Definition of great in English:

great

adjective

  • 1Of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average.

    ‘the article was of great interest’
    ‘she showed great potential as an actor’
    • ‘At the early meetings there was great interest and enthusiasm, but that dwindled.’
    • ‘Knowing that in purely physical terms we can mix it with the best has given us a great amount of confidence and composure.’
    • ‘She was a kindly and Christian lady, who also did a great amount of knitting for charity.’
    • ‘Her work forces the viewer to think, and above all to feel, with great intensity.’
    • ‘A great amount of money has been spent on it, and the money is all up there on the screen.’
    • ‘The organic industry is fairly new in Australia and has great potential for expansion.’
    • ‘The children generally have a hunger to learn and are bright students with great potential.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that the West Coast has an immense amount of great scenery and things to do.’
    • ‘I also think that going through the process of applying will itself do York a great amount of good.’
    • ‘Despite a great amount of controversy at the time and efforts to keep them open, two of the town's schools closed.’
    • ‘He's a young lad with a good physique and a great amount of potential.’
    • ‘It may be of great interest to hear something about the role of the Parish Council in this conflict.’
    • ‘There is a great interest in the swimming competition, which is highly commendable.’
    • ‘In the first half we played with great rhythm and intensity which gave us some breathing space in the second half.’
    • ‘The violins, viola and cello were played with great vigour, intensity and lyrical beauty.’
    • ‘Father Jones who hosted the event in is house thanks all those who helped in any way to raise such a great amount.’
    • ‘It makes little sense that they would have loaded a great amount of treasure on an unescorted ship.’
    • ‘We got a really great response with amount of entries last year as well as the turnout of people on the night.’
    • ‘It calls for a great amount of maturity to understand how much one can handle.’
    • ‘He had an intensely inquisitive mind and a great interest in the natural sciences.’
    considerable, substantial, pronounced, sizeable, significant, appreciable, serious, exceptional, inordinate, extraordinary, special
    large, big, extensive, expansive, broad, wide, sizeable, ample, spacious
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    1. 1.1 Impressive or grand.
      ‘a great ocean between them’
      ‘the great Victorian house’
      • ‘Greenshank spend the summer in wild country, haunting the great flows of Sutherland.’
      • ‘It is a great house but it was designed for the lifestyle of over 100 years ago.’
      • ‘Leara walked faster through the great house and almost broke in to a run in the garden until she came to the clearing.’
      • ‘The Queen Mother and King George also modernised Birkhall's great house and built a new wing.’
      • ‘Grazing animals spread into the great grasslands of North America, Africa, and Asia.’
      • ‘Most of the world's oxygen is produced by the planctum in the great oceans.’
      • ‘Some of the boys await the bride and groom to leave the house and a great bell is rung to rouse the neighbourhood.’
      • ‘It is not yet know if any spend winter south of the Sahara in some years and north of the great desert in others.’
      • ‘Rows of teeth exposed between the great jaws that turned the oceans into a sea of blood.’
      • ‘Last week saw a symbolic end for Clydebank, where once the great ocean liners were launched.’
      • ‘They are so easily seduced into the great house of Babylon known as the palace.’
      • ‘Australians have fought in all the big wars, as part of either a great empire or a grand alliance.’
      • ‘The bride's father, it emerged, had been in service as a groom and chauffeur at great houses in the Borders.’
      • ‘The great house was surrounded by numerous and variously shaped out-buildings.’
      • ‘But even giant waves moving at the speed of jet airliners still take hours to cross great oceans.’
      • ‘The Grandmother had told her all about the great libraries that Garter housed.’
      • ‘In a truly great grand final between two worthy participants, the best team won.’
      • ‘Jeannie ends up as a servant in a great house, where various things befall her.’
      • ‘We congratulate him and thank him for his great contribution to the grand old club.’
      • ‘The Army had requisitioned our local great house and his regiment was stationed in it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, the book inhabits the surface of the great ocean of Russia more than the depths.’
      magnificent, imposing, impressive, awe-inspiring, grand, splendid, majestic, monumental, glorious, sumptuous, resplendent, lavish, beautiful
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    2. 1.2attributive Used in names of animals or plants which are larger than similar kinds, e.g. great tit, greater celandine.
      • ‘Walking around the dykes we saw Brown-throated Martins flying low over the water hawking for insects, as well as Greater Striped Swallows.’
      • ‘Greater bindweed also climbs though the hedge. Its big white trumpet flowers open during the day then twist closed as night falls.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3attributive, in place names Denoting the larger or largest part of a place.
      ‘Great Malvern’
      • ‘And the lovely town of Great Malvern itself provides a step back in time to a more genteel era.’
      • ‘The Roman town of Great Chesterford lies on the northern boundary of Essex, almost all of it hidden beneath a ploughed field.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Historic market town of Great Dunmow is proving a hotbed for stars of the future as talented youngsters hit the stage and screen.’
      • ‘The historic Civil War Market Town of Great Torrington caters well for its inhabitants with a comprehensive range of local and national shopping, schooling and recreational facilities.’
    4. 1.4attributive (of a city) including adjacent urban areas.
      ‘Greater Manchester’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Archaeologists have unearthed a ‘mini-Stonehenge’ in Greater Manchester, England, which dates back to about 5,000 years.’
      • ‘The Greater Edinburgh area offers the perfect lodging alternative for every itinerary, from world-class hotels downtown to intimate bed and breakfast inns throughout the countryside.’
      • ‘It was a high energy evening on April 2 when 700 regional leaders gathered to celebrate those who do much for the Greater Washington community.’
      • ‘The Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble is a community band that rehearses in Bristol and performs in the greater Bristol area.’
  • 2Of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average.

