English edit

Etymology edit

From Latin ēnormis. An assimilated form of ex- (out of) + norma (rule, norm) + -ous.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

enormous (comparative more enormous, superlative most enormous)

  1. (obsolete) Deviating from the norm; unusual, extraordinary.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
      , New York 2001, p.105:
      all shall be rather enforced than hindered, except they be dismembered, or grievously deformed, infirm, or visited with some enormous hereditary disease is body or mind [].
  2. (obsolete) Exceedingly wicked; atrocious or outrageous.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      how apt wee are to receive all impressions, and chiefly the most wicked and enormous.
    • 1872, James Pillsbury Lane, Historical Sketches of the First Congregational Church, Bristol, R.I., 1689-1872, page 61:
      Men would prove wolves and vipers; tigers and dragons mixt in one and the same person to each other. O bless God for this great gift of Princes and Judges to rule the wicked and enormous world and to sway the scepter of righteousness []
    • 1898, Christianity in Earnest, for Church Extension and Saloon Suppression, page 7:
      Protestant Christian people are largely ignorant or indifferent to the wicked and enormous religious claims of Romanism. As a so-called religious organization, Romanism is not only the foe of Protestantism, but []
  3. Extremely large; greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.
    The enormous Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28:
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
    • 2018 May 17, “Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think”, in The Economist[1]:
      Piecing together Corbynomics is difficult, not least because it has evolved during Mr Corbyn’s time in charge of Labour. The gulf between the Labour leadership’s past positions and the milder proposals in the manifesto means that enormous uncertainty hangs over what a Corbyn-led government would do in office.

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