enormous

\ \ [16] Etymologically, enormous is a parallel formation to abnormal and extraordinary. It comes from Latin ēnormis, a compound adjective formed from the prefix ex- ‘out of’ and normapattern, rule’ – hence literally ‘out of the usual pattern’. It originally had a range of meanings in English, including ‘abnormal, unusual’ (‘entered the choir in a military habit, and other enormous disguises’, Thomas Warton, History of English Poetry 1774) and ‘outrageous’. By the beginning of the 19th century these had mostly died out, leaving the field clear for modern English ‘huge’, although the notion of ‘outrageousness’ remains in the noun derivative enormity [15].
\ \ Cf.ABNORMAL, NORMAL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Enormous — E*nor mous, a. [L. enormis enormous, out of rule; e out + norma rule: cf. F. [ e]norme. See {Normal}.] 1. Exceeding the usual rule, norm, or measure; out of due proportion; inordinate; abnormal. Enormous bliss. Milton. This enormous state. Shak.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • enormous — [ē nôr′məs, inôr′məs] adj. [ME enormyouse < L enormis (see ENORMITY) + OUS] 1. very much exceeding the usual size, number, or degree; of great size; huge; vast; immense 2. Archaic very wicked; outrageous enormously adv. enormousness n. SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • enormous — index exorbitant, far reaching, flagrant, grandiose, gross (flagrant), major, outrageous, ponderous …   Law dictionary

  • enormous — 1530s, from L. enormis out of rule, irregular, shapeless, extraordinary, very large, from ex out of (see EX (Cf. ex )) + norma rule, norm (see NORM (Cf. norm)), with English OUS (Cf. ous) substituted for L. is. Meaning …   Etymology dictionary

  • enormous — *huge, vast, immense, elephantine, mammoth, giant, gigantic, gigantean, colossal, gargantuan, Herculean, cyclopean, titanic, Brobdingnagian Analogous words: prodigious, stupendous, tremendous, *monstrous, monumental: inordinate, exorbitant,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • enormous — [adj] very large astronomic, barn door*, blimp*, colossal, excessive, gargantuan, gigantic, gross, huge, humongous, immense, jumbo*, mammoth, massive, monstrous, mountainous, prodigious, stupendous, supercolossal*, titanic*, tremendous, vast,… …   New thesaurus

  • enormous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ very large. DERIVATIVES enormously adverb enormousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • enormous — 01. The visit by the President resulted in an [enormous] traffic jam. 02. Russia is an [enormous] country, the largest in the world. 03. She lives in an [enormous] house, with 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and an indoor swimming pool. 04. Céline Dion… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • enormous — [[t]ɪnɔ͟ː(r)məs[/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) ADJ GRADED Something that is enormous is extremely large in size or amount. The main bedroom is enormous... There is, of course, an enormous amount to see. 2) ADJ: usu ADJ n (emphasis) You can use enormous to emphasize …   English dictionary

  • enormous — adjective Etymology: Latin enormis, from e, ex out of + norma rule Date: 1531 1. a. archaic abnormal, inordinate b. exceedingly wicked ; shocking < an enormous sin > 2. mark …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • enormous — e|nor|mous [ ı nɔrməs ] adjective *** very large in size or quantity: The enormous birthday cake dwarfed everything else on the table. The stress they re under is enormous. an enormous amount/number/volume etc.: An enormous amount of money has… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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