    ‘the great Italian conductor’
    ‘great art has the power to change lives’
    • ‘The winners had shown a great ability to be creative and inventive with their display table.’
    • ‘I rather feel like looking at great art, and I am certainly in the right place to do that.’
    • ‘Westlake, for you youngsters, is a crime novelist of long standing and great eminence.’
    • ‘Officials say the project will give visitors a chance to view it in isolation both as a religious work and great art.’
    • ‘There was a lot of great art to see in the city this year and the good news is some of it you can still catch over the holidays.’
    • ‘He then threw his great energy and ability into the co-operative movement.’
    • ‘They report to him of her beauty and great qualities, and he sends her a proposal of marriage.’
    • ‘It's not so much to produce something of great quality as to prove to yourself that you really can write a novel if you put your mind to it.’
    • ‘But great works of art and architecture transcend the motives of their founders.’
    • ‘A great critic has the ability to make the individual voice become a collective one.’
    • ‘You are a man clearly of great ability and hitherto good character and I give you full credit for that and your plea of guilty.’
    • ‘This is a team with great ability who will do very well if they are able to focus and work hard as they did in this game.’
    • ‘In your opinion, what are the three qualities every great film should possess?’
    • ‘His athletic ability is so great that he can line up on either side or as a linebacker at times.’
    • ‘She has a child-like curiosity about everything and a great ability to pick on things.’
    • ‘He may be in the twilight of his career, but he has great qualities and great skill.’
    • ‘Yet you hear a great piece of music and you feel good afterwards; you look at a great work of art and you feel good afterwards.’
    • ‘Like great works of art or literature, they express the spirit of the age.’
    • ‘He did concede, however, that there were some whose quality was so great that they must be saved.’
    • ‘The event is just dreadful and yet the way it's recorded is great art and it leads us into a kind of paradox.’
    prominent, eminent, pre-eminent, important, distinguished, august, illustrious, noble
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    1. 2.1 Used as a title to denote the most important person of the name.
      ‘Alexander the Great’
      • ‘Peter the Great was the Russian czar who transformed Russia from an isolated agricultural society into an Empire on a par with European powers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And now, a Russian composer is about to fulfil his dream and stage as a musical the life story of Catherine the Great, one of Russia's best-known and most colourful historical figures.’
    2. 2.2informal Very good; excellent.
      ‘another great goal from Alan’
      ‘wouldn't it be great to have him back?’
      as exclamation ‘‘Great!’ said Tom’
      • ‘I would probably describe him as a scorer of great goals rather than a great goal scorer.’
      • ‘Nick is a great guy and his project will have a lasting benefit to the business.’
      • ‘Yes of course it was a bad miss but what about the two great goals that he did score?’
      • ‘He's a lovely guy and a great player, one of the most talented forwards around.’
      • ‘Both him and Jason, who was a great guy on and off the field, helped me a lot.’
      • ‘The staff always go out of their way for me, too, and the guys who own it are great blokes.’
      • ‘Kevin is a great guy but I'll think twice about inviting him to one of my parties.’
      • ‘Right now, she had a date with a great guy and she wasn't going to let her parents ruin it.’
      • ‘Not only is he a great guy; he has never been slow to tell everyone how much I help him.’
      • ‘You're going to meet a great guy or girl, but still keep in touch with all of your friends.’
      • ‘It will be a great night and an excellent venue for promoting Air Force ideals and heritage.’
      • ‘It is always great to help an excellent cause at the same time as enjoying an event, and this was to be no exception.’
      • ‘The hosts got off to a great start with a goal in the ninth minute.’
      • ‘I never knew his Dad, but if he was anything like his son I'm sure he was a truly great guy.’
      • ‘He has a great voice, really excellent, and he's captured the attention of many a busy pub with his singing.’
      • ‘I can promise an evening of excellent food, fabulous entertainment and great guests.’
      • ‘He is a great guy to have meetings with since he usually suggests having them in one of the campus cafes.’
      • ‘This is slightly harder to do, but with practice it makes an excellent show-stopper and a great way to win a pig.’
      • ‘It was a great goal but I felt we should have cleared our lines before that.’
      • ‘I've been lucky to work with three great players who are all great blokes.’
      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
      enjoyable, amusing, delightful, lovely
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    3. 2.3informal (of a person) very skilled in a particular area.
      ‘she's great at French’
      • ‘We believe we are great at feeling what is wrong or what we would like to work better and then fixing it.’
      • ‘Friends says she is great at playing with her son, rolling on the floor with him and making him roar with laughter.’
      • ‘I want to know what it and the consultants have got against Kevin when he is great at his job.’
      • ‘He was great at going forward but not so useful in making it back to his berth.’
      • ‘She is great at helping out other patients and is always worried about others around her.’
      • ‘She's great on dialogue, and she's got the ease of a confident and intuitive writer.’
      • ‘He's great at grills, barbecues and salads, but it's a shame he makes so much mess.’
      • ‘Trying to patient with him when he was like this was never something she was great at.’
      • ‘He is so great at what he does because he gets to know his clients on a very personal level.’
      • ‘I'm terribly proud of her and I think she's great at her job, and being a mother.’
      • ‘She wasn't great at dancing her waltz, but the judges were very kind to her.’
      • ‘I'm not great at going to get haircuts, and so have no formal hairdresser to call my own.’
      • ‘He's great at covering that left side and doesn't mind being one for one against people.’
      • ‘She was great at reading other people, just not so perceptive when it came to herself.’
      • ‘She knows how all - consuming life becomes in this business and she is great at keeping my feet on the ground.’
  • 3attributive Used before a noun to emphasize a particular description of someone or something.

