Definition of Big Brother in US English:

Big Brother


  • A person or organization exercising total control over people's lives.

    • ‘This dystopian world is controlled by a mythical supreme ruler, called Big Brother.’
    • ‘We can help erode the power of these Big Brothers by highlighting some home truths.’
    • ‘A firm has been keeping a close eye on its workers with a Big Brother style charity event.’
    • ‘There is a danger of a Big Brother type society but to be honest I think we already have that and we just have to live with it.’
    • ‘They have been seen as fascist Big Brothers by twentieth century thinkers worried about totalitarian states.’
    • ‘Until September 17 of last year, the Canadian government didn't have any Big Brothers on their payroll and we all lived together in blessed harmony within the wonderful realm of free speech.’
    • ‘Such is the level of mafia infiltration in society and so dangerous are terrorist attacks everywhere that we are tolerant of these Big Brothers watching their errant siblings.’
    • ‘There is much speculation about what it is that the Big Brothers from Brussels will say, good and bad, about Bulgaria.’
    autocrat, monocrat, absolute ruler
    View synonyms


1950s: from the name of the head of state in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).


Big Brother

/ˈˌbiɡ ˈbrəT͟Hər//ˈˌbɪɡ ˈbrəðər/