1. Sports. of or belonging to a major league: a big-league pitcher.
  2. Informal. among the largest, foremost, etc., of its kind: the big-league steel companies.


  1. Sports. major league.
  2. Often big leagues. Informal. the area of greatest competition, highest achievement or rewards, etc.: He’s a local politician who isn’t ready for the big league.

An area of tough competition and high rewards; the largest or foremost of its kind. For example, Winning an Oscar put this unknown actress in the big league. The term alludes to the major (big) leagues of American baseball. [Late 1800s] Also see big time, def. 2.

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