great
Pronunciation
Adjective

great (comparative greater, superlative greatest)

  1. Relatively large in scale, size, extent, number (i.e. having many parts or members) or duration (i.e. relatively long); very big.
    A great storm is approaching our shores.
    a great assembly
    a great wait
  2. Of larger size or more importance than others of its kind.
    the great auk
    • Bible, Book Daniel ii. 48
      So the King made Daniel a great man […]
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iv]:
      He doth object I am too great of birth.
  3. (qualifying nouns of family relationship) Involving more generations than the qualified word implies — as many extra generations as repetitions of the word great (from 1510s). [see Derived terms]
    great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, great-great-great-grandfather
  4. (obsolete, postpositive, followed by 'with') Pregnant; large with young; full of.
    great with child
    great with hope
    • , Psalms lxxviii. 71
      the ewes great with young
  5. (obsolete, except with 'friend' and similar words such as 'mate','buddy') Intimate; familiar.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Followers and Friends
      those that are so great with him
  6. Extreme or more than usual.
    great worry
  7. Of significant importance or consequence; important.
    a great decision
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0088 ↗:
      “We are engaged in a great work, a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic?”
  8. (applied to actions, thoughts and feelings) Arising from or possessing idealism; admirable; superior; commandingheroic; illustriouseminent.
    a great deed
    a great nature
    a great history
  9. Impressive or striking.
    a great show of wealth
  10. Much in usefavoured.
    Poetry was a great convention of the Romantic era.
  11. (applied to persons) Endowed with extraordinary powers; of exceptional talents or achievements; uncommonly gifted; able to accomplish vast results; remarkable; strong; powerful; mighty; noble.
    a great hero, scholar, genius, philosopher, writer etc.
  12. Title referring to an important leader.
    Alexander the Great
  13. Doing or exemplifying (a characteristic or pursuit) on a large scale; active or enthusiastic.
    What a great buffoon!
    He's not a great one for reading.
    a great walker
  14. (often followed by 'at') Skilful or adroit.
    a great carpenter
    You are great at singing.
  15. (informal) Very good; excellent; wonderful; fantastic (from 1848).
    Dinner was great.
  16. (informal, British) Intensifying a word or expression, used in mild oaths.
    a dirty great smack in the face
    Great Scott!
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Interjection
  1. Expression of gladness and content about something.
    Great! Thanks for the wonderful work.
    • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20170918070146/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-3-i-am-here/3126527.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      I am in my new apartment! Great!
  2. sarcastic inversion thereof.
    Oh, great! I just dumped all 500 sheets of the manuscript all over and now I have to put them back in order.
Translations
Noun

great (plural greats)

  1. A person of major significance, accomplishment or acclaim.
    Newton and Einstein are two of the greats of the history of science.
    • 2019, Daniel Taylor, Lionel Messi magic puts Barcelona in command of semi-final with Liverpool (in The Guardian, 1 May 2019)
      Sadio Mané wasted a glorious chance in the first half and, late on, Mohamed Salah turned his shot against a post after a goal-line clearance had spun his way. That, in a nutshell, perhaps sums up the difference between Messi and the players on the next rung below – the ones who can be described as great footballers without necessarily being football greats.
  2. (music) The main division in a pipe organ, usually the loudest division.
  3. (in combinations such as "two-greats", "three-greats" etc.) An instance of the word "great" signifying an additional generation in phrases expressing family relationships.
    My three-greats grandmother.
Antonyms
  • (person of major significance, accomplishment or acclaim) mediocre
Translations
Adverb

great (not comparable)

  1. (informal) Very well in a very satisfactory manner.
    Those mechanical colored pencils work great because they don't have to be sharpened.
Translations
  • Italian: bene, molto bene
  • Portuguese: bem



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