great: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (grāt), [key]
— adj., adv., n., pl. interj. -er, -est, greats, great,
  1. unusually or comparatively large in size or dimensions: A great fire destroyed nearly half the city.
  2. large in number; numerous: Great hordes of tourists descend on Europe each summer.
  3. unusual or considerable in degree, power, intensity, etc.: great pain.
  4. wonderful; first-rate; very good: We had a great time. That's great!
  5. being such in an extreme or notable degree: great friends; a great talker.
  6. notable; remarkable; exceptionally outstanding: a great occasion.
  7. important; highly significant or consequential: the great issues in American history.
  8. distinguished; famous: a great inventor.
  9. of noble or lofty character: great thoughts.
  10. chief or principal: the great hall; his greatest novel.
  11. of high rank, official position, or social standing: a great noble.
  12. much in use or favor: “Humor” was a great word with the old physiologists.
  13. of extraordinary powers; having unusual merit; very admirable: a great statesman.
  14. of considerable duration or length: We waited a great while for the train.
  15. He's great on reading poetry aloud.
    1. enthusiastic about some specified activity (usually fol. by at, for, or on):He's great on reading poetry aloud.
    2. skillful; expert (usually fol. by at or on):He's great at golf.
  16. being of one generation more remote from the family relative specified (used in combination): a great-grandson.
  17. being in the late stages of pregnancy.
  1. very well: Things have been going great for him.
  1. a person who has achieved importance or distinction in a field: She is one of the theater's greats.
  2. great persons, collectively: England's literary great.
  3. (often cap.) Also called
    1. the final examination for the bachelor's degree in the classics and mathematics, or Literae Humaniores, esp. at Oxford University and usually for honors.
    2. the course of study.
    3. the subject studied.
  1. (used to express acceptance, appreciation, approval, admiration, etc.).
  2. (used ironically or facetiously to express disappointment, annoyance, distress, etc.): Great! We just missed the last train home.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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