Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
An area, echelon, or sphere of great competition, success, power, achievement, etc. Refers to major (i.e., "big") leagues of sports teams. I know you're new here, but you need to perform much better than that. You're in the big leagues now. Welcome to the big leagues, senator.
Describing or indicative of the highest level of something. That's a tough injury to come back from—I wonder if he'll ever be a big-league pitcher again.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
An area of tough competition and high rewards; the largest or foremost of its kind. For example, Winning an Oscar put this unknown actress in the big league. The term alludes to the major (big) leagues of American baseball. [Late 1800s] Also see big time, def. 2.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. a situation where competition is keen and a high level of performance is expected. (Usually plural. Referred originally to major league sports.) You’re in the big leagues now—no more penny-ante stuff.
2. and big-league mod. professional; big time. (From baseball.) When I’m a big-league star, I’ll send you free tickets.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
- big leagues
- major league(s)
- play in the big leagues
- a bad apple spoils the (whole) barrel
- a rotten apple spoils the (whole) barrel
- a rotten apple spoils the (whole) bunch
- a rotten apple spoils the (whole) bushel
- it takes one bad apple to spoil the (whole) barrel
- it takes one bad apple to spoil the (whole) bunch