AskDefine | Define big

Dictionary Definition

big adj
1 above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent; "a large city"; "set out for the big city"; "a large sum"; "a big (or large) barn"; "a large family"; "big businesses"; "a big expenditure"; "a large number of newspapers"; "a big group of scientists"; "large areas of the world" [syn: large] [ant: small, small]
2 significant; "graduation was a big day in his life"
3 of very great significance; "deciding to drop the atom bomb was a very big decision"; "a momentous event" [syn: momentous]
4 conspicuous in position or importance; "a big figure in the movement"; "big man on campus"; "he's very large in financial circles"; "a prominent citizen" [syn: large, prominent]
5 very intense; "a bad headache"; "in a big rage"; "had a big (or bad) shock"; "a bad earthquake"; "a bad storm" [syn: bad]
6 loud and firm; "a big voice"; "big bold piano sounds"
7 prodigious; "big spender"; "big eater"; "heavy investor" [syn: big(a), heavy(a)]
8 (of animals) fully developed; "an adult animal"; "a grown woman" [syn: adult, full-grown, fully grown, grown, grownup]
9 marked by intense physical force; "a big wind"
10 feeling self-importance; "too big for his britches"; "had a swelled head"; "he was swelled with pride" [syn: swelled, vainglorious]
11 older brother or sister; "big sister" [syn: big(a), elder, older] [ant: little(a)]
12 exhibiting self-importance; "big talk" [syn: boastful, braggart(a), bragging(a), braggy, cock-a-hoop, crowing, self-aggrandizing, self-aggrandising]
13 generous and understanding and tolerant; "a heart big enough to hold no grudges"; "that's very big of you to be so forgiving"; "a large and generous spirit"; "a large heart"; "magnanimous toward his enemies" [syn: large, magnanimous]
14 given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather" [syn: bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, liberal, openhanded]
15 in an advanced stage of pregnancy; "was big with child"; "was great with child" [syn: big(p), enceinte, expectant, gravid, great(p), large(p), heavy(p), with child(p)] adv
1 extremely well; "his performance went over big"
2 in a boastful manner; "he talked big all evening" [syn: boastfully, vauntingly, large]
3 on a grand scale; "think big" [ant: small]
4 in a major way; "the play failed big at the box office" [also: biggest, bigger]

User Contributed Dictionary



From northern dialect big, bigge (powerful, strong), of uncertain origin, possibly from a dialect of .


  • /bɪg/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪɡ


  1. Of a great size; large; the weakest sense of great size.
    Elephants are big animals, and they eat a lot.
  2. Of an industry or other field: Thought to have undue influence.
    There were concerns about the ethics of big science.
  3. Popular.
    That style is very big right now in Europe, especially among teenagers.
  4. Adult.
    Kids should get help from big people if they want to use the kitchen.
  5. Fat.
    Gosh, she is big!
  6. Important or significant.
    What's so big about that? I do it all the time.
  7. (construed with on) Enthusiastic (about).
    I'm not big on the idea, but if you want to go ahead with it, I won't stop you.



of a great size



  1. piglet, little pig



  • lang=ga|[bʲɪɟ]


  1. Form of genitive singular masculine, beag



From byggja.




  1. to build

Torres Strait Creole


From big, cognate with (the first part of) Bislama bikfala, bigfala, Pijin bigfala, Tok Pisin bikpela.



Western Apache


  • [pɪ̀k]


From Proto-Athabascan *-wə̓t̕.
Cognates: Navajo -bid, Plains Apache -bid.


-big (inalienable, e.g., shibig "my belly", bibig "her/his/their belly")

Usage notes

  • The form -big occurs in the White Mountain varieties; -bid occurs in San Carlos and Dilze’eh (Tonto).

Extensive Definition

Big is a 1988 comedy film about a boy who wished to be aged to adulthood by a magical fortune-telling machine. It stars Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz and Mercedes Ruehl. The movie was written by Gary Ross, with Justin Schindler, and Anne Spielberg. Penny Marshall directed, replacing Steven Spielberg whose sister was one of the writers.


After being humiliated while trying to impress an older teenage girl at a carnival, Josh Baskin (David Moscow) goes to a wish/fortune-telling machine (called Zoltar Speaks) and wishes that he were "big". The next morning, he sees a face in the mirror he does not recognize. Overnight, he has become a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks).
Josh, after having a cycle around town as an adult, reluctantly decides to show his mother his new look. As soon as he enters his house and tries to explain, his mother sees him and runs and screams around her own home. Josh's mom then brandishes a steak knife at Josh, unaware that what appears to be a menacing intruder is really her son. Eventually, screaming blood-curdlingly, she drives the now 30-year-old out of her house, and then finding Josh gone believes he has been kidnapped. In desperation, Josh corners his 13-year-old best friend Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), and convinces him of his true identity (by singing a secret song only they know). With Billy's help, Josh rents a cheap room in Manhattan and gets a lowly data-entry job at the MacMillan Toy Company.
In a memorable scene, he meets the company's owner, MacMillan (Robert Loggia), checking out the products at the FAO Schwarz toy store, and impresses him with his childlike enthusiasm. They end up playing a duet together on a giant foot-operated electronic keyboard, performing Chopsticks and Heart and Soul. This earns Josh a promotion to a dream job for a kid: testing toys all day long and getting paid for it. With his insight into what sells to children, he quickly rises up the corporate ranks.
He soon attracts the attention of the beautiful, ambitious Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), a fellow toy executive, and a romance begins to develop, much to the annoyance of her current boyfriend, Paul (John Heard). In time, Josh sees his friendship with Billy start to fade as his relationship with Susan begins to grow, and he is faced with a choice: return to his old life with his family and friends, or remain an adult with Susan. Ultimately, he decides to return to his normal life and seeks out the Zoltar machine, wishing himself back to childhood. Susan catches up to Josh right after he makes his wish. He tries to convince her to join him, but she isn't willing to relive her adolescence again. Susan drives Josh home and they part, with a hint that they may meet later, when he has grown up.
It is widely rumored that a different ending was used in test screenings, in which Josh is in class, and a "new girl in school" is brought into the classroom. Her resemblance to Susan and a shot of Josh's reaction imply that this is Susan, having also become young by using the Zoltar machine. There is no mention or evidence of this ending on the Extended Edition DVD released in 2007.


