big brother

(redirected from a big brother)

big brother

1. One's older brother. My big brother said he would help us move the couch. Andrew is Julie's big brother.
2. A shorthand reference to oppressive rule that was popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this usage, the phrase is usually capitalized. You have to be careful what you write in an email these days. Big Brother is watching you, after all.
See also: big, brother

Big brother

the state perceived as a sinister force supervising citizens' lives.
Big brother comes from the slogan Big Brother is watching you in George Orwell's novel 1984.
See also: big, brother

ˌBig ˈBrother (is watching you)

a leader, a person in authority or a government that tries to control every aspect of people’s lives: We live in a society where all kinds of information about the individual may be stored on computer. Big Brother, if not actually watching you, can quickly check on you if he wants to.This comes from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, in which the leader of the government, Big Brother, had total control over people. The slogan ‘Big Brother is watching you’ reminded people that he knew everything they did.
See also: big, brother

big brother

1. n. a personification of the totalitarian state. (From George Orwell’s 1984.) Big brother has changed the tax laws again.
2. n. someone who personifies the totalitarian state: the police, parents, teachers. Big brother says the paper is due tomorrow, or else.
See also: big, brother
References in periodicals archive ?
Weir added: "I look at Dan as a big brother figure.
Gerscovich's friend, Philip Elins, 39, who has been a Big Brother to Jake, 9, for two years, said that he chose to volunteer in the program to make a difference in a young boy's life.
Bill was a little brother in the 1960s and through 40 years of involvement has been a Big Brother five times and currently serves on the board.
Richard Gilbert, a Big Brother to Simon, 13, for 4 1/2 years, said that the experience has allowed him to grow as well as Simon, who came from Russia five years ago not able to speak English.
Manny Wise, a Big Brother for three years, said that he was at a stage in his life where he wanted to give back to somebody.
I had my scrapes and so on, and people tried to create this big ol' macho (image) of Penitentiary Face, a big brother from some ghetto in Philadelphia .