the big picture

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big picture

1. noun The general, overall, or long-term scope of something, as opposed to the specific details or present preoccupations. I know that one parking ticket isn't important in the big picture, but I'm really annoyed about it right now. You need to focus on the big picture here and stop getting bogged down in the day-to-day operations. That's what we're paying you for as a high-level manager.
2. adjective Of or describing general, overall, or long-term scope of something. These are big-picture projections. We'll worry about the details later.
See also: big, picture
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the big ˈpicture

(informal, especially American English) the situation as a whole: Right now forget the details and take a look at the big picture.
See also: big, picture
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the big picture

The overall or long-range view of a situation. This phrase, which implies that details will be omitted in favor of presenting a bird’s-eye view, dates from the second half of the twentieth century. Originally American, it was used by Time magazine (Sept. 19, 1977): “The Bunyanesque extrovert who cheerfully mangled facts in his haste to paint the big picture.” In Britain the term was used from the first half of the 1900s to describe the feature film in a movie presentation. However, British usage now is the same as the American. Stella Rimington’s 2004 thriller, At Risk, had it: “Clyde, might I propose that, if they’ve got the time, we show our guests around? Give them the big picture?”
See also: big, picture
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"I saw him myself, standing upon that chair and fixing the big picture above it.
The Big Picture Conference will explore the potential for rewilding large parts of Scotland's forests, peatlands, rivers, moorlands and seas, and the benefits this could bring for declining wildlife such as red squirrel, wildcat and capercaillie, as well as for people's health, wellbeing and employment.
Ley does not understand the big picture. I respect his view.
Trump's view is the big picture, which shows that it's mostly scoundrels out there in the big world, so there isn't much choice when it comes to finding a partner.
In the study, Stillman and his colleagues found that people tend to make the most efficient decision - the one that resulted in the most overall value for the group - when they looked at the big picture, or saw the forest for the trees.
Hulu will soon stream two new shows specifically made for virtual reality, "The Big Picture: News in Virtual Reality" and "Virtually Mike and Nora." The two shows will exclusively be available in VR via the Hulu VR app on mobile devices.
"There Is Still Time: To Look at the Big Picture ...
"Arthur Elgort: The Big Picture" is a comprehensive compilation of his photography, showcasing his world-renowned fashion imagery alongside his personal work.
"What matters is what happens in the near term for that, but the big picture is not whether the Bank rate goes from half a percent to slightly above that lowest ever level," he said.
THE BIG PICTURE: 11 LAWS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE comes from a motivator whose focus is on creating the best life you can have, and assumes basic health and wellness as it provides the psychological tools to change attitudes, embrace challenge and change, and improve overall relationships in all walks of life.
They flew back to Israel, quit their jobs and founded the local outlet A Capella, a boutique content management group that has had a string of successes and is now betting that its gameshow format, "The Big Picture," which will be unveiled this week at Mip, will be a hit with buyers.
With his newest project, called The Big Picture, he even crosses media.
All stories and narratives are presented and studied to find the Christ Connections and to answer the Big Picture questions, such as Who is God?
As part of Annick Press's The Big Picture series, the focus is indeed on the big picture, but often uses examples of specific native groups to illustrate the overarching themes.