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big top

noun
1.
the largest or main tent of a circus.
2.
a circus.
Origin of big top
1890-1895
1890-95, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for big top
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And I don't want the side show to dim the performance in the big top.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • The big top was down, and poles and animal cages were being loaded on long trucks as he emerged.

    Anything Once Douglas Grant
  • Garry and Phil looked at all the animals as they passed through to the big top.

  • As he had been told to do outside the big top, he dropped a handkerchief which slowly fluttered down to the ground below.

  • At the end of the landing on which their big top room opened was a short iron ladder.

    Captivity M. Leonora Eyles
  • He was dressed all in white and silver, with big top boots, and his helmet surmounted by a silver eagle.

  • From the street parade to Polly's first appearance in the "big top," had seemed a short while to Jim and Toby.

    Polly of the Circus Margaret Mayo
  • Here it was that he found a little man muffled up to the ears in a big top coat, standing before the dying fire.

  • At any rate, let's go out to the circus lot, even if we do not get inside the big top.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
British Dictionary definitions for big top

big top

noun (informal)
1.
the main tent of a circus
2.
the circus itself
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with big top

big top

1.
The main tent of a circus, as in The high-wire act is almost always in the big top. [ c. 1840 ]
2.
Underworld slang for a maximum-security prison, as in He was sentenced to ten years in the big top. [ 1950s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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6
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