1 [big]
adjective, bigger, biggest.
large, as in size, height, width, or amount: a big house; a big quantity.
of major concern, importance, gravity, or the like: a big problem.
outstanding for a specified quality: a big liar; a big success.
important, as in influence, standing, or wealth: a big man in his field.
grown-up; mature: big enough to know better.
elder: my big sister.
doing business or conducted on a large scale; major in size or importance: big government.
consisting of the largest or most influential companies in an industry: Big steel wants to lower prices, but the smaller mills don't.
Informal. known or used widely; popular: Nouvelle cuisine became big in the 1970s.
magnanimous; generous; kindly: big enough to forgive.
boastful; pompous; pretentious; haughty: a big talker.
loud; orotund: a big voice.
(of clothing or a clothing design) made of or distinguished by voluminous fabric that is loosely or softly shaped and fitted: a big shirt; the big look.
(of a wine) having more than average flavor, body, and alcoholic content.
filled; brimming: eyes big with tears.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. pregnant.
Obsolete. very strong; powerful.
Informal. boastfully; pretentiously: to act big; to talk big.
Informal. with great success; successfully: to go over big.
the bigs, Sports Slang. the highest level of professional competition, as the major leagues in baseball.
be big on, to have a special liking or enthusiasm for: Mother is big on family get-togethers.
big with child. great ( def 23 ).

1250–1300; Middle English big(ge) < ?

biggish, adjective
bigly, adverb

1. huge, immense; bulky, massive; capacious, voluminous; extensive. See great. 4. consequential. 15. overflowing, flooded.

1. little. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
big1 (bɪɡ)
adj , bigger, biggest
1.  of great or considerable size, height, weight, number, power, or capacity
2.  having great significance; important: a big decision
3.  important through having power, influence, wealth, authority, etc: the big four banks
4.  (intensifier usually qualifying something undesirable): a big dope
5.  informal considerable in extent or intensity (esp in the phrase in a big way)
6.  a.  elder: my big brother
 b.  grown-up: when you're big, you can stay up later
7.  a.  generous; magnanimous: that's very big of you
 b.  (in combination): big-hearted
8.  (often foll by with) brimming; full: my heart is big with sadness
9.  extravagant; boastful: he's full of big talk
10.  (of wine) full-bodied, with a strong aroma and flavour
11.  too big for one's boots, too big for one's breeches conceited; unduly self-confident
12.  in an advanced stage of pregnancy (esp in the phrase big with child)
13.  informal big on enthusiastic about: that company is big on research
14.  boastfully; pretentiously (esp in the phrase talk big)
15.  in an exceptional way; well: his talk went over big with the audience
16.  on a grand scale (esp in the phrase think big)
[C13: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian dialect bugge big man]

big2 (bɪɡ)
vb , bigs, bigging, bigged, bug
1.  to build
2.  to excavate (earth) into a pile
[from Old Norse byggja; related to Old English būian to inhabit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, northern England dialect, "powerful, strong," of unknown origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian dial. bugge "great man"). O.E. used micel in many of the same senses. Meaning "of great size" is late 14c.; that of "grown up" is attested from 1550s. Sense of "important" is from
1570s. Big band as a musical style is from 1926. Slang big head "conceit" is first recorded 1850. Big business is 1905; big house "penitentiary" is U.S. underworld slang first attested 1915 (in London, "a workhouse," 1851). In financial journalism, big ticket items so called from 1956. Big lie is from Hitler's grosse lüge.

superl. of big (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The arable land is so stiff that it is necessary to go over it nine times with
  the biggest oxen and the strongest ploughs.
The biggest challenge for humanities scholars in the digital age isn't how to
  rework traditional forms of scholarship.
And in a handful of the biggest programs, athletes completed college at a rate
  much lower than other students.
These days the region also faces some of the biggest challenges to expanding
  access to higher education.
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