    ‘I was a great fan of Hank's’
    ‘her great friend Joe’
    • ‘In the event, the two became great friends and the status quo was maintained.’
    • ‘It was a very emotional day for him he said as Kieran was a great friend of his.’
    • ‘Another friend showed his great sense of humor in dealing with the obvious statements.’
    • ‘They have remained great friends and there is no animosity between them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was a man of great humour, wit and a great conversationalist and friend to all.’
    • ‘We became great friends over the years and I have frequently invited them to St Lucia.’
    • ‘Yesterday one of his team mates paid tribute to a man described as a fantastic athlete and great friend.’
    • ‘Your sense of humor might be a bit off, but you're a great friend and can always be counted on.’
    • ‘He was a great fan of American football, and rarely missed the Super Bowl.’
    • ‘This kind of behavior is not acceptable and I can't say that I have ever been a great fan of the supermodel.’
    • ‘He was a great neighbour and friend to many and he will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.’
    • ‘You may have gathered that I'm a great fan of exfoliation to keep skin looking youthful and fresh.’
    • ‘Tears of joy were flowing as three great army friends were reunited after more than 50 years apart.’
    • ‘I'm a great fan of cryptic crosswords, even though they are tantalisingly difficult.’
    • ‘Both are great fans of The Smiths, who are widely regarded as the most important band of the 1980s.’
    • ‘Moira was a great neighbour to a friend in distress, an angel to all in their journey through life.’
    • ‘As someone born in 1948 who has always been looked after by the NHS, I am a great fan of it.’
    • ‘He had been a great follower/fan and friend for quiet a long time and it turned out to be the right decision.’
    • ‘As a great fan of porridge, I was looking forward to judging the offerings.’
    enthusiastic, eager, keen, zealous, devoted, ardent, fervent, fanatical, passionate, dedicated, diligent, assiduous, intent, habitual, active, vehement, hearty, wholehearted, committed, warm
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    1. 3.1 Denoting the element of something that is the most important or the most worthy of consideration.
      ‘the great thing is the challenge’
      • ‘Evidence is a generic notion of great importance to many practices and enquiries.’
      • ‘Subsequently, the end result is not of great importance to me either way.’
      • ‘The dental care of the elderly, the sick and the debilitated is a matter of great importance.’
      • ‘Development experts talk of the great importance of education in the poor countries.’
      • ‘For many it was not a glamorous life but the work they did was of great importance.’
      • ‘However on further reflection I realised that this is a news story of great importance.’
      • ‘He attached great importance to his university lectures and he lectured almost entirely about his own work.’
      • ‘Having said all that I must add that the English language has been of great importance in my life.’
      • ‘Winning the support of the unions was of great importance to the anti-war movement.’
      • ‘They attach great importance, however, to a decision being reached at an early date.’
      • ‘Meditation is of great importance and is central to the practice of the Eightfold Path.’
      • ‘He attached great significance to prime numbers, like seventeen, seven and one.’
      • ‘The Judge said that it was of very great importance that the Appellant had pleaded guilty.’
      • ‘The air of studied banality persists even during moments of great importance.’
