Etymology: Middle English grete, from Old English grēat; akin to Old High German grōz large
Date: before 12th century
a. notably large in size ; huge
b. of a kind characterized by relative largeness — used in plant and animal names
c. elaborate, ample <great detail> 2. a. large in number or measure ; numerous <great multitudes> b. predominant <the great majority> 3. remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness <great bloodshed> 4. full of emotion <great with anger> 5. a. eminent, distinguished <a great poet> b. chief or preeminent over others — often used in titles <Lord Great Chamberlain> c. aristocratic, grand <great ladies> 6. long continued <a great while> 7. principal, main <a reception in the great hall> 8. more remote in a family relationship by a single generation than a specified relative <great-grandfather> 9. markedly superior in character or quality; especially noble <great of soul> 10. a. remarkably skilled <great at tennis> b. marked by enthusiasm ; keen <great on science fiction> 11. — used as a generalized term of approval <had a great time> <it was just great> • greatness noun II. adverb Date: 13th century in a great manner ; successfully, well <things are going great> III. noun (plural great or greats) Date: 13th century an outstandingly superior or skillful person <a tribute to the greats of baseball>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.