the Big Three/Four/Five/etc.

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the Big Three/Four/Five/etc.

A group of three, four, five, etc., people or things that are the most prominent, dominant, or established in an area, field, or discipline. These men came to be known as the Big Six of the civil rights movement, all of whom were instrumental in organizing the famous March on Washington in 1963. It's an open secret that members of the so-called Big Three corporate lobbies have the biggest impact on the crafting of trade legislation in the country.
See also: big, five, four, three

the big Three, Four, etc.

the dominant group of three, four, etc. informal
1998 Sunday Telegraph The notion that someone outside the so-called ‘Big Four’—the ministerial group which meets before Cabinet —might be given such status is uplifting.
See also: big
References in classic literature ?
"The Big Four paints its stations a nasty orange color.
My brother was a railroad painter and had a job on the Big Four. You know that road runs through Ohio here.
The rise in audit fees is a sensitive issue for the Big Four. Two of the firms, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, declined requests to be interviewed for this article.
Naturally, this is a small sample of the total audits the Big Four performed.
The Big Four have been lobbying hard for the repeal of section 310 of the Companies Act 1985, which prevents an auditor from contracting with a client to cap liability.
The glut of primetime reality shows on the Big Four broadcast network actually contributed to a Nielsen falloff in viewers during the warm-weather months, says a report by Jack Wakshlag, the exec who oversees research for the Turner cable nets.
While the Big Four companies use more robusta than they used to, that increase is far outweighed by the vast expansion of worldwide robusta cultivation, which has flooded the market, driving prices to record lows.
Speaking at April's National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Barry Diller, the former poobah who oversaw Universal Studios TV production unit, solemnly intoned that, "The big four networks have in fact reconstituted themselves into the oligopoly that the FCC originally set out to curb, in the 1960s." Never mind that "the big three" networks became "the big four" under the very "deregulation" Diller assailed.
The Big Four - Tesco, Asda, Safeway and Sainsbury's - control nearly half the retail grocery market, which is worth pounds 87billion a year.
Despite all this, the Big Four networks are determined to rake in more profits.
"I believe the mergers may cause some of the smaller companies to leave the Big Four and thus give us and similar firms a chance to bring them in as clients," said Lawrence M.
He also said as much as the leaders are supporting the Big Four agenda, the common mwananchi should be given priority.
SEVERAL of the Big Four accountancy firms could attempt to force a judicial review of the competition regulator's proposals to shake up the sector.
class="MsoNormalThe delegates further resolved that MoDA and the National Government Development Coordination Committee develop a policy and institutional framework to facilitate coordination between both levels of government in order to execute the Big Four Agenda.
The Big Four were accused by MPs earlier this year of prioritising their own profits after pocketing around PS71.6m in Carillionrelated work since 2008, including on its pension schemes, while failing to spot its precarious financial position.