the big time
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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer