- 1Of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average: the article was of great interest she showed great potential as an actorMore example sentences
considerable, substantial, pronounced, sizeable, significant, appreciable, serious, exceptional, inordinate, extraordinary, speciallarge, big, extensive, expansive, broad, wide, sizeable, ample, spacious; vast, immense, huge, enormous, gigantic, massive, colossal, mammoth, monstrous, prodigious, tremendous, stupendous, unlimited, boundless, cosmic
- He's a young lad with a good physique and a great amount of potential.
- Her work forces the viewer to think, and above all to feel, with great intensity.
- Father Jones who hosted the event in is house thanks all those who helped in any way to raise such a great amount.
- 1.1 [attributive] Used to reinforce another adjective of size or extent: a great big grinMore example sentences
- It was a lovely moment, happening just after we'd got into bed and I think I went to sleep with a great big grin on my face.
- I gave him a great big Yorkshire grin and looked around nervously.
- This comes in a great handy little size and is very trendy and a very good price.
- 1.2 (also greater) [attributive] Used in names of animals or plants which are larger than similar kinds, e.g. great tit, greater celandine.More example sentences
- The Great Tit has all the characters of the other Parus species and is unmistakable given its large, robust size, relatively heavy bill and domed head.
- When searching for food a great spotted woodpecker usually alights on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side.
- There are two species of dogfish in Guernsey waters, the Lesser Spotted and the Greater Spotted of Bull Huss.
- 1.3 (Great) [attributive, in place names] Denoting the larger or largest part of a place: Great MalvernMore example sentences
- The Historic market town of Great Dunmow is proving a hotbed for stars of the future as talented youngsters hit the stage and screen.
- Although not as hustling and bustling as 100 years ago, the sea town of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding areas are still as busy with everyday life.
- And the lovely town of Great Malvern itself provides a step back in time to a more genteel era.
- 1.4 (Greater) [attributive] (Of a city) including adjacent urban areas: Greater ManchesterMore example sentences
- Merton is an outer London Borough situated in the South West of Greater London and covers an area of 9380 acres, some of which are open parklands.
- The Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble is a community band that rehearses in Bristol and performs in the greater Bristol area.
- Archaeologists have unearthed a ‘mini-Stonehenge’ in Greater Manchester, England, which dates back to about 5,000 years.
- 2Of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average: the great Italian conductor great art has the power to change livesMore example sentences
prominent, eminent, pre-eminent, important, distinguished, august, illustrious, noble; celebrated, noted, notable, noteworthy, famous, famed, honoured, esteemed, revered, renowned, acclaimed, admired, well known; leading, top, high, high-ranking, chief, major, main, principal, central; gifted, talented; outstanding, foremost, remarkable, exceptional, highly rated, first-rate, incomparable, superlative, unsurpassed, unexcelled, matchless, peerless, star, arch-North American • informal major league
- He did concede, however, that there were some whose quality was so great that they must be saved.
- Westlake, for you youngsters, is a crime novelist of long standing and great eminence.
- The event is just dreadful and yet the way it's recorded is great art and it leads us into a kind of paradox.
- 2.1 [attributive] Important or most important: the great day arrived the great thing is the challengeMore example sentences
powerful, dominant, influential, strong, potent, formidable, redoubtable; leading, important, illustrious, top-rank, of the first rank, first rate; foremost, major, main, chief, principal, capital, paramount, primaryimportant, essential, crucial, critical, pivotal, vital, salient, significant, big; chief, main, principal, major, most important, uppermost, primary, prime, cardinal, central, key, supreme, paramount, overriding; momentous, weighty, dominant, consequential• informal number one
- The air of studied banality persists even during moments of great importance.
- Meditation is of great importance and is central to the practice of the Eightfold Path.
- The room was next to the kitchen and was a place of great importance.
- 2.2 (the Great) Used as a title to denote the most important person of the name: Alexander the GreatMore example sentences
- It was a royal city from 893 to 972 and the reign of Tsar Simeon the Great was the heyday of its glory.
- It was on May 5th in the year of 1950 that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great was crowned.
- He seemed to be bred for the Navy, like his great Ancestor Piotr the Great.
- 2.3Impressive or grand: the great Victorian houseMore example sentences
- Today, more than ever, the government lacks any grand visions and great causes.
- It is somewhat ironic that the last great monument of the house of Wessex was mainly a product of Norman culture.
- We congratulate him and thank him for his great contribution to the grand old club.
- 2.4 • informal Very good; excellent: another great goal from Alan wouldn’t it be great to have him back? [as exclamation]: ‘Great!’ said TomMore example sentences
enjoyable, amusing, delightful, lovely; pleasant, congenial, diverting; exciting, thrilling; excellent, marvellous, wonderful, superb, first-class, first-rate, admirable, fine, splendid, very good, good• informal terrific, tremendous, smashing, fantastic, fabulous, fab, super, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, glorious, grand, magic, out of this world, coolBritish • informal , • dated capital, wizard, corking, spiffing, ripping, cracking, top-hole, topping, champion, beezerNorth American • informal , • dated swell
- This is slightly harder to do, but with practice it makes an excellent show-stopper and a great way to win a pig.
