Language: Old English
Origin: hefig


1 adjective
Related topics: Odours, Food Dish, Gardening, Sport, Weapons
heav‧y1 S1 W1 comparative heavier, superlative heaviest


weighing a lot [≠ light]:
The wardrobe was too heavy for me to move on my own.
a heavy suitcase
The males are seven times heavier than the females.
How heavy is the parcel (=how much does it weigh?)?


great in amount, degree, or severityCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
heavy traffic heavy rain/snow heavy fighting heavy drinking also heavy drinker heavy smoking also heavy smoker heavy burden/demands/pressure heavy fine heavy casualties (=a lot of deaths or injuries) heavy losses heavy defeat heavy cold heavy use of something
The traffic going into London was very heavy.
Heavy rain has caused flooding in many areas.
Heavy fighting was reported near the border.
Heavy drinking during pregnancy can damage your baby.
I used to be a heavy smoker.
the heavy burden of taxation
If found guilty, they face heavy fines or even prison.
There were heavy casualties on both sides.
England's heavy defeat in yesterday's match
She's in bed with a heavy cold.
the film's heavy use of special effects

needing physical effort

needing a lot of physical strength and effort:
My son does most of the heavy outdoor work.
She has a bad back and can't do any heavy lifting.

needing mental effort

not easy or entertaining and needing a lot of mental effort:
I want something to read on holiday - nothing too heavy.

heavy going

difficult to understand or deal with:
I found his latest novel a bit heavy going.

be heavy on something

informal to use a lot or too much of something:
The car's rather heavy on oil.

heavy with something

literary full of something:
The apple trees were heavy with fruit.
The garden was heavy with the scent of summer.
'Of course,' she said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.

heavy schedule/timetable/day etc

a time in which you have a lot to do:
Let's go to bed. We've got a heavy day tomorrow.

heavy breathing

breathing that is slow and loud heavy breather

make heavy weather of something

British English to make something that you are doing seem more difficult or complicated than it really is - used to show disapproval:
Why does he need to make such heavy weather of a simple task?


[only before noun]PMW large and powerful:
tanks and other heavy weapons
heavy artillery (=large powerful guns)
a company which manufactures heavy machinery

materials/clothes etc

heavy materials, clothes, shoes, or objects are thick or solidly made:
a heavy winter coat
the sound of heavy boots
Melt the butter in a heavy pan over a medium heat.
heavy velvet curtains


DFF solid and making your stomach feel full and uncomfortable [≠ light]:
a heavy meal
heavy fruitcake


if your eyes are heavy, it is difficult to keep them open, usually because you are tired:
His eyes felt heavy with fatigue.


a) large, broad, and solid:
his heavy features
Kyle is a tall man with a heavy build (=a large broad body).
b) American English used to politely describe someone who is fat [= large]

with force

hitting something or falling with a lot of force or weight:
the sound of heavy footsteps in the hall
Ali caught him with a heavy blow to the jaw.


a) DLG soil that is heavy is thick and solid
b) DS a sports ground or race track that is heavy is muddy:
a very heavy pitch
The going was heavy (=it was muddy for the horse races) at Cheltenham yesterday.


CO strong and usually sweet
heavy scent/perfume etc
the heavy scent of the lilies


too warm and not at all fresh because there is no wind:
Even at dusk the air was still heavy.


informal a relationship or situation that is heavy involves serious or strong feelings:
She didn't want things to get too heavy at such an early stage in their relationship.

get heavy (with somebody)

informal to start behaving in a threatening or strict way:
He came round and started getting heavy about the money I owed him.

heavy silence/atmosphere

a situation in which people do not speak and feel sad, anxious, or embarrassed:
A heavy silence fell upon the room.

heavy sky/clouds

clouds that look dark and grey as though it will soon rain

heavy sleeper

someone who does not wake easily

heavy irony/sarcasm

remarks that very clearly say the opposite of what you really feel

heavy seas

TTWDN sea with big waves

with a heavy heart

literary feeling very sad:
It was with a heavy heart that Kate said goodbye.

heavy date

American English a very important date (=an occasion when you meet someone you like in a romantic way) with a boyfriend or girlfriend - usually used humorously
heaviness noun [uncountable]

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