1570s, "being of great extent or size," from French vaste, from Latin vastus "immense, extensive, huge," also "desolate, unoccupied, empty." The two meanings probably originally attached to two separate words, one with a long -a- one with a short -a-, that merged in early Latin (see waste (v.)). Meaning "very great in quantity or number" is from 1630s; that of "very great in degree" is from 1670s. Very popular early 18c. as an intensifier. Related: Vastly; vastness; vasty.
before vowels meg-, word-forming element often meaning "large, great," but in physics a precise measurement to denote the unit taken a million times (megaton, megawatt, etc.), from Greek megas "great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important" (fem. megale), from PