big brother

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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