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’
    • ‘The violins, viola and cello were played with great vigour, intensity and lyrical beauty.’
    • ‘He had an intensely inquisitive mind and a great interest in the natural sciences.’
    • ‘I also think that going through the process of applying will itself do York a great amount of good.’
    • ‘At the early meetings there was great interest and enthusiasm, but that dwindled.’
    • ‘She was a kindly and Christian lady, who also did a great amount of knitting for charity.’
    • ‘The children generally have a hunger to learn and are bright students with great potential.’
    • ‘It may be of great interest to hear something about the role of the Parish Council in this conflict.’
    • ‘We got a really great response with amount of entries last year as well as the turnout of people on the night.’
    • ‘It makes little sense that they would have loaded a great amount of treasure on an unescorted ship.’
    • ‘Her work forces the viewer to think, and above all to feel, with great intensity.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that the West Coast has an immense amount of great scenery and things to do.’
    • ‘The organic industry is fairly new in Australia and has great potential for expansion.’
    • ‘Knowing that in purely physical terms we can mix it with the best has given us a great amount of confidence and composure.’
    • ‘It calls for a great amount of maturity to understand how much one can handle.’
    • ‘He's a young lad with a good physique and a great amount of potential.’
    • ‘Despite a great amount of controversy at the time and efforts to keep them open, two of the town's schools closed.’
    • ‘Father Jones who hosted the event in is house thanks all those who helped in any way to raise such a great amount.’
    • ‘A great amount of money has been spent on it, and the money is all up there on the screen.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘It is somewhat ironic that the last great monument of the house of Wessex was mainly a product of Norman culture.’
      • ‘Australians have fought in all the big wars, as part of either a great empire or a grand alliance.’
      • ‘Some of the boys await the bride and groom to leave the house and a great bell is rung to rouse the neighbourhood.’
      • ‘The Queen Mother and King George also modernised Birkhall's great house and built a new wing.’
      • ‘In a truly great grand final between two worthy participants, the best team won.’
      • ‘Leara walked faster through the great house and almost broke in to a run in the garden until she came to the clearing.’
      • ‘Rows of teeth exposed between the great jaws that turned the oceans into a sea of blood.’
      • ‘The bride's father, it emerged, had been in service as a groom and chauffeur at great houses in the Borders.’
      • ‘However, the book inhabits the surface of the great ocean of Russia more than the depths.’
      • ‘It is not yet know if any spend winter south of the Sahara in some years and north of the great desert in others.’
      • ‘Today, more than ever, the government lacks any grand visions and great causes.’
      • ‘It is a great house but it was designed for the lifestyle of over 100 years ago.’
      • ‘The Army had requisitioned our local great house and his regiment was stationed in it.’
      • ‘The great house was surrounded by numerous and variously shaped out-buildings.’
      • ‘Grazing animals spread into the great grasslands of North America, Africa, and Asia.’
      • ‘Jeannie ends up as a servant in a great house, where various things befall her.’
      • ‘Most of the world's oxygen is produced by the planctum in the great oceans.’
      • ‘We congratulate him and thank him for his great contribution to the grand old club.’
      • ‘Greenshank spend the summer in wild country, haunting the great flows of Sutherland.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.’
      • ‘There are two species of dogfish in Guernsey waters, the Lesser Spotted and the Greater Spotted of Bull Huss.’
      • ‘When searching for food a great spotted woodpecker usually alights on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side.’
    3. 1.3attributive, in place names Denoting the larger or largest part of a place.
      ‘Great Malvern’
      • ‘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 Roman town of Great Chesterford lies on the northern boundary of Essex, almost all of it hidden beneath a ploughed field.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And the lovely town of Great Malvern itself provides a step back in time to a more genteel era.’
    4. 1.4attributive (of a city) including adjacent urban areas.
      ‘Greater Manchester’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average.