      • ‘The police should give great importance to this issue as they do in the case of drunken drivers.’
      • ‘Though these kinds of equality are of great importance, they are not my subject.’
      • ‘The preservation of our natural and historic heritage is of very great importance to us as a nation.’
      • ‘European agriculture is of great importance, and we must not overlook farmers and their families.’
      • ‘Results also matter more the further you progress and they are of great importance when you make the first team.’
      • ‘The room was next to the kitchen and was a place of great importance.’
      powerful, dominant, influential, strong, potent, formidable, redoubtable
      important, essential, crucial, critical, pivotal, vital, salient, significant, big
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    2. 3.2 Used to reinforce another adjective of size or extent.
      ‘a great big grin’
      • ‘I turn, look out of the window, and see great big fluffy snowflakes tumbling out of the sky.’
      • ‘The roads that lead you to them are essentially rubble and mud, lined with great big piles of more mud.’
      • ‘This is the place that gave me my first source of income in this great big scary city.’
      • ‘You get a great big bowl of them, plus another bowl to put the shells in, and they are cooked in this exquisite sauce.’
      • ‘Was the artist just making a great big pile of cardboard with a hidden message?’
      • ‘How it works is that music on a station's playlist is entered in to a great big database.’
      • ‘He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.’
      • ‘Sometimes a great big moon comes up out of the Pacific, reflecting silver on the sea.’
      • ‘It was green, but it wasn't a grasshopper, despite having great big elbowy legs.’
      • ‘This comes in a great handy little size and is very trendy and a very good price.’
      • ‘Marshall is not only a dedicated daddy to Hailie, he is also a great big brother to Nathan.’
      • ‘Macy's is a great big department store chain in the United States.’
      • ‘The Luxor is a great big pyramid and everything in the building is Egyptian themed.’
      • ‘I had to present Michael with a great big sabre to cut the cake - we had a real laugh with it.’
      • ‘As we were preparing to set off further up the hill, a great big bank of mist started rolling up towards us.’
      • ‘All entrants are mixed up in a great big cybertombola, and the lucky winners get tickets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can tell they want you to have an image of them riding into town on either a huge black horse, or a great big motorbike.’
      • ‘I often forget that I'm not just a great big hopeless loser who is totally alone in this.’
      • ‘I gave him a great big Yorkshire grin and looked around nervously.’
      very, extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, especially, tremendously, immensely, extraordinarily, remarkably, really, truly
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    3. 3.3 Used to express surprise, admiration, or contempt, especially in exclamations.
      ‘you great oaf!’
      • ‘‘Will you shut up, you great twit?’’
      • ‘Get your priorities right, you great oaf.’
      • ‘You have no right to order me around anymore, you great lump.’
      • ‘“You great liar, Grayson,” Heath said with a subdued laugh.’
      • ‘No one told you to move, you great lump! Stand still!’
      absolute, total, utter, out-and-out, downright, thorough, complete
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  • 4in combination (in names of family relationships) denoting one degree further removed upwards or downwards.

