Word family noun greatness great adjective great adverb greatly From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgreatgreat1 /ɡreɪt/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative greater, superlative greatest) 1 large [usually before noun] very large in amount or degree The movie was a great success. The news came as possibly the greatest shock of my life. The paintings cost a great deal (=a lot) of money. John always takes great care over his work. It gives me great pleasure (=I am very pleased) to introduce tonight’s speaker. It’s a great pity that none of his poems survive. The temptation was too great to resist.► see thesaurus at big2 excellent especially spokenGOOD/EXCELLENTvery good SYN wonderful, fantastic The weather here is great. It’s great to be home. a great day out for all the familysound/taste/smell/feel etc great I worked out this morning and I feel great. You look great in that dress.great for doing something Email’s great for keeping in touch.the great thing about somebody/something (=the very good thing about someone or something) The great thing about Alex is that he’s always willing to explain things to you.► see thesaurus at good, niceGrammarGreat is not used with ‘very’ in this meaning. You say: You did a really great job. ✗Don’t say: You did a very great job.3 important a) [usually before noun] important or having a lot of influence one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time What makes a novel truly great? great historical events b) used in the title of a person or event that was very important in the pastPeter/Catherine etc the Great I’m reading a biography of Alexander the Great. the Great Depressionthe Great War old-fashioned (=World War I)4 generous very good or generous in a way that people admire a great humanitarian gesture5 extremely skilful famous for being able to do something extremely well Ali was undoubtedly one of the greatest boxers of all time. a book about the lives of the great composers 6 big written very big SYN huge A great crowd had gathered. A great iron stove filled half the room.7 → great big8 doing something a lot used to emphasize that someone does something a lota great talker/reader/admirer etc Anthony’s a great talker – sometimes you just can’t get a word in. Len was a great believer in the power of positive thinking.be a great one for doing something She’s a great one for telling stories about her schooldays.9 → to a greater or lesser extent10 → be no great shakes11 → be going great guns12 bad spoken informal used when you are disappointed or annoyed about something ‘Daniel’s cancelled the party.’ ‘Oh great!’13 animal/bird/plant etc used in the names of some animals or plants, especially when they are bigger than other animals or plants of the same type the Great Crested Grebe14 → the great outdoors15 → great minds (think alike)16 → the greater good17 → the great apes18 → the great divide19 → Greater London/Los Angeles/Manchester etc20 → huge/enormous great21 → great Scott!/great Heavens!22 → great with child —greatness noun [uncountable] She was destined for greatness.
Examples from the Corpusgreat• ""Did you have a good holiday?'' ""It was great!''• an excellent film• Maria del Carmen Asencio, a great activist and a good friend of mine, was among them.• Olivier was a great actor.• It would be of great assistance if customers could have the exact money ready.• I have great difficulty in reading without my glasses.• It is actively looking for more pilot schemes to identify the greater efficiencies needed and the best options available for waste collection.• He had squandered his great gifts of talent, intellect, and personal magnetism.• As far as the eye could see, there stretched a great herd of buffalo.• "Your car won't be ready until next week." "Oh, great! I need it tomorrow."• "Let's have a barbecue, " "That's a great idea."• It'd be great if you could come.• That is a matter of great importance.• The point is, we get great information all the time about what is good and bad for us.• Ella Fitzgerald was the greatest jazz singer ever.• a great lady• I was never really a great one for sport as a child.• Other sights: If you grow bored with the great outdoors or just want to warm up, you have many options.• The greatest pleasure comes when caddie and player are in perfect synchronization.• Like great sailing ships, the clouds sped across the sky.• Here he had much greater scope than in London's country.• McEnroe was possibly the greatest tennis player of all time.• I feel great this morning!• "You want to go to a movie instead?" "Yeah, great, why not!"• Many of our great works of art are being sold and exported.great care• More experiments on more lymphoma-bearing mice followed, and the doses likely to achieve the best effect were assessed with great care.• If you have to clean a patient's eyes, take great care and ask them not to move.• Great care must be taken when the fish is transferred by net as the spines inevitably tangle.• George is very kind and caring and took great care over Lennie.• He began to weigh his words with great care, struggling to express himself as economically and clearly as possible.• Great care was taken in the design of the control panel and the instruments mounted on it.• Great care was taken with his education, but teaching him what he did not wish to learn was a dangerous business.the great thing about somebody/something• That was one of the great things about both the Lisa and the Macintosh.• D.S. One of the great things about drama school is what you learn to reject as much as what you actually learn.• And the great thing about Grandfather, apparently, was that he was interested in everyone.• That's the great thing about having a car.• I think the greatest thing about it was the talent that came out to support it.• And that's the great thing about it.• One of the great things about setting a text is that it widens the musical vocabulary greatly.• One of the great things about these utilities is the frequency with which they're updated.the Great War• His father had bought a place in Kildare before the Great War.• Then they went home to the battlefields of the Great War.• Before the Great War, and afterwards also, this had been a street where bank managers and principal shopkeepers lived.• You know, Nicholas, that whatever miseries the Great War brought it destroyed a great deal that was unhealthy between the sexes.• But times had changed, the Great War had seen to that.• Collections of diplomatic documents concerned with the origins of the Great War have also had their built-in weaknesses.• The Third Republic had survived the Great War of 1914-18 but its institutions were blamed by many for the humiliation of 1940.be a great one for doing something• Margaret used to be a great one for rote learning.• They say in his day he was a great one for the ladies.• Tyrone Guthrie was a great one for comic business, and it was amazing to see how Michael picked it all up.greatgreat2 noun 1 [countable usually plural] a very successful and famous person in a particular sport, profession etc Jack Nicklaus is one of golf’s all-time greats. I think his show’s OK, but I wouldn’t call him one of the greats.► see thesaurus at star2 → the great and the good
Examples from the Corpusgreat• Fitzgerald is one of the all-time jazz greats.great-great- /ɡreɪt/ prefix 1 → great-grandfather/great-grandmother/great-aunt/great-uncle2 → great-grandchild/great-granddaughter etcOrigin great1 Old English