    ‘the great Italian conductor’
    ‘great art has the power to change lives’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The winners had shown a great ability to be creative and inventive with their display table.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I rather feel like looking at great art, and I am certainly in the right place to do that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The event is just dreadful and yet the way it's recorded is great art and it leads us into a kind of paradox.’
    • ‘They report to him of her beauty and great qualities, and he sends her a proposal of marriage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But great works of art and architecture transcend the motives of their founders.’
    • ‘He then threw his great energy and ability into the co-operative movement.’
    • ‘Officials say the project will give visitors a chance to view it in isolation both as a religious work and great art.’
    • ‘Westlake, for you youngsters, is a crime novelist of long standing and great eminence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘It was a royal city from 893 to 972 and the reign of Tsar Simeon the Great was the heyday of its glory.’
      • ‘Peter the Great was the Russian czar who transformed Russia from an isolated agricultural society into an Empire on a par with European powers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He seemed to be bred for the Navy, like his great Ancestor Piotr the Great.’
      • ‘It was on May 5th in the year of 1950 that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great was crowned.’
    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’
      • ‘He is a great guy to have meetings with since he usually suggests having them in one of the campus cafes.’
      • ‘He has a great voice, really excellent, and he's captured the attention of many a busy pub with his singing.’
      • ‘The hosts got off to a great start with a goal in the ninth minute.’
      • ‘I can promise an evening of excellent food, fabulous entertainment and great guests.’
      • ‘It will be a great night and an excellent venue for promoting Air Force ideals and heritage.’
      • ‘Kevin is a great guy but I'll think twice about inviting him to one of my parties.’
      • ‘It was a great goal but I felt we should have cleared our lines before that.’
      • ‘The staff always go out of their way for me, too, and the guys who own it are great blokes.’
      • ‘It is always great to help an excellent cause at the same time as enjoying an event, and this was to be no exception.’
      • ‘Right now, she had a date with a great guy and she wasn't going to let her parents ruin it.’
      • ‘Nick is a great guy and his project will have a lasting benefit to the business.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I would probably describe him as a scorer of great goals rather than a great goal scorer.’
      • ‘You're going to meet a great guy or girl, but still keep in touch with all of your friends.’
      • ‘I've been lucky to work with three great players who are all great blokes.’
      • ‘This is slightly harder to do, but with practice it makes an excellent show-stopper and a great way to win a pig.’
      • ‘Yes of course it was a bad miss but what about the two great goals that he did score?’
      • ‘I never knew his Dad, but if he was anything like his son I'm sure he was a truly great guy.’
      • ‘Not only is he a great guy; he has never been slow to tell everyone how much I help him.’
      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’
      • ‘He's great at covering that left side and doesn't mind being one for one against people.’
      • ‘He was great at going forward but not so useful in making it back to his berth.’
      • ‘He's great at grills, barbecues and salads, but it's a shame he makes so much mess.’
      • ‘He is so great at what he does because he gets to know his clients on a very personal level.’
      • ‘Trying to patient with him when he was like this was never something she was great at.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We believe we are great at feeling what is wrong or what we would like to work better and then fixing it.’
      • ‘She wasn't great at dancing her waltz, but the judges were very kind to her.’
      • ‘I want to know what it and the consultants have got against Kevin when he is great at his job.’
      • ‘I'm not great at going to get haircuts, and so have no formal hairdresser to call my own.’
      • ‘Friends says she is great at playing with her son, rolling on the floor with him and making him roar with laughter.’
      • ‘I'm terribly proud of her and I think she's great at her job, and being a mother.’
      • ‘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.’
      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
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  • 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’
    • ‘Your sense of humor might be a bit off, but you're a great friend and can always be counted on.’
    • ‘He was a man of great humour, wit and a great conversationalist and friend to all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moira was a great neighbour to a friend in distress, an angel to all in their journey through life.’
    • ‘Another friend showed his great sense of humor in dealing with the obvious statements.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As someone born in 1948 who has always been looked after by the NHS, I am a great fan of it.’
    • ‘Tears of joy were flowing as three great army friends were reunited after more than 50 years apart.’
    • ‘It was a very emotional day for him he said as Kieran was a great friend of his.’
    • ‘I'm a great fan of cryptic crosswords, even though they are tantalisingly difficult.’
    • ‘He was a great neighbour and friend to many and he will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.’
    • ‘Both are great fans of The Smiths, who are widely regarded as the most important band of the 1980s.’
    • ‘In the event, the two became great friends and the status quo was maintained.’
    • ‘This kind of behavior is not acceptable and I can't say that I have ever been a great fan of the supermodel.’
    • ‘They have remained great friends and there is no animosity between them.’
    • ‘You may have gathered that I'm a great fan of exfoliation to keep skin looking youthful and fresh.’
    • ‘He was a great fan of American football, and rarely missed the Super Bowl.’
    • ‘As a great fan of porridge, I was looking forward to judging the offerings.’
    • ‘He had been a great follower/fan and friend for quiet a long time and it turned out to be the right decision.’
    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’
      • ‘Though these kinds of equality are of great importance, they are not my subject.’
      • ‘He attached great importance to his university lectures and he lectured almost entirely about his own work.’
      • ‘Results also matter more the further you progress and they are of great importance when you make the first team.’
      • ‘The preservation of our natural and historic heritage is of very great importance to us as a nation.’
      • ‘Evidence is a generic notion of great importance to many practices and enquiries.’
      • ‘Having said all that I must add that the English language has been of great importance in my life.’
      • ‘European agriculture is of great importance, and we must not overlook farmers and their families.’
      • ‘However on further reflection I realised that this is a news story of great importance.’
      • ‘The air of studied banality persists even during moments of great importance.’
      • ‘The room was next to the kitchen and was a place of great importance.’
      • ‘Meditation is of great importance and is central to the practice of the Eightfold Path.’
      • ‘They attach great importance, however, to a decision being reached at an early date.’
      • ‘Winning the support of the unions was of great importance to the anti-war movement.’
      • ‘He attached great significance to prime numbers, like seventeen, seven and one.’
      • ‘For many it was not a glamorous life but the work they did was of great importance.’
      • ‘The police should give great importance to this issue as they do in the case of drunken drivers.’
      • ‘The Judge said that it was of very great importance that the Appellant had pleaded guilty.’
      • ‘Development experts talk of the great importance of education in the poor countries.’
      • ‘The dental care of the elderly, the sick and the debilitated is a matter of great importance.’
      • ‘Subsequently, the end result is not of great importance to me either way.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Luxor is a great big pyramid and everything in the building is Egyptian themed.’
      • ‘This is the place that gave me my first source of income in this great big scary city.’
      • ‘Marshall is not only a dedicated daddy to Hailie, he is also a great big brother to Nathan.’
      • ‘This comes in a great handy little size and is very trendy and a very good price.’
      • ‘I gave him a great big Yorkshire grin and looked around nervously.’
      • ‘How it works is that music on a station's playlist is entered in to a great big database.’
      • ‘I had to present Michael with a great big sabre to cut the cake - we had a real laugh with it.’
      • ‘All entrants are mixed up in a great big cybertombola, and the lucky winners get tickets.’
      • ‘You get a great big bowl of them, plus another bowl to put the shells in, and they are cooked in this exquisite sauce.’
      • ‘He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.’
      • ‘Was the artist just making a great big pile of cardboard with a hidden message?’
      • ‘I turn, look out of the window, and see great big fluffy snowflakes tumbling out of the sky.’
      • ‘Macy's is a great big department store chain in the United States.’
      • ‘The roads that lead you to them are essentially rubble and mud, lined with great big piles of more mud.’
      • ‘It was green, but it wasn't a grasshopper, despite having great big elbowy legs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As we were preparing to set off further up the hill, a great big bank of mist started rolling up towards us.’
      • ‘Sometimes a great big moon comes up out of the Pacific, reflecting silver on the sea.’
      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!’
      • ‘You have no right to order me around anymore, you great lump.’
      • ‘No one told you to move, you great lump! Stand still!’
      • ‘“You great liar, Grayson,” Heath said with a subdued laugh.’
      • ‘Get your priorities right, you great oaf.’
      • ‘‘Will you shut up, you great twit?’’
      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’
    • ‘My great-grandmother's fabulous turkey stuffing recipe is revealed!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So it is quite possible that your great-great-grandfather could have been a well-paid manager for a fairground family for many years.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She has that effortless way with a song that only the greats have.’
    • ‘For almost its first century, junior football was where most Scottish football greats kick-started their career.’
    • ‘What followed, however, was a spell of fast bowling of such fury and direction that it resembled some of the former West Indian greats.’
    • ‘In America she worked with the greats of jazz, people like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.’
    • ‘Taking his cue from these greats he developed to become perhaps the busiest pianist on the London jazz scene for the past 40 years.’
    • ‘Like the literary greats of our time, history and politics ignite the imagination of this writer too.’
    • ‘The names may be less familiar than those of the Scottish greats in whose footsteps they follow.’
    • ‘We talk to Jimmy Magee about the footballing greats, his commentating heroes, and those pigeons of peace’
    • ‘He began his musical career as a jazz saxophonist, and committed himself to studying the be-bop greats.’
    • ‘Most jazz greats rose to fame in the 50s, and are well into their 70s today.’
    • ‘Already assured of his place in golfing history, his third Masters success puts him alongside some of game's greats.’
    • ‘She has never envied the success of country music's greats.’
    • ‘We need TV favourites, film heroes, sporting greats and even cartoon characters.’
    • ‘In so doing, he revived hopes that he can be a worthy successor to Scottish greats Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan.’
    • ‘I'm uplifted by good reggae, but also old music like jazz, and the greats like Nat King Cole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Will they be the next generation of greats, or merely additions to forgotten celebrities of yesteryear?’
    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
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  • 2

