big Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “big” in the English Dictionary

"big" in British English

See all translations

bigadjective

uk   us   /bɪɡ/ (bigger, biggest)
  • big adjective (LARGE)

A1 large in size or amount: He's a big man. Could I try these shoes in a bigger size? They have a big house in the country. She has blonde hair and big blue eyes. She had a big pay rise. I had a great big slice of chocolate cake for dessert. A thousand people took part in the region's biggest ever cycle race.informal You write August with a big (= capital) "a".informal She's always been a big spender (= she has always spent a lot of money).informal You're not a very big eater, are you? (= You do not eat a lot.)
A2 informal older or more like an adult: Her big (= older) sister/brother told her to go away. I'm ashamed of you. You're big enough to know better (= at an age where you should know that your behaviour is not acceptable).
C2 [before noun] informal used to add emphasis: You're a big bully! He fell for her in a big way (= was greatly attracted to her).

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • big adjective (IMPORTANT)

A2 important, because of being powerful, or having a lot of influence or a serious effect: He had a big decision to make. There's a big difference between starting up a business and just talking about it. The big story in the news this week is the mayor's resignation. The four biggest banks are all planning to cut their service charges.
be big somewhere/in sth informal
to be important or famous in a particular place or type of work: They're big in Japan, but no one's heard of them here.
C1 informal If a product or activity is big, it is extremely popular: Hip-hop is still big today.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of big from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"big" in American English

See all translations

bigadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /bɪɡ/ (-gg-)
large in size or amount: a big ant/man/building/city Do you have these shoes in a bigger size? He tried to impress his friends by using big words. She got a big raise. I had a great big slice of chocolate cake. This is the region’s biggest bicycle race.
Big can also mean to a large degree: a big spender/eater
infml Big can also mean older: a big sister/brother
infml Big can also be used to add emphasis: You’re a big bully!
important, because of being powerful, influential, or having a serious effect: He had a big decision to make about his future. There’s a big difference between starting up a business and just talking about it. The big story in the news this week is the blizzard in the Midwest. We just bought a house, so today’s a big day for us.
infml If a product or activity is big, it is extremely popular: Those toys are very big in Japan.
(Definition of big from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"big" in Business English

See all translations

bigadjective

uk   us   /bɪɡ/ informal
too big to fail BANKING, FINANCE
describing a bank that is so important to the economy of a country that the government will give it public money to prevent it from failing. This happened with many big banks between 2008-2009. : UK taxpayers funded banks thought too big to fail to the tune of billions of pounds, which makes the latest round of public spending cuts very hard to take. Who was it said that if a bank is too big to fail, it's too big?
(Definition of big from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of big?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“big” in British English

“big” in American English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

droid

a robot (= a machine controlled by computer) that is made to look like a human

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More