Big, was received with almost unanimous critical acclaim, and is considered by many critics the gold standard of movies in which a child is trapped in an adult's body. Many critics praised Tom Hanks for his "believable" and "adorable" performance.
The film is number 23 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
Is one of the few PG-rated movies to use the word "fuck" in its uncut version; furthermore the word is used by one of the young actors, Rushton, rather than an adult.

Broadway musical

In 1996, Big was made into a musical for the Broadway stage. It featured music by David Shire, lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr., and a book by John Weidman. Directed by Mike Ockrent, and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it opened on April 28, 1996.


Big has been available on DVD since 1999.
A two-disc extended edition, named either the "Extended Edition" or "Family Fun Edition", was released on May 8 2007 in Regions 1 and 4; this DVD adds 25 minutes of extra footage to the original cut, making the film 130 minutes, as well as providing the original version on the first disc and additional features on the second disc. On October 22, 2007, the DVD was released in Region 2.

Filming locations

The Carnival at the beginning of the movie was one of the largest traveling carnivals in the US, Reithoffer Shows Inc. They set up the carnival specifically for the movie. Besides having the company named in the special thanks section of the credits, you can read the company name on the Super Loop operators shirt. The movie takes place partially at Playland amusement park in Rye, New York. Young Josh lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.
The house that was used as the Baskin residence is located at 437 Greenmount Road in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. It can be viewed by clicking on this link:
The MacMillan Toy Company office outside and lobby shots where the movie was filmed was also the New York Toy Fair showroom for Hasbro Toys which closed in 2004
Many parts of the movie were filmed on Ossining, NYs Main Street and South Highland Avenue.

Cultural references

  • The keyboard scene was parodied in an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer plays an off-key rendition of "Rock Around The Clock" and a near-perfect rendition of the Simpsons main theme at the toy store.
  • In an episode of the Family Guy entitled "The Story on Page One" Stewie is angry about being so small and stumbles upon a Zoltar Speaks machine from the movie. When Stewie says "I wish I was BIG" Zoltar responds with a card that reads "I wish I could weigh people."
  • In the web comic Looking For Group, a guy looking like the Zoltar Genie walks in behind a window, stroking his beard while a small Richard wishes to be big.

See also


Similar films


External links

big in German: Big (Film)
big in Spanish: Big
big in Finnish: Big – isoksi yhdessä yössä
big in French: Big (film)
big in Italian: Big
big in Dutch: Big (film)
big in Japanese: ビッグ (映画)
big in Portuguese: Big
big in Russian: Большой (фильм)
big in Swedish: Big

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adult, aggrandized, ample, apotheosized, arrogant, arty, awash, awesome, awful, awfully, beatified, benevolent, big boy, big cheese, big noise, big shot, big-league, big-name, big-time, bighearted, bigwig, bigwigged, bombastic, brimful, brimming, bull, bumper, canonized, capacious, chivalrous, chock-full, cloyed, clumsy, commodious, comprehensive, condescending, consequential, considerable, considerate, copious, crammed, crowded, damned, deified, distended, domineering, double-barreled, earthshaking, elevated, eminent, ennobled, enshrined, enthroned, exalted, excellent, expectant, expecting, extensive, extravagant, extremely, fat, flushed, full to bursting, gassy, generous, glorified, glutted, gone, goodly, grand, gravid, great, great gun, great of heart, greathearted, greatly, grown, grown-up, handsome, haughty, healthy, heavy, heavyweight, hefty, held in awe, heroic, high, high and mighty, high-faluting, high-flown, high-headed, high-minded, high-nosed, high-powered, high-sounding, high-swelling, highfalutin, highfaluting, hoity-toity, hugely, hulking, husky, idealistic, immortal, immortalized, important, imposing, inflated, knightly, large, large-scale, largehearted, liberal, lion, lofty, magnanimous, magnified, major, man-sized, marriable, marriageable, material, mature, maturescent, meaningful, mighty, momentous, much, name, noble, noble-minded, nubile, numerous, of age, of marriageable age, old, openhanded, overbearing, overblown, overflowing, packed, parturient, patronizing, pretentious, princely, proud, purse-proud, replete, roomy, sainted, sanctified, sated, satiated, satisfied, self-important, shrined, significant, sizable, spacious, stuck-up, stuffed, sublime, substantial, supereminent, superior, swollen, tall, throned, tidy, toplofty, unwieldy, uppish, uppity, upstage, voluminous, weighty, whacking, whopping, windy, world-shaking
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