See also: BIG

English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: bĭg, IPA(key): /bɪɡ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪɡ

Etymology 1 edit

Inherited from Northern Middle English big, bigge (powerful, strong), possibly from a dialect of Old Norse. Ultimately perhaps a derivative of Proto-Germanic *bugja- (swollen up, thick), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰew-, *bu- (to swell),[1] in which case big would be related to bogey, bugbear, and bug.

Compare dialectal Norwegian bugge (great man), Low German Bögge, Boggelmann.

Adjective edit

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. Of great size, large.
    Synonyms: ample, huge, large, sizeable, stour, jumbo, massive; see also Thesaurus:large
    Antonyms: little, small, tiny, minuscule, miniature, minute
    Elephants are big animals, and they eat a lot.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter III, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC:
      The big houses, and there are a good many of them, lie for the most part in what may be called by courtesy the valleys. You catch a glimpse of them sometimes at a little distance from the [railway] line, [], with their court of farm and church and clustered village, in dignified seclusion.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
    1. (informal) Fat.
      Synonyms: chubby, plus-size, rotund; see also Thesaurus:overweight
      Gosh, she is big!
  2. (sometimes figurative) Large with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce.
    Synonyms: full, great, heavy; see also Thesaurus:pregnant
    She was big with child.
  3. (informal) Well-endowed; with a desired body part notably large.
    1. Specifically, big-breasted.
      Synonyms: busty, macromastic, stacked; see also Thesaurus:busty
      Whoa, Nadia has gotten pretty big since she hit puberty.
    2. Having a large penis.
      I'm the shortest man on the team but in the gym shower everyone can see that I'm also the biggest.
    3. Having large muscles, especially visible ones such as the chest and arm muscles.
      I've been lifting weights for a full year now, but I'm finally getting big.
  4. (informal) Adult; (of a child) older.
    Synonyms: adult, fully grown, grown up; see also Thesaurus:full-grown
    Antonyms: little, young
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft:
      By midnight, however, the last light had fled / For even big people have then gone to bed[.]
    • 1998 April 12, Tom Armstrong, Marvin (comic):
      Uh oh ... that looks like one of those things the big people don't want us to touch, Marvin!
    Kids should get help from big people if they want to use the kitchen.
    We were just playing, and then some big kids came and chased us away.
    She did it all on her own like a big girl.
    1. (informal, slang, rare, of somebody's age) Old, mature. Used to imply that somebody is too old for something, or acting immaturely.
      • 2020, Candice Carty-Williams, Notting Hill Carnival:
        I don't think so, if you're shouting at people across the playground at your big age.
  5. (informal, transitive with of) Mature, conscientious, principled; generous.
    That's very big of you; thank you!
    I tried to be the bigger person and just let it go, but I couldn't help myself.
    • 2011, Joe Pieri, The Big Men, →ISBN:
      So the bloke says, 'Fine, that's real big of you, much appreciated,' and off he goes with Big John back to Ferrari's.
  6. (informal) Important or significant.
    Synonyms: essential, paramount, weighty; see also Thesaurus:important
    What's so big about that? I do it all the time.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC:
      "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. I never did that. I always made up my mind I'd be a big man some day, and—I'm glad I didn't steal."
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3-3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport:
      It proved a big miss as Hoilett produced a sublime finish into the top corner of the net from 20 yards after evading a couple of challenges in first-half stoppage time.
  7. Popular.
    Synonyms: all the rage, in demand, well liked
    That style is very big right now in Europe, especially among teenagers.
    • 1984, “Big in Japan”, in Forever Young, performed by Alphaville:
      Big in Japan, alright, pay then I'll sleep by your side / Things are easy when you're big in Japan
  8. (of a city) Populous.
  9. (informal) Used as an intensifier, especially of negative-valence nouns
    You are a big liar.  Why are you in such a big hurry?
    • 2007 August 8, Tom Armstrong, Marvin (comic):
      Why is it whenever I'm in a big hurry he's always in a big slow?
  10. (of an industry or other field, or institution(s) therein, often capitalized) Operating on a large scale, especially if therefore having undue or sinister influence.
    There were concerns about the ethics of big pharma.
    Big Tech, Big Steel (large or influential tech or steel companies)
    Big Science (science performed by large terms, of large scope, with government or corporate funding)
    • 2019 April 25, Samanth Subramanian, “Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands”, in The Guardian[1]:
      After the Airblade’s launch, a battle began to boil, pitting the dryer industry against the world’s most powerful hand-drying lobby: Big Towel.
    • 2020 July 28, “Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Prepare for Their ‘Big Tobacco Moment’”, in New York Times[2]:
      “The C.E.O.s don’t want to be testifying. Even having this collective hearing creates a sense of quasi-guilt just because of who else has gotten called in like this — Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Banks,” said Paul Gallant, a tech policy analyst at the investment firm Cowen. “That’s not a crowd they want to be associated with.”
  11. (informal, with on) Enthusiastic (about).
    Synonyms: fanatical, mad, worked up; see also Thesaurus:enthusiastic
    • 2019 July 2, Louise Taylor, “Alex Morgan heads USA past England into Women’s World Cup final”, in The Guardian[3]:
      Neville is big on standing by his principles and he deserves plaudits for acknowledging he got his starting system wrong, reverting to 4-2-3-1 and introducing Kirby in the No 10 role.
    I'm not big on the idea, but if you want to go ahead with it, I won't stop you.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb edit

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. In a loud manner.
  2. In a boasting manner.
    He's always talking big, but he never delivers.
  3. In a large amount or to a large extent.
    He won big betting on the croquet championship.
  4. On a large scale, expansively.
    You've got to think big to succeed at Amalgamated Plumbing.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 3, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 25:
      'You've got to put it over big,' he was saying in a loud nasal voice.
  5. Hard.
    He hit him big and the guy just crumpled.

