big time, the
1. adverb A lot; in a significant manner. You owe me big time for driving you to the airport at 4 AM! We're going to need to catch up big time if we want a chance to win.
2. noun A status or situation involving a lot of fame or success. Exclusively preceded by "the." Though she'd been acting for years, it was after her role in last summer's blockbuster that she finally hit the big time.
3. adjective Prominent or significant. Usually hyphenated. Though she'd been acting for years, it was her role in last summer's blockbuster that turned her into a big-time star.
1. An enjoyable or exciting time, as in The children came home exhausted but happy; they really had a big time at the circus. [Mid-1800s]
2. The highest or most important level in any enterprise, as in I knew that when I made it through the last audition, I was finally in the big time. [Colloquial; c. 1900] Also see big league.
You can use big time to emphasize the importance or extent of something. They messed up big time by refusing to take the work. With a little luck we could make this thing work big-time.
the big time
COMMON The big time means fame and success. After a series of small but critically admired roles, the actor has now moved into the big time. Note: When someone becomes famous and successful, you can say that they hit the big time. He opened his own salon in 1923 and hit the big time in 1935, when he designed the wedding dress for the Duchess of Gloucester. Note: You can use big-time to describe someone or something that is very successful, powerful, or important. You'll be a rich man — you have the brains to make a big-time criminal.
1 (the big time)great success in a profession, especially the entertainment business: a bit-part actor who finally made/hit the big time
2 on a large scale; to a great extent: This time they’ve messed up big time!
1. n. the high level of success. I’ve finally reached the big time!
2. and big-time mod. outstanding; extravagant. This is one of your real big-time stars.
3. and big-time mod. felonious. (Underworld.) Frank is into big-time stuff now.
big time, the
A high level of achievement or prominence in any area. This usage dates from the early 1900s. For example, “Barry’s band has reached the big time; it’s going to play in a New York club.” The term is also used adjectivally, as in “Being named to the board, that’s a big-time promotion.”
See also: big