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Definition big

Etymology 1

From a northern Middle English dialectal term big, bigge (“powerful, strong”), of unknown origin, possibly from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare dialectal Norwegian bugge (“great man”).

Adjective

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. Of great size, large.
  2. (of an industry or other field, often capitalized) Thought to have undue influence.
  3. Popular.
  4. (informal) Adult.
  5. (informal) Fat.
  6. (informal) Important or significant.
  7. (informal, with on) Enthusiastic (about).
  8. (transitive with of) (informal) Mature, conscientious, principled; generous.
  9. (informal) Well-endowed, possessing large breasts in the case of a woman or a large penis in the case of a man.
  10. (sometimes figuratively) Large with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce.
  11. (informal) Used as an intensifier, especially of negative-valence nouns
  12. (of a city) populous
  13. (informal, slang, of somebody's age) old, mature. Used to imply that somebody is too old for something, or acting immaturely.
Adverb

big (comparative bigger, superlative biggest)

  1. In a loud manner.
  2. In a boasting manner.
  3. In a large amount or to a large extent.
  4. On a large scale, expansively.
  5. Hard.
Noun

big (plural bigs)

  1. Someone or something that is large in stature
  2. An important or powerful person; a celebrity; a big name.
  3. (as plural) The big leagues, big time.
  4. (BDSM, slang) The participant in ageplay who acts out the older role.
Verb

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

  1. (transitive) To praise, recommend, or promote.

Etymology 2

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

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

  1. (transitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to inhabit; occupy
  2. (reflexive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to locate oneself
  3. (transitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to build; erect; fashion
  4. (intransitive, archaic or Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) to dwell; have a dwelling

Etymology 3

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”).

Noun

big (uncountable)

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

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