Noun edit

big (plural bigs)

  1. An important or powerful person; a celebrity; a big name.
    Synonym: big shot
  2. (in the plural) The big leagues, big time.
    Synonym: big leagues
    • 2004 June 23, Michelle Boorstein, “Ballclub’s Pullout Caps Va. Town’s Run of Woes; Struggling Martinsville No Longer Celebrates Its Boys of Summer”, in Washington Post:
      In the Appalachian League, where Cal Ripken once played in Bluefield, W.Va., a ballplayer's chances of making it to the bigs are less than one in six.
  3. (university slang) A initiated member of a sorority or fraternity who acts as a mentor to a new member (the little).
    • 2018, Kelly Ann Gonzales, Through an Opaque Window:
      He was there the night of Cristoph's party. All the littles were assigned to their bigs. Ian and Christoph had rushed the same fraternity. When they became upperclassmen, they both ended up on the board.
    • 2019 April 1, Audrey Steinkamp, “Sororities pair new members with "bigs"”, in Yale Daily News[4]:
      She added that the relationship between bigs and littles is "what each pair makes of it," and that a lot of the pairs often get dinner together and become close friends.
    • 2022 September 27, Shreya Varrier, “Gamma Rho Lambda provides LGBTQIA+ community in greek life”, in Iowa State Daily[5]:
      Some traditions of the chapter include lineages with bigs and littles, receiving of paddles from a big, and a national stroll, Wolsch-Gallia said.
  4. (BDSM, ABDL) The participant in ageplay who acts out the older role.
    Antonym: little

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English biggen, byggen, from Old Norse byggja, byggva (to build, dwell in, inhabit), a secondary form of Old Norse búa (to dwell), related to Old English būan (to dwell). Cognate with Danish bygge, Swedish bygga.

Verb edit

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle bigging, simple past and past participle bigged)

  1. (transitive, archaic, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To inhabit; occupy.
  2. (reflexive, archaic, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To locate oneself.
  3. (transitive, archaic, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To build; erect; fashion.
  4. (intransitive, archaic, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To dwell; have a dwelling.
Derived terms edit

Etymology 3 edit

From Middle English byge, from Old Norse bygg (barley, probably Hordeum vulgare, common barley), from Proto-Germanic *bewwuz (crop, barley). Cognate with Old English bēow (barley).

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

big (uncountable)

  1. One or more kinds of barley, especially six-rowed barley.

References edit

  1. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959), “98-102”, in Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 1, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 98-102

Anagrams edit

Dutch edit

Etymology edit

From Middle Dutch bagge, vigge, from Old Dutch *bigga, from Proto-West Germanic *biggō. Originally a word exclusive to the Northern Dutch dialects.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

big m or f (plural biggen, diminutive biggetje n)

  1. piglet, little pig
    Synonym: keu

Derived terms edit

Irish edit

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

big

  1. inflection of beag:
    1. vocative/genitive masculine singular
    2. (archaic) dative feminine singular

Mutation edit

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
big bhig mbig
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References edit

  1. ^ Quiggin, E. C. (1906) A Dialect of Donegal, Cambridge University Press, page 43
  2. ^ Sjoestedt, M. L. (1931) Phonétique d’un parler irlandais de Kerry (in French), Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux, page 30

Italian edit

Etymology edit

Pseudo-Italianism, an clipping of English big shot.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

big m (invariable)

  1. star (entertainment)
  2. big shot, big noise

Romagnol edit

Etymology edit

English big.

Pronunciation edit

  • (Central Romagnol): IPA(key): [ˈbiːɡ]

Noun edit

big m (invariable)

  1. important person
    • Agnëli l'è un big dl'indóstria e dla finânza.
      G. Agnelli is an important person of industry and finance.

Scots edit

Etymology edit

From Old Norse byggja (inhabit, build).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

big (third-person singular simple present bigs, present participle biggin, simple past biggit, past participle biggit)

  1. to build

Torres Strait Creole edit

Etymology edit

From English big, cognate with (the first part of) Bislama bikfala, bigfala, Pijin bigfala, Tok Pisin bikpela.

Adjective edit

big

  1. big

Derived terms edit

Welsh edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

big

  1. Soft mutation of pig.

Mutation edit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
pig big mhig phig
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Western Apache edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-Athabaskan *-wə̓t̕.

Cognates: Navajo -bid, Plains Apache -bid.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

big (inalienable)

  1. belly, stomach, abdomen
    shibigmy belly
    bibigher/his/their belly

Usage notes edit

  • The form -big occurs in the White Mountain varieties; -bid occurs in San Carlos and Dilzhe’eh (Tonto).

Yola edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English bigge.

Adjective edit

big

  1. great, big
    • 1867, GLOSSARY OF THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, page 36:
      A big dole.
      A great deal.
    • 1867, GLOSSARY OF THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, page 36:
      A big oanès.
      The big ones.
    • 1867, “VERSES IN ANSWER TO THE WEDDEEN O BALLYMORE”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, page 98:
      Trippeathès an brand-eyrons war ee-brougkt to a big breal.
      [Trippets and brandirons were brought to the large fire.]

References edit

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 36