AskDefine | Define greatness

Dictionary Definition



1 the property possessed by something or someone of outstanding importance
2 unusual largeness in size or extent [syn: enormousness, grandness, immenseness, immensity, sizeableness, vastness]

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. The state, condition, or quality of being great; as, greatness of size, greatness of mind, power, etc.
    Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. — Shakespeare
    The Mas Scholar Class of 2010 is what defines greatness — Anonymous
  2. : Pride; haughtiness.
    It is not of pride or greatness that he cometh not aboard your ships. — Bacon.


The state, condition, or quality of being great; as, greatness of size, greatness of mind, power, etc
  • Kurdish:
Pride; haughtiness

Extensive Definition

Greatness or preeminence is a concept that is heavily dependent on a person's perspective and biases. The term can be used to emphasize perceived superiority of a person or thing. In Europe the most lauded rulers were given the attribute "the Great" (e.g. Alfred the Great, Peter the Great), or during the Roman Era and Middle Ages, the Latin title for "the Great" (Magnus) was used (e.g. Albertus Magnus).
The greatest art and literary works have entered the English language as: magnus opus, literally meaning "great work" in Latin.

Lists of great things

Lists may be assembled of great people, things, and places, but they are by their very nature subjective. Such lists may be formulated by panels of experts, by polls, or by an individual. Such lists are never definitive since they are subject to the opinion of the assembler.
Some examples are:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accomplishment, ampleness, amplitude, area, ascendancy, authority, bigheartedness, bigness, body, breadth, broadness, brooding, bulk, caliber, capaciousness, chivalrousness, chivalry, comprehensiveness, consequence, conspicuousness, copiousness, coverage, covering, deanship, depth, diameter, dignity, dimension, dimensions, distinction, elevation, eminence, errantry, esteem, exaltation, excellence, expanse, expansion, expansiveness, extension, extensiveness, extent, fame, favor, gauge, generosity, generousness, gestation, girth, glory, grandeur, grandiosity, grandness, gravidity, gravidness, great heart, greatheartedness, greatness of heart, heaviness, height, heroism, high mightiness, high-mindedness, honor, idealism, importance, incomparability, incubation, influence, influentialness, inimitability, knight-errantry, knightliness, largeheartedness, largeness, lead, length, liberality, liberalness, loftiness, magnanimity, magnanimousness, magnitude, majority, mark, mass, measure, measurement, memorability, moment, nobility, noble-mindedness, nobleness, notability, note, noteworthiness, one-upmanship, openhandedness, outstandingness, precedence, predominance, predomination, preeminence, pregnancy, preponderance, prepotence, prepotency, prerogative, pressure, prestige, princeliness, priority, privilege, profundity, prominence, proportion, proportions, radius, range, rank, reach, remarkableness, renown, reputation, repute, right-of-way, salience, scale, scope, seniority, significance, sitting, size, skill, spaciousness, spread, stature, sublimity, success, supereminence, superiority, tallness, the family way, transcendence, transcendency, virtuosity, volume, weight, weightiness, wideness, width
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