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heavy - Wiktionary


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English hevy, heviȝ, from Old English hefiġ, hefeġ, hæfiġ (“heavy; important, grave, severe, serious; oppressive, grievous; slow, dull”), from Proto-Germanic *habīgaz (“heavy, hefty, weighty”), from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (“to take, grasp, hold”), equivalent to heave +‎ -y. Cognate with Scots hevy, havy, heavy (“heavy”), Dutch hevig (“violent, severe, intense, acute”), Middle Low German hēvich (“violent, fierce, intense”), German hebig (compare heftig (“fierce, severe, intense, violent, heavy”)), Icelandic höfugur (“heavy, weighty, important”), Latin capāx (“large, wide, roomy, spacious, capacious, capable, apt”).



heavy (comparative heavier, superlative heaviest)

Four men lifting a heavy sideboard.
  1. (of a physical object) Having great weight.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. […] A silver snaffle on a heavy leather watch guard which connected the pockets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently proclaimed his tastes.
  2. (of a topic) Serious, somber.
  3. Not easy to bear; burdensome; oppressive.
    heavy yokes, expenses, undertakings, trials, news, etc.
    • Bible, 1 Sam. v. 6
      The hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod.
    • Shakespeare
      The king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make.
    • Wordsworth
      Sent hither to impart the heavy news.
  4. (Britain, slang, dated) Good.
    This film is heavy.
  5. (dated, late 1960s, 1970s, US) Profound.
    The Moody Blues are, like, heavy.
  6. (of a rate of flow) High, great.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica
      The ovarian response to gonadotropic hormones may be erratic at first, so that irregular or heavy bleeding sometimes occurs
  7. (slang) Armed.
    Come heavy, or not at all.
  8. (music) Louder, more distorted.
    Metal is heavier than swing.
  9. (of weather) Hot and humid.
  10. (of a person) Doing the specified activity more intensely than most other people.
    He was a heavy sleeper, a heavy eater and a heavy smoker - certainly not an ideal husband.
  11. (of food) High in fat or protein; difficult to digest.
    Cheese-stuffed sausage is too heavy to eat before exercising.
  12. Of great force, power, or intensity; deep or intense.
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter IV
      The surf was not heavy, and there was no undertow, so we made shore easily, effecting an equally easy landing.
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [Rural solar plant] schemes are of little help to industry or other heavy users of electricity. Nor is solar power yet as cheap as the grid. For all that, the rapid arrival of electric light to Indian villages is long overdue. When the national grid suffers its next huge outage, as it did in July 2012 when hundreds of millions were left in the dark, look for specks of light in the villages.
    it was a heavy storm;  a heavy slumber in bed;  a heavy punch
  13. Laden to a great extent.
    his eyes were heavy with sleep;  she was heavy with child
  14. Laden with that which is weighty; encumbered; burdened; bowed down, either with an actual burden, or with grief, pain, disappointment, etc.
    • Chapman
      The heavy [sorrowing] nobles all in council were.
    • Shakespeare
      A light wife doth make a heavy husband.
    • William Browne
      Seating himselfe within a darkesome cave, / (Such places heavy Saturnists doe crave,) / Where yet the gladsome day was never seene […]
  15. Slow; sluggish; inactive; or lifeless, dull, inanimate, stupid.
    a heavy gait, looks, manners, style, etc.
    a heavy writer or book
    • Shakespeare
      whilst the heavy ploughman snores
    • Dryden
      a heavy, dull, degenerate mind
    • Bible, Is. lix. 1
      Neither [is] his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
  16. Impeding motion; cloggy; clayey.
    a heavy road; a heavy soil
  17. Not raised or leavened.
    heavy bread
  18. Having much body or strength; said of wines or spirits.
  19. (obsolete) With child; pregnant.
  20. (physics) Containing one or more isotopes that are heavier than the normal one
Derived terms[edit]

Pages starting with "heavy".

Related terms[edit]
having great weight serious slang: good of rate of flow: high slang: armed
  • Japanese: 重装備 (じゅうそうび, jūsōbi)
of music: loud, distorted of weather:hot and humid of a person: doing the specified activity more intensely than most other people of great force
  • Middle English: hevy
laden to a great extent
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked


heavy (comparative more heavy, superlative most heavy)

  1. heavily
    heavy laden with their sins
  2. (India, colloquial) very
Derived terms[edit]


heavy (plural heavies or heavys)

  1. A villain or bad guy; the one responsible for evil or aggressive acts.
    With his wrinkled, uneven face, the actor always seemed to play the heavy in films.
  2. (slang) A doorman, bouncer or bodyguard.
    A fight started outside the bar but the heavies came out and stopped it.
  3. (Should we move(+) this sense?) (aviation) A large multi-engined aircraft.
    The term heavy normally follows the call-sign when used by air traffic controllers.
bad guy slang: doorman


heavy (third-person singular simple present heavies, present participle heavying, simple past and past participle heavied)

  1. (often with "up") To make heavier.
  2. To sadden.
  3. (Australia, New Zealand, informal) To use power and/or wealth to exert influence on, e.g., governments or corporations; to pressure.
    The union was well known for the methods it used to heavy many businesses.
    • 1985, Australian House of Representatives, House of Representatives Weekly Hansard, Issue 11, Part 1, page 1570,
      […] the Prime Minister sought to evade the simple fact that he heavied Mr Reid to get rid of Dr Armstrong.
    • 2001, Finola Moorhead, Darkness More Visible, Spinifex Press, Australia, page 557,
      But he is on the wrong horse, heavying me. My phone′s tapped. Well, he won′t find anything.
    • 2005, David Clune, Ken Turner (editors), The Premiers of New South Wales, 1856-2005, Volume 3: 1901-2005, page 421,
      But the next two days of the Conference also produced some very visible lobbying for the succession and apparent heavying of contenders like Brereton, Anderson and Mulock - much of it caught on television.

Etymology 2[edit]

heave +‎ -y



heavy (comparative more heavy, superlative most heavy)

  1. Having the heaves.
    a heavy horse

See also[edit]


  • heavy at OneLook Dictionary Search





heavy (plural heavys)

  1. heavy (pertaining to heavy metal)
  2. heavy (intense)
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