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Ginormous—Is It a Real Word and When to Use It?

The meaning of “ginormous” is to be extremely large or very big, so it’s an adjective that describes a size.

Milena Lazova
Milena Lazova

You’ve probably heard the word “ginormous,” but what does it mean, and is it even a real word? Knowing this will help you use it correctly and avoid sounding awkward.

Ginormous—definition and usage

The meaning of “ginormous” is to be extremely large or very big, so it’s an adjective that describes a size. As you might notice, it’s coined from two other words that mean very large or big — “gigantic” and “enormous.”

Its tone is casual and humorous, and you can even use it in writing, but not when writing formal pieces. Otherwise, you risk sounding unprofessional and leaving a bad impression.

Examples:

This hat makes your ginormous head look a bit smaller.
I saw a ginormous ant in the park today.

When did ginormous become a word? Apparently, it dates back to World War II when British armed forces used it as slang. The first time it was put in print was in the book “Dictionary of Forces’ Slang” in 1948.

Even though the word started off as slang, it has remained in the English language for so long, both in written and spoken form.

Is ginormous a real word or slang?

You can find it marked as a real word in some dictionaries, while others have marked it as slang. The bottom line is that it’s an accepted word that has become a part of the English language.

What makes it real is its established meaning, wide usage, and its place in dictionaries.

Ginormous synonyms

Here are a few other words you can use instead of “ginormous”:

·         Monumental
·         Enormous
·         Gigantic
·         Colossal
·         Humongous
·         Whooping
·         Tremendous

More examples:

We're the Millers (2013)
Without a Paddle (2004)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
The Martian (2015)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The Intern (2015)
EnglishIdioms & expressions

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.