- The staff always go out of their way for me, too, and the guys who own it are great blokes.
- I never knew his Dad, but if he was anything like his son I'm sure he was a truly great guy.
- 2.5 • informal (Of a person) very skilled in a particular area: she’s great at FrenchMore example sentences
expert, skilful, skilled, adept, adroit, accomplished, talented, fine, able, masterly, master, brilliant, virtuoso, magnificent, marvellous, outstanding, first class, first rate, elite, superb, proficient, very good• vulgar slang shit hot
- She knows how all - consuming life becomes in this business and she is great at keeping my feet on the ground.
- She was great at reading other people, just not so perceptive when it came to herself.
- I'm terribly proud of her and I think she's great at her job, and being a mother.
- 3 [attributive] Used before a noun to emphasize a particular description of someone or something: I was a great fan of Hank’s her great friend JoeMore example sentences
- Eileen is very quiet and Brian is wonderful, he has been a great friend of mine over the years and I am delighted for them.
- As a great fan of porridge, I was looking forward to judging the offerings.
- I'm a great fan of cryptic crosswords, even though they are tantalisingly difficult.
- 3.1Used to express surprise, admiration, or contempt, especially in exclamations: you great oaf!More example sentences
- You have no right to order me around anymore, you great lump.
- ‘Will you shut up, you great twit?’
- Get your priorities right, you great oaf.
- 4 [in combination] (In names of family relationships) denoting one degree further removed upwards or downwards: great-aunt great-great-grandfatherMore example sentences
- My great-grandmother's fabulous turkey stuffing recipe is revealed!
- My great grandfather left the area and moved to one of the great Welsh mining valleys and began working for the Cooperative Society as a butcher.
- So it is quite possible that your great-great-grandfather could have been a well-paid manager for a fairground family for many years.
- 5 [predic.] Irish (Of two people) on very close or intimate terms: one of the boys was very great with herMore example sentences
- Michael was terrible great with Jack and he had a big shake-hands for the two of us.
nounBack to top
- 1An important or distinguished person: the Beatles, Bob Dylan, all the greats (as plural noun the great) the lives of the great, including Churchill and NewtonMore example sentences
- In America she worked with the greats of jazz, people like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
- She has never envied the success of country music's greats.
- She has that effortless way with a song that only the greats have.
- 2 (Greats) another term for Literae Humaniores.More example sentences
- Never in the strict sense of the word a clever man - even by the academic standard (he took only a third in Mods. and a second in Greats, and worked hard for them, too) - he became an extraordinarily well-educated one.
- Born and brought up in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, he gained an open scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1948, reading Greats and taking a diploma in Classical Archaeology.
- He went on to graduate from Oxford in 1907 with a degree in the greats, Literae Humaniores.
adverb• informal Back to top
- Very well; excellently: we played awful, they played greatMore example sentences
- We got along great when we were dating, living together, and even MUCH better once we got married.
- They played great in all their matches.
- I think he did great in this, it's a big film to walk into.
the great and the good
- often • ironic Distinguished and worthy people collectively: an impressive gathering of the great and the goodMore example sentences
- She is truly one of the distinguished band of the great and the good who is consulted on the issues of the day.
- What was passing through the minds of the great and the good as they prayed in St Paul's Cathedral last week, ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’?
- I would like to thank our loyal army of readers for boosting our sales, and the great and the good of this county who welcomed me into the community.
great and small
- Of all sizes, classes, or types: all creatures great and smallMore example sentences
- The government-run Nature Reserve is not just about looking after the orang-utans, however - it is about preserving an entire wildlife habitat, ensuring that all species great and small within the resort are protected.
- Rugby is a team sport, but one which has been said to be the most ‘democratic'. That is, all creatures great and small can play the game.
- Available and affordable to all people, great and small, this half-moon of golden flaky pastry filled with spicy ground beef is the kind of food upon which admirable societies are based.
a great deal
- see deal1.
a great many
- see many.
a great one for
- A habitual doer of; an enthusiast for: my father was a great one for buying gadgetsMore example sentences
- My father wasn't a great one for books, although he read the newspaper carefully, listened to radio broadcasts of the news and sport, and encouraged me to read.
- He was a great one for talking to people and a very amusing character.
- I'm not a great one for e-mail campaigns and joining in protests, probably mostly because I'm just not a ‘joining’ sort of person, but I found that this horrific story just demands action.
- • dated Expressing surprise or amazement: Great Scott! You scored two hundred and seventy-three![arbitrary euphemism for Great God!]More example sentences
- Great Scott! he gasped in his stupefaction, using the name of the then commander-in-chief for an oath, as officers sometimes did in those days.
- Great Scott, he's done it again!
- Great Scott, who would have thought that this would be the destiny of the Union Volunteer in 1861-2 while marching down Broadway to the tune of 'John Brown's Body.
to a great extent
- In a substantial way; largely: we are all to a great extent the product of our cultureMore example sentences
- According to him, this applies to a great extent to the German market, which is extremely volatile at the moment.
- This loosened the existing caste rigidities to a great extent.
- The lack of aid in the northeast bothered me to a great extent.
Old English grēat 'big', of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch groot and German gross.