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Related to giant: red giant
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a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants

A person whose insights, discoveries, or knowledge in general is not due to ingenuity on his or her own part, but rather due to the discoveries or previous work of great minds that have come before. Though this is indeed an exciting discovery toward curing cancer, I am but a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants.
See also: giant, of, shoulder, standing

stand on the shoulders of giants

To make discoveries, insights, or progress due to the discoveries or previous work of great minds that have come before. Though this is indeed an exciting discovery toward curing cancer, we have stood on the shoulders of giants to reach this point today.
See also: giant, of, shoulder, stand

sleeping giant

a great power that is still and waiting. The huge country to the south is a sleeping giant, waiting for its chance to become sufficiently industrialized to have real prosperity. The U.S. was a sleeping giant at the outbreak of both world wars.
See also: giant, sleep

a gentle giant

a man who is very tall and strong, but has a very quiet, gentle character that does not match his appearance As placid and amiable as he was tall, he became known as the gentle giant of the squad.
See also: gentle, giant

mental giant

n. a genius. I’m no mental giant, but I do know trouble when I see it.
See also: giant, mental
References in classic literature ?
Talus, the brazen giant, on his never-ceasing sentinel's march, happened to be approaching that part of the coast; and they saw him, by the glimmering of the moonbeams on his polished surface, while he was yet a great way off.
That task being accomplished, you are to put on his sandals, in order to follow in your father's footsteps, and to gird on his sword, so that you may fight giants and dragons, as King Aegeus did in his youth.
The giant said: 'If you are such a valiant fellow, come with me into our cavern and spend the night with us.
For a long time the giant felt nothing, but at last he awoke, pushed his comrade, and said: 'Why are you knocking me?
All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.
The giant slept the eternal sleep, in the sepulcher which God had built about him to his measure.
Allow me to apologize for the Giant," said the Scarecrow, raising the Patchwork Girl to her feet and dusting her skirt with his stuffed hands.
The wind had risen to the proportions of a gale so that even the greatest giants of the forest swayed, groaning, to its force and the branch upon which the two faced each other rose and fell like the deck of a storm-tossed ship.
and ran, weak and reeling drunkenly, along the broad trail made by the giant creature and its prey.
That night he slept far inland from his cabin, securely wedged into the crotch of a giant tree, swaying a hundred feet above the ground.
As the Giant struck at him, the Knight leapt aside and the blow fell harmless.
Meantime the giant continued to raise his iron mallet high in the air and to strike the path terrific blows that echoed through the mountains like the roar of a cannon.
Throwing the rope over the high limb of a giant oak tree, they pulled till the poor Marionette hung far up in space.
One of these was the proprietor of a giant, and a little lady without legs or arms, who had jogged forward in a van; the other, a silent gentleman who earned his living by showing tricks upon the cards, and who had rather deranged the natural expression of his countenance by putting small leaden lozenges into his eyes and bringing them out at his mouth, which was one of his professional accomplishments.
But that which passeth all the rest is: They do recount that the Earth, mother of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, thereupon in an anger brought forth Fame.