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big man


a man of the highest status or power within a group, as a leader


The idea of a "big man" actually comes from the concept of the leader in American Subarctic cultures.

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Usage Note

informal's 21st Century Lexicon
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Examples from the Web for big man
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the end of the round, the big man was heaving for breath like a foundered horse.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • A five, a four and the main,' shouted the big man, with a voice like the flap of a sail.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The big man, who was crouching on the floor playing with the dog, rose hastily.

    The Halo Bettina von Hutten
  • At the door she met a bluff, big man, gross from head to foot.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • A big man with red hair and a heavy jaw who sat next her kept edging up nearer.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
Slang definitions & phrases for big man

big man

noun phrase

A male school or campus leader: the prep school ''big man'' (1920s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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