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giant

[jahy-uh nt] /ˈdʒaɪ ənt/
noun
1.
(in folklore) a being with human form but superhuman size, strength, etc.
2.
a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.; major figure; legend:
a giant in her field; an intellectual giant.
3.
(often initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of the Gigantes.
4.
Mining. monitor (def 12).
5.
Astronomy, giant star.
adjective
6.
unusually large, great, or strong; gigantic; huge.
7.
greater or more eminent than others.
Origin of giant
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English geant < Old French < Latin gigant- (stem of gigās) < Greek Gígās; replacing Old English gigant < Latin, as above
Related forms
giantlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for giant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The atom when it is acting under the direction of a fixed law is a giant in strength.

  • "I described the giant as he appeared to me," replied the student, rather piqued.

    The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • As she withdrew her hands from her face she heard the giant's voice, very much subdued, speaking to her.

  • She sang of Freya's apples, and of the strength and youth of the giant family.

  • Another musket crashed, and in the smoke Brian saw the giant stagger, recover, and go bellowing into the crowd.

    Nuala O'Malley H. Bedford-Jones
British Dictionary definitions for giant

giant

/ˈdʒaɪənt/
noun
1.
a mythical figure of superhuman size and strength, esp in folklore or fairy tales Also (feminine) giantess (ˈdʒaɪəntɪs)
2.
a person or thing of exceptional size, reputation, etc: a giant in nuclear physics
3.
(Greek myth) any of the large and powerful offspring of Uranus (sky) and Gaea (earth) who rebelled against the Olympian gods but were defeated in battle
4.
(pathol) a person suffering from gigantism
5.
(astronomy) See giant star
6.
(mining) another word for monitor (sense 8)
adjective
7.
remarkably or supernaturally large
8.
(architect) another word for colossal
Derived Forms
giant-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French geant, from Vulgar Latin gagās (unattested), from Latin gigās, gigant-, from Greek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for giant
n.

c.1300, from Old French geant, earlier jaiant (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *gagantem (nominative gagas), from Latin gigas "giant," from Greek gigas (genitive gigantos), one of a race of savage beings, sons of Gaia and Uranus, eventually destroyed by the gods, probably from a pre-Greek language. Replaced Old English ent, eoten, also gigant. The Greek word was used in Septuagint to refer to men of great size and strength, hence the expanded use in modern languages. Of very tall persons from 1550s; of persons who have any quality in extraordinary degree, from 1530s.

In þat tyme wer here non hauntes Of no men bot of geauntes. [Wace's Chronicle, c.1330]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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6
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