    ‘great-aunt’
    ‘great-great-grandfather’
    • ‘So it is quite possible that your great-great-grandfather could have been a well-paid manager for a fairground family for many years.’
    • ‘In spare yet stirring prose, she recounts the life of her great-aunt Arizona, who "was born in a log cabin her papa built. .. in the Blue Ridge Mountains."’
    • ‘I found out on Sunday that my great Uncle Wilfrid had died.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My great-grandmother's fabulous turkey stuffing recipe is revealed!’
  • 5Irish predicative (of two people) on very close or intimate terms.

    ‘one of the boys was very great with her’
    • ‘Michael was terrible great with Jack and he had a big shake-hands for the two of us.’

noun

  • 1An important or distinguished person.

    ‘the Beatles, Bob Dylan, all the greats’
    ‘the lives of the great, including Churchill and Newton’
    • ‘We need TV favourites, film heroes, sporting greats and even cartoon characters.’
    • ‘Like the literary greats of our time, history and politics ignite the imagination of this writer too.’
    • ‘I'm uplifted by good reggae, but also old music like jazz, and the greats like Nat King Cole.’
    • ‘In America she worked with the greats of jazz, people like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.’
    • ‘Already assured of his place in golfing history, his third Masters success puts him alongside some of game's greats.’
    • ‘In so doing, he revived hopes that he can be a worthy successor to Scottish greats Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan.’
    • ‘The names may be less familiar than those of the Scottish greats in whose footsteps they follow.’
    • ‘For almost its first century, junior football was where most Scottish football greats kick-started their career.’
    • ‘He began his musical career as a jazz saxophonist, and committed himself to studying the be-bop greats.’
    • ‘She has that effortless way with a song that only the greats have.’
    • ‘Most jazz greats rose to fame in the 50s, and are well into their 70s today.’
    • ‘Will they be the next generation of greats, or merely additions to forgotten celebrities of yesteryear?’
    • ‘The respect given to me by every cricketer I've come across, some of them the real greats, means more to me than anything else.’
    • ‘Still the legacy of the greats of the West Indian game weighs heavy.’
    • ‘We talk to Jimmy Magee about the footballing greats, his commentating heroes, and those pigeons of peace’
    • ‘Taking his cue from these greats he developed to become perhaps the busiest pianist on the London jazz scene for the past 40 years.’
    • ‘But take a closer look and what you find is a fascinating contest between a shooting star and one of the game's fading greats.’
    • ‘Like any boxer, even the greats like Ali, Frazier, Sugar Ray and Joe Louis, he has been physically battered in the ring.’
    • ‘What followed, however, was a spell of fast bowling of such fury and direction that it resembled some of the former West Indian greats.’
    • ‘She has never envied the success of country music's greats.’
    celebrity, famous person, very important person, personality, name, big name, famous name, household name, star, superstar, celebutante, leading light, mogul, giant, great, master, king, guru
    View synonyms
  • 2

    another term for Literae Humaniores
    • ‘He went on to graduate from Oxford in 1907 with a degree in the “greats”, Literae Humaniores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Oxford Greats degree is one of those many British institutions which need to be understood in historical rather than logical terms.’

adverb

informal
  • Very well; excellently.

