Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of great
Meaning of great by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English greet ( “great, large” ), from Old English grēat ( “big, thick, coarse, stour, massive” ), from Proto-Germanic *grautaz ( “big in size, coarse, coarse grained” ), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrewə- ( “to fell, put down, fall in” ). Cognate with Scots great ( “coarse in grain or texture, thick, great” ), West Frisian grut ( “large, great” ), Dutch groot ( “large, stour” ), German groß ( “large” ), Old English grēot ( “earth, sand, grit” ), Latin grandis ( “great,big” ), Albanian ngre ( “I lift, heave, stand, elevate” ). More at grit .


    • enPR: grāt, IPA: /ɡɹeɪt/, X-SAMPA: /gr\eIt/
    • Rhymes: -eɪt
    • Homophone: grate


    great ( comparative greater, superlative greatest )

    1. Very big, large scale .
      A great storm is approaching our shores .
    2. Very good .
      Dinner was great .
    3. Important .
    4. Title referring to an important leader .
      Alexander the Great

    Usage notes

    In simple situations, using modifiers of intensity such as fairly, somewhat, etc. can lead to an awkward construction, with the exception of certain common expressions such as “so great” and “really great”. In particular “very great” is unusually strong as a reaction, and in many cases “great” or its meaning of “very good” will suffice .


    • See also Wikisaurus:large
    • See also Wikisaurus:excellent

    Derived terms



    1. Expression of gladness and content about something .
      Great! Thanks for the wonderful work .
    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 .


    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 .


    great ( not comparable )

    1. very well ( in a very satisfactory manner )
      Those mechanical colored pencils work great because they don't have to be sharpened .




    From Proto-Germanic *grautaz ( “big in size, coarse, coarse grained” ), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrewə- ( “to fell, put down, fall in” ). Cognate with Old Saxon grōt ( “large, thick, coarse, stour” ), Old High German grōz ( “large, thick, coarse” ), Old English grot ( “particle” ). More at groat .



    1. great, massive
    2. tall
    3. thick; stout
    4. coarse


    • Middle English: greet


    By Wiktionary ( 2012/08/14 12:22 UTC Version )



    1. With familial designations, used to denote a removal of one generation
      great-uncle ( an uncle of one's mother or father )
      great-grandfather ( the father of one's grandfather )
      great-great-grandfather ( a grandfather of one's grandfather )
      great-great-great-grandfather, etc .
      ( informal ) fourth-great-uncle, etc. ( same as great-great-great-great-uncle
      ( informal ) fourth-great-grandfather, etc. ( same as great-great-great-great-grandfather

Explanation of great by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. in an advanced stage of pregnancy

    2. was great with child
    3. very good

    4. had a great time at the party
    5. of major significance or importance

    6. a great work of art
    7. relatively large in size or number or extent

    8. a great juicy steak
      a great multitude
      the great auk
      a great old oak
      a great ocean liner
      a great delay
    9. uppercase

    10. great A
    11. remarkable or out of the ordinary in degree or magnitude or effect

    12. a great crisis
      had a great stake in the outcome
    1. a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field

    2. he is one of the greats of American music

    Definition of great by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Great ( grāt ), a. [Compar. Greater ( ); superl. Greatest.] [OE. gret, great, AS. greát; akin to OS. & LG. grōt, D. groot, OHG. grōz, G. gross. Cf. Groat the coin.]
      1. Large in space; of much size; big; immense; enormous; expanded; -- opposed to small and little; as, “a great house, ship, farm, plain, distance, length”.

      2. Large in number; numerous; as, “a great company, multitude, series, etc.”

      3. Long continued; lengthened in duration; prolonged in time; as, “a great while; a great interval.”

      4. Superior; admirable; commanding; -- applied to thoughts, actions, and feelings.

      5. Endowed with extraordinary powers; uncommonly gifted; able to accomplish vast results; strong; powerful; mighty; noble; as, “a great hero, scholar, genius, philosopher, etc.”

      6. Holding a chief position; elevated: lofty: eminent; distinguished; foremost; principal; as, “great men; the great seal; the great marshal, etc.”

      He doth object I am too great of birth. Shak.

      7. Entitled to earnest consideration; weighty; important; as, “a great argument, truth, or principle”.

      8. Pregnant; big ( with young ).

      The ewes great with young. Ps. lxxviii. 71.

      9. More than ordinary in degree; very considerable in degree; as, “to use great caution; to be in great pain”.

      We have all

      Great cause to give great thanks. Shak.

      10. ( Genealogy ) Older, younger, or more remote, by single generation; -- often used before grand to indicate one degree more remote in the direct line of descent; as, “great-grandfather ( a grandfather's or a grandmother's father ), great-grandson, etc.”

      Great bear ( Astron. ), the constellation Ursa Major. -- Great cattle ( Law ), all manner of cattle except sheep and yearlings. Wharton. -- Great charter ( Eng. Hist. ), Magna Charta. -- Great circle of a sphere, a circle the plane of which passes through the center of the sphere. -- Great circle sailing, the process or art of conducting a ship on a great circle of the globe or on the shortest arc between two places. -- Great go, the final examination for a degree at the University of Oxford, England; -- called also greats. T. Hughes. -- Great guns. ( Naut. ) See under Gun. -- The Great Lakes the large fresh-water lakes ( Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario ) which lie on the northern borders of the United States. -- Great master. Same as Grand master, under Grand. -- Great organ ( Mus. ), the largest and loudest of the three parts of a grand organ ( the others being the choir organ and the swell, and sometimes the pedal organ or foot keys ), It is played upon by a separate keyboard, which has the
      middle position. -- The great powers ( of Europe ), in modern diplomacy, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy. -- Great primer. See under Type. -- Great scale ( Mus. ), the complete scale; -- employed to designate the entire series of musical sounds from lowest to highest. -- Great sea, the Mediterranean sea. In Chaucer both the Black and the Mediterranean seas are so called. -- Great seal. The principal seal of a kingdom or state. In Great Britain, the lord chancellor ( who is custodian of this seal ); also, his office. -- Great tithes. See under Tithes. -- The great, the eminent, distinguished, or powerful. -- The Great Spirit, among the North American Indians, their chief or principal deity. -- To be great ( with one ), to be intimate or familiar ( with him ). Bacon.

    2. Great n. The whole; the gross; as, “a contract to build a ship by the great”.