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

adverb

informal
  • Very well; excellently.

    ‘we played awful, they played great’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We got along great and there was a hint of attraction.’
    • ‘I think he did great in this, it's a big film to walk into.’
    • ‘They played great in all their matches.’

Phrases

  • the great and the good

    • ironic Distinguished and worthy people collectively.

      ‘an impressive gathering 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.’
      • ‘But in these modest surroundings, business was done with royalty and dukes, 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.’
      • ‘All that, you may feel, amounts to a standard ‘establishment’ event, an arcane ritual of 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’?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She is truly one of the distinguished band of the great and the good who is consulted on the issues of the day.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • great and small

    • Of all sizes, classes, or types.

      ‘all creatures 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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His dream is to travel the world and take photos of insects, spiders and all bugs great and small.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It deals with all kinds of matters, great and small.’
  • a great one for

    • A habitual doer of; an enthusiast for.

      ‘my father was a great one for buying gadgets’
      • ‘In truth, I'm not a great one for beauty contests at the best of times.’
      • ‘She was a great one for reaching out and helping people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was a great one for talking to people and a very amusing character.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Annie is a great one for sending her best wishes to others in the community.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
  • Great Scott!

    • dated Expressing surprise or amazement.

      ‘Great Scott! You scored two hundred and seventy-three!’
      • ‘‘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, 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.’
  • to a great extent

    • In a substantial way; largely.

      ‘we are all to a great extent the product of our culture’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘According to him, this applies to a great extent to the German market, which is extremely volatile at the moment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This loosened the existing caste rigidities to a great extent.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

great

/ɡreɪt/