From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbigbig1 /bɪɡ/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative bigger, superlative biggest) 1 sizeSIZEBIG of more than average size or amount 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.► see thesaurus at fat2 importantIMPORTANT 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).► see thesaurus at important3 SUCCESSFULPOPULARpopular/successful 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 shot at shot1(14), → big time14 older a) big sister/brotherFAMILY your older sister or brother b) OLD/NOT NEWolder 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.5 large degreeA LOT [only before noun] informalLOT/LARGE NUMBER OR AMOUNT a) doing something to a large degreea big eater/drinker/spender etc Des is a big gambler, you know.be a big fan/admirer of somebody/something b) done to a large degree or with great energygive somebody a big hug/kiss Mama gave me a big hug.give somebody a big hand (=hit your hands together with enthusiasm, to show you have enjoyed a performance)6 BADbad [only before noun] informal used to emphasize how bad something is 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! 7 → have big ideas/plans8 → be big on something9 → what’s the big idea?10 → it is big of somebody to do something11 → big mouth12 letters informal big letters are capitals, for example G, R, A etc13 words informal big words are long or unusual and are difficult to read or understand14 → be/get too big for your boots15 → use/wield the big stick16 → a big girl’s blouse17 → big up (to/for) somebody → think big at think1(38)If there is more than one adjective, the adjectives are usually used in a fixed order.You say: That’s a lovely big tree. ✗Don’t say: That’s a big lovely tree.You say: The title was in big black letters. ✗Don’t say: The title was in black big letters.THESAURUSbiga big citya big guya big mistakeLack of funding is the biggest problem.Getting a car has made a big difference to my life.large a slightly more formal word than big, used to describe objects and amountsa large bowlLarge areas of the forest have been destroyed.The museum attracts a large number of visitors.major [only before noun] big and importantPollution is a major problem.There has been a major change in government policy.considerable/substantial quite big – used especially about amountsThey have spent a considerable amount of money on the project.A substantial amount of heat is lost through the windows.He had a considerable influence on young musicians.very bighuge/massive/enormous extremely bigThe table was enormous.a huge explosionTheir house is huge.There is a huge amount of work to be done.There has been a massive increase in oil prices.The company is massive, operating in 150 countries.A massive fire destroyed more than thirty homes.He’s been under an enormous amount of stress recently.The changes will have an enormous impact.great [only before noun] very big – used especially to describe the level or number of somethingHe achieved great success in America.The college offers a great number of courses.a great advantagevast extremely big – used about areas, distances, numbers, or amountsvast areas of rainforestA vast number of tourists visit the island every year.gigantic extremely big and much bigger than other things of the same typeGigantic waves crashed onto the beach.colossal extremely big – used about amounts or objectsJames ran up a colossal phone bill.a colossal statue of Napoleontremendous having an extremely big effectThere have been some tremendous changes. My new job will be a tremendous challenge.The children were making a tremendous amount of noise.
Examples from the Corpusbig• These jeans are too big.• It's going to be a big adjustment for the kids whenever we move.• The wind got louder and the waves grew bigger and bigger.• To attract bigger audiences was not just a bonus, it was part of the whole logic of the industry.• She struggled up the hill, carrying the baby and her big black bag.• There will be some big changes in the way we work.• one of the biggest companies in the insurance business• I hear you're getting married - when's the big day?• a big difference in price• This rotative engine soon became greatly in demand and had a big effect on the mechanisation of factories.• The game works better if you have a bigger group.• He lives in a big house in upstate New York.• I've never been a big jazz fan.• If you think I'm coming with you, you're making a big mistake.• Graduation Day is one of those big occasions when everyone wants a souvenir photograph.• If the warren system is a big one it may require two guns to do the killing.• In fact, despite the dismal fundamentals, some of the biggest petroleum producers will record double-digit percentage increases in spending.• It's a simple repair that can prevent a big problem later.• The city has a big problem with drugs.• "Which is your car?" "The big red one next to the wall."• She's a cute baby with a big smile.• But this face was bigger; swollen and bigger still than the horror in the car.• From these particular big systems I have appropriated unifying principles for all large vivisystems.• Germany is much bigger than Britain.• The nearest big town is twenty miles away.• a big treein a big way• Actors are getting paid more than their worth all over Hollywood right now, and in a big way.• But progress is on the march in Normandy, and in a big way.• Colorado has taken to the sport in a big way.• His ambulance service has taken off in a big way.• National, Rickenbacker, Gibson and a hundred other manufacturers all went for lap-steel production in a big way.• Steak is back in a big way.• Way back, something went bad in a big way.• This is something he has carried in a big way into his later professional life.big difference• A concern for shareholders Inflation adjustments can make a big difference.• A small thing, but it makes a big difference.• But there is one big difference.• Such programs can make a big difference for the students they serve.• There were two big differences, however.• One of the big differences in the two technologies is self learning.• The biggest difference is in the size of the companies traded.• And that makes a big difference when you are selling roadkill.made it big• We had two flop records before we made it big.• And some otaku entrepreneurs have already made it big.• Gary Boyce is a local boy who made it big.• That politico, Gorbachev, is an amateur, a provincial hick who thinks he's made it big.• Unlike a good many tough guys who made it big in movies, Marvin didn't come from a particularly tough background.• So the debonair Simon had made it big in the financial world.• When he made it big, in the mid-Seventies, Dury was a 35-year-old former art college lecturer in callipers.a big eater/drinker/spender etc• Okay, so perhaps he wasn't known as a big drinker, but what the hell?• During the time she was living with the Abramses, Katelyn was happy and a big eater, Carter said.• While never a big eater, he did tend to snack it through the day and night.big problem• You've got a big problem.• If this election were about urgent crises, big problems, complex choices, the Democrat would walk it.• Now we needed to solve the second biggest problem in our lives, paying off the credit-card and installment debt.• Your biggest problem is one you yourself might create by over-reacting.• After teachers, the biggest problem is the shortage of supplies.• But Lissovsky's biggest problem is to persuade the gangsters who frequent the club to settle their differences elsewhere.• One of the biggest problems Merena faced was finding tyres capable of coping with that speed for that length of time.• This could help solve one of the textile industry's biggest problems, removing colouring and chemicals from waste water.bigbig2 verb (bigged, bigging) → big somebody/something ↔ up→ See Verb tableOrigin big (1300-1400) Probably from a Scandinavian language