great Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field
    • he is one of the greats of American music
  2. adjective satellite relatively large in size or number or extent; larger than others of its kind
    • a great juicy steak
    • a great multitude
    • the great auk
    • a great old oak
    • a great ocean liner
    • a great delay
  3. adjective satellite of major significance or importance
    • a great work of art
    • Einstein was one of the outstanding figures of the 20th centurey
  4. adjective satellite remarkable or out of the ordinary in degree or magnitude or effect
    • a great crisis
    • had a great stake in the outcome
  5. adjective satellite very good
    groovy; dandy; corking; bully; not bad; swell; smashing; keen; slap-up; neat; cracking; nifty; peachy; bang-up.
    • he did a bully job
    • a neat sports car
    • had a great time at the party
    • you look simply smashing
  6. adjective satellite uppercase
    majuscule; capital.
    • capital A
    • great A
    • many medieval manuscripts are in majuscule script
  7. adjective satellite in an advanced stage of pregnancy
    heavy; with child; gravid; big; enceinte; expectant; large.
    • was big with child
    • was great with child


Great adjective
OE. gret, great, AS. gre?t; akin to OS. & LG. gr?t, D. groot, OHG. gr?z, G. gross. Cf. Groat the coin.
comparative Greater ; superlative Greatest
  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; distingushed; formost; 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 de scent; as, great-grandfather (a grandfather's or a grand- mother's father), great-grandson, etc.
Great noun
  1. The whole.; the gross; as, a contract to build a ship by the great.

Webster 1913