Great a. [Compar. Greater superl. Greatest.]
1. Large in space; of much size; big; immense; enormous; expanded; -- opposed to small and little; as, a great house, ship, farm, plain, distance, length.
2. Large in number; numerous; as, a great company, multitude, series, etc.
3. Long continued; lengthened in duration; prolonged in time; as, a great while; a great interval.
4. Superior; admirable; commanding; -- applied to thoughts, actions, and feelings.
5. Endowed with extraordinary powers; uncommonly gifted; able to accomplish vast results; strong; powerful; mighty; noble; as, a great hero, scholar, genius, philosopher, etc.
6. Holding a chief position; elevated: lofty: eminent; distinguished; foremost; principal; as, great men; the great seal; the great marshal, etc.
He doth object I am too great of birth. --Shak.
7. Entitled to earnest consideration; weighty; important; as, a great argument, truth, or principle.
8. Pregnant; big (with young).
The ewes great with young. --Ps. lxxviii. 71.
9. More than ordinary in degree; very considerable in degree; as, to use great caution; to be in great pain.
We have all
Great cause to give great thanks. --Shak.
10. Genealogy Older, younger, or more remote, by single generation; -- often used before grand to indicate one degree more remote in the direct line of descent; as, great-grandfather (a grandfather's or a grandmother's father), great-grandson, etc.
Great bear (Astron.), the constellation Ursa Major.
Great cattle (Law), all manner of cattle except sheep and yearlings. --Wharton.
Great charter Eng. Hist., Magna Charta.
Great circle of a sphere, a circle the plane of which passes through the center of the sphere.
Great circle sailing, the process or art of conducting a ship on a great circle of the globe or on the shortest arc between two places.
Great go, the final examination for a degree at the University of Oxford, England; -- called also greats. --T. Hughes.
Great guns. Naut. See under Gun.
The Great Lakes the large fresh-water lakes (Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) which lie on the northern borders of the United States.
Great master. Same as Grand master, under Grand.
Great organ Mus., the largest and loudest of the three parts of a grand organ (the others being the choir organ and the swell, and sometimes the pedal organ or foot keys), It is played upon by a separate keyboard, which has the middle position.
The great powers (of Europe), in modern diplomacy, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy.
Great primer. See under Type.
Great scale (Mus.), the complete scale; -- employed to designate the entire series of musical sounds from lowest to highest.
Great sea, the Mediterranean sea. In Chaucer both the Black and the Mediterranean seas are so called.
Great seal. (a) The principal seal of a kingdom or state. (b) In Great Britain, the lord chancellor (who is custodian of this seal); also, his office.
Great tithes. See under Tithes.
The great, the eminent, distinguished, or powerful.
The Great Spirit, among the North American Indians, their chief or principal deity.
To be great (with one), to be intimate or familiar (with him). --Bacon.
adj 1: not to be surpassed; "his top effort" [syn: top]
2: greatest in size of those under consideration [syn: biggest,
3: greatest in importance or degree or significance or
achievement; "our greatest statesmen"; "the country's
leading poet"; "a preeminent archeologist" [syn: leading(a),
4: highest in quality [syn: sterling(a), superlative]