Definition of big top in US English:

big top


  • The main tent in a circus.

    • ‘He became involved and the first Circus Of Horrors in a big top was held at Glastonbury in 1995.’
    • ‘He may be busy signing up circuits all over the world and encouraging new teams to enter the sport, but it would count for little if the main acts quit his big top for a rival circus.’
    • ‘Under a scruffy big top, sheltering a rag-tag circus that limps from one South American city to another, the main attraction is a giant called Nicolay - billed as the tallest man in the world.’
    • ‘There will also be a big top circus, giant fun fair, American wrestling, classic cars and a beach area complete with sand, donkeys, deck chairs and swing boats.’
    • ‘He then built a big top and circus wagons, which were all painted their trademark ‘Giffords red’.’
    • ‘Forty workers have been busy at Gloucester Park in Basildon setting up two stages, 18 marquees, a big top, a bouncy castle village and have also erected a festival village with 40 to 50 stalls.’
    • ‘With the Chinese State Circus setting up its big top on Blackheath, reporter Michelle Frame decided it was time to stop clowning around in the office and paid the world-famous troupe a visit…’
    • ‘The circus will relocate their big top to the Pattaya Park where the new season starts on December 15.’
    • ‘Sure, a few people run away to join the circus, but most return to everyday life when the big top leaves town…’
    • ‘The curtain rises earlier than normal with edge of your seat entertainment courtesy of Swamp Circus in a festival big top on the Glebe, Bowness, from Thursday, August 21 until Monday, August 25.’
    • ‘The show will include a music stage, a big top circus, giant fun fair, classic cars, a falconry tent and an open air market.’
    • ‘He worked at the circus as a rigger, putting up the big top.’
    • ‘Those shows will include the May 2004 production of Annie Get Your Gun, in a North Eastern amateur premiere based on the new Broadway version, which sets Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in a big top tent.’
    • ‘A mother told this week how she grabbed her four-year-old daughter and quickly ran from the Daredevil Circus as the gigantic big top threatened to fall.’
    • ‘It was over 6 months since Shirley first left the safe life of a suburban housewife for the exciting allure of the big top circus.’
    • ‘Fittingly, on the final day, Mekkaleri Kumaran, the veteran circus artist who had enthralled millions of people under the big top, on the trapeze and on the multiple bar in his heyday, was honoured.’
    • ‘The pioneer of so-called contemporary circus, Cirque du Soleil soars beyond the old-fashioned big top.’
    • ‘However, he raised concerns about the slope of the park, car parking and whether the land would provide enough space for the big top and its accompanying vehicles and tents.’
    • ‘The Muttiah Muralitharan circus has a ringmaster, enough clowns to fill a big top and a disbelieving audience gaping at each extraordinary swing from low point to low point.’
    • ‘Diego, who blasts himself out a cannon, is one the exciting acts at the Cottle and Austen Circus which has set up its big top in Queens Park, Bolton.’


big top

/ˌbɪɡ ˈtɑp//ˌbiɡ ˈtäp/