'Big' 'Large' 'Huge' 'Enormous' & 'Giant': What's the Difference Between Them?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on July 12, 2023

If you are looking for an explanation of the difference between 'big,' 'large,' 'huge,' 'enormous,' and 'giant?' You are in luck.

Here is the short answer: 

  • 'Big,' 'large,' 'huge,' and 'enormous' are all adjectives that describe size. 
  • 'Giant' is a noun name for an oversized person or animal and an adjective that describes something oversized.
  • 'Big' and 'large' are more significant than average.
  • 'Huge,' enormous,' and 'giant' is more substantial synonyms than 'big' and 'large.'

While the answer above is a brief overview, there is much more to learn. This guide contains definitions, examples, usage tips, and pronunciations of each word to help you understand and remember the differences.

What's the Difference Between 'Big,' Large,' 'Huge,' 'Enormous,' and 'Giant?'

All five terms are adjectives that describe the size of a noun.

  • 'Giant' is also a noun for a being of great size.
  • 'Big' and 'large' are both more significant than average.
  • 'Huge,' 'enormous,' and 'giant' are more substantial than 'big' and 'large.'

Nevertheless, you can use these words to identify something more significant than average in height, weight, size, presence, or influence.

When to Use 'Big,' 'Large,' 'Huge,' 'Enormous,' or 'Giant'

Now that you know the difference between these words, here are some tips for when to use each.

  • Use 'big' for something slightly larger than average.

For example, you could say:

I want to buy a big cargo van that I can use for our wedding cake deliveries.

  • Use 'large' to describe something above average in size, quantity, or scale.

For example, you might hear someone say:

It looks like there is going to be a protest. A large group of people is gathering outside of the meeting. 

  • Use 'huge' to describe something more substantial than 'big' or 'large.'

For example, I might say:

I received a huge windfall this week. I won $75,000 on a scratch-off ticket.

  • Use 'enormous' as a description of something that is substantially greater than large.

As an example, you could say:

Elephants and giraffes are enormous animals.

  • Use 'giant' as a synonym for 'huge' and 'enormous.'

For instance, you might hear someone say:

The giant elephants and giraffes tower over all the zoo's people and animals.

  • Use 'giant' as a name for a being bigger than most.

Definition of 'Big': What Does 'Big' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'big' means:

  • Having large or great size, dimensions, or extent

It can also mean:

  • Significant in size, quantity, or amount
  • Filled with or characterized as engaging or enthusiastic
  • Remarkably capable
  • Incredibly worthy

'Big' Synonyms

  • Major
  • Much
  • Important
  • Substantial
  • Great
  • Momentous
  • Significant

'Big' Terms and Phrases

Definition of 'Large': What Does 'Large' Mean?

The same resource defines 'large' as:

  • Exceeding similar things in size, quantity, or force

It can also mean:

  • Having greater than average capacity or comprehension
  • More forceful, consequential, or influential than others

'Large' Synonyms

  • Sizable
  • Big
  • Great
  • Oversized
  • Massive
  • Powerful
  • Strong

'Large' Terms and Phrases

Definition of 'Huge': What Does 'Huge' Mean?

The definition of 'huge' is:

  • Very big, large, or significant

It can also mean:

  • Extensive significance, size, or quantity
  • Having significant character

'Huge' Synonyms

  • Enormous
  • Significant
  • Massive
  • Mammoth
  • Giant
  • Big
  • Tremendous

'Huge' Terms and Phrases

  • Huge reward
  • Huge consequences
  • Huge attraction
  • Huge savings

Definition of 'Enormous': What Does 'Enormous' Mean?

The meaning of 'enormous' is:

  • Being extraordinarily remarkable in size, quantity, number, significance, or degree

It can also mean:

  • Extremely shocking, evil, or wicked in nature

'Enormous' Synonyms

  • Huge
  • Massive
  • Vast
  • Tremendous
  • Mammoth
  • Sizable
  • Colossal
  • Astronomical
  • Great

'Enormous' Terms and Phrases

  • Enormous success
  • Enormous failure
  • Enormous expense
  • Enormous house
  • Enormous space

Definition of 'Giant': What Does 'Giant' Mean?

Finally, the definition of 'giant' is:

  • An unusually large or strong being
  • An oversized human being
  • Something that is unusually powerful or oversized

'Giant' Synonyms

  • Colossus
  • Dinosaur
  • Elephant
  • Giant
  • Mammoth
  • Jumbo
  • Behemoth
  • Heavyweight
  • Gigantic
  • Enormous
  • Mighty
  • Sizable
  • Colossal
  • Monumental
  • Titanic
  • Vast
  • Massive
  • Mega

'Giant' Terms and Phrases

  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Giant Beings
  • Gentle Giant
  • Andre, the Giant
  • Jolly Green Giant
  • Battle of the Giants
  • Awaken a sleeping giant

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Big,' 'Large,' 'Huge,' 'Enormous,' and 'Giant'

Now, you know the difference between these terms. So, let's look at the pronunciation of each.

Here is a quick pronunciation guide you can follow.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'big':


  • This is the phonetic spelling of 'large':


  • You can use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'huge' correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling when pronouncing 'enormous':


  • To correctly pronounce 'giant,' use this phonetic spelling:


Sample Sentences Using 'Big,' 'Large,' 'Huge,' 'Enormous,' and 'Giant'

Before you leave, look at the sample sentences below using each of these terms. Reading them will help ensure you know how to use these words in different contexts.


  • You will have to get the big package. We have a few guests for dinner tonight.
  • I love coming to this big lake. It helps me clear my head.
  • How big do you think the space needs to be?
  • I am a big fan of yours. I celebrate all of your successes.


  • Please order a large drink for me. I am incredibly thirsty.
  • The large house on the hill has not been lived in for years.
  • How large is the property? I am looking for at least two to four acres with a three-bedroom, two-bath home.
  • He was a larger-than-life personality. Everyone loved him and enjoyed his company.


  • Your new house is huge!
  • The huge mistake will cost her dearly. Depending on how severe her punishment is, she could lose everything.
  • He is huge compared to the other players on the team.
  • His huge stature makes him intimidating to some people. However, he is a very kind person.


  • Oh wow! This place is enormous. How do you clean this whole house?
  • That enormous car can barely fit in the lane.
  • The homeowners fought hard to prevent the enormous building from being built at the front of their neighborhood.
  • It would be best to have an enormous truck to fit all your belongings.


  • I feel for someone who is larger than average people. Have you ever considered how challenging it is for giant people to fit in cars, planes, or even tiny houses?
  • Did you know that scientists have claimed they found the skeletons of giants worldwide?
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus grows to as large as 16 feet from arm tip to arm tip.
  • Some of the most gentle people I've known have been giants.

A Last Look at the Difference Between 'Big,' 'Large,' 'Huge,' 'Enormous,' and 'Giant'

Hopefully, you are an expert on the difference between 'big,' 'large,' 'huge,' 'enormous,' and 'giant,' but here is a recap of what you learned:

  • All five terms are adjectives that describe the size of something. 
  • 'Giant' can be an adjective and a noun name for a person significantly more substantial than a big or large person. 
  • 'Big' and 'large' are more significant than average. 
  • 'Huge,' 'enormous,' and 'giant' are synonyms describing something more powerful than average size. 

These terms may be challenging to keep straight. So, if you get mixed up in the future, you can come back to this lesson for a quick review.

You can also learn a lot about the differences between other commonly misused terms in the confusing words section here. Each post includes examples, usage tips, pronunciations, and other valuable information to help you become a stronger English communicator and writer.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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