters are capitals, for example G, R, A etc
big words are long or unusual and are difficult to read or understand
to be too proud of yourself
to threaten to use your power to get what you want
used when you want to praise someone:
big up (to/for) somebodyspoken informal
Big up to Kelly Holmes! She ran a superb race.
➔ think bigat think1 (39)WORD CHOICE:
big, large, greatbig and large have the same meaning, but large is slightly more formal and more likely to be used in written than spoken English • a big lunch • a large houselarge is used with quantity words such as 'number' and 'amount' • large amounts of money • a large proportion of the studentsgreat is not usually used to talk about size but it can be used in literary writing to describe very large and impressive things • Before them stood a great palace.great is used with length, height, and age, and in the expression a great deal (=a lot) • The grass had reached a great height. • a great deal of money WORD CHOICE: big, tall, highbig is not used just to describe a person's height. It is used to describe a child who is growing, or a person who is heavy, with a lot of fat or muscle on their body.tall is used to describe a person's height. It can also be used to describe trees, buildings, or other things that are narrow and measure a long distance from bottom to top • She is tall and thin. • the tallest building in Londonhigh is used to describe things or places that are a long way from the ground • a high shelf • the highest mountain in the worldWORD CHOICE:
fat, overweight, obese, chubby, plump, big, well-builtIn general, people do not like to be called fat. But some ways to say 'fat' are less rude than others.fat is a very direct word. You might use it about yourself but it will usually cause offence if you use it about someone else • I'm so fat at the moment!overweight is a more polite way to say that someone is fatter than they usually are or than they should be • She is a little overweight.obese is a word used especially by doctors to describe people who are very fat, in a way that is bad for their health.chubby is a more informal word and is used especially of children or of rounded body parts such as cheeks or knees.plump means fat and rounded in a pleasant way • a plump, motherly womanbig and well-built are fairly polite ways to describe someone with a large, strong, or fat body • For big men like him, air travel can be uncomfortable. ➔ See also fat