    ‘we played awful, they played great’
    • ‘We got along great and there was a hint of attraction.’
    • ‘They played great in all their matches.’
    • ‘I think he did great in this, it's a big film to walk into.’
    • ‘There were a few mess ups, which was to be expected, but overall she did great.’
    • ‘We got along great when we were dating, living together, and even MUCH better once we got married.’

Phrases

  • the great and the good

    • ironic Distinguished and worthy people collectively.

      ‘an impressive gathering of the great and the good’
      • ‘Some argue that it is a healthily egalitarian culture where almost anybody can have their 15 minutes of fame, rather than it being monopolised by the great and the good.’
      • ‘Moving among the great and the good, he became a government adviser, and invited Louis Pasteur, the foremost scientist of his day, to stay with him.’
      • ‘She is truly one of the distinguished band of the great and the good who is consulted on the issues of the day.’
      • ‘But in these modest surroundings, business was done with royalty and dukes, the great and the good.’
      • ‘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’?’
      • ‘All that, you may feel, amounts to a standard ‘establishment’ event, an arcane ritual of the great and the good.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the 1950s, the great and the good - the people who really knew what was in the best interests of the lower orders - decided to bulldoze the slums and decant people into tower blocks.’
      • ‘It was here that the Scottish steel baron, who made his fortune in America before turning philanthropist to the poor, threw his famed house parties for the great and the good.’
      • ‘The idea, nevertheless, refuses to go away, as though there is a secret conspiracy among the great and the good utterly to misunderstand the reasons why international sport is played in the first place.’
  • great and small

    • Of all sizes, classes, or types.

      ‘all creatures great and small’
      • ‘All creatures, great and small, were out in force as local farmers put their animals on display and the competition was intense as the cattle and livestock judging competitions got underway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The result is a continuous stream of reliably professional performances of choral works great and small, led by some of the area's most talented conductors.’
      • ‘How do you run a world where every nation, great and small, conforms to the latest definition of democracy, when equality between nations and between their citizens is simply not a realistic part of the equation?’
      • ‘I'm very much a nature person, aware of life all around me and appreciative of creatures and plants, great and small.’
      • ‘There's an air of suspicion and distrust about that permeates all walks and all levels of life, great and small.’
      • ‘His dream is to travel the world and take photos of insects, spiders and all bugs great and small.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It deals with all kinds of matters, great and small.’
      • ‘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.’
  • a great one for

    • A habitual doer of; an enthusiast for.

      ‘my father was a great one for buying gadgets’
      • ‘She was a great one for reaching out and helping people.’
      • ‘He was a great one for talking to people and a very amusing character.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Annie is a great one for sending her best wishes to others in the community.’
      • ‘He was known as Louis the debonair and he was apparently a great one for the girls and also a great one for the cameras.’
      • ‘In truth, I'm not a great one for beauty contests at the best of times.’
      • ‘I've never been a great one for ballet, and classical ballet, in particular, has pretty much passed me by.’
      • ‘He said: ‘This year has been a great one for drug enforcement, but not so good for drug dealers.’’
      • ‘I'm not a great one for looking too far ahead and there has been no talk about my future as far as I'm aware.’
  • Great Scott!

    • dated Expressing surprise or amazement.

      ‘Great Scott! You scored two hundred and seventy-three!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Great Scott, he's done it again!’
      • ‘Great Scott...I have so many friends that would benefit from this.’
      • ‘‘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.’
  • to a great extent

    • In a substantial way; largely.

      ‘we are all to a great extent the product of our culture’
      • ‘According to him, this applies to a great extent to the German market, which is extremely volatile at the moment.’
      • ‘The lack of aid in the northeast bothered me to a great extent.’
      • ‘It probably looked odd then, but it has worked to a great extent.’
      • ‘This loosened the existing caste rigidities to a great extent.’
      • ‘There are other covers also available however, the needs of say a poultry farmer differ to a great extent from those of a dairy farmer.’

Origin

Old English grēat ‘big’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch groot and German gross.

Pronunciation

great

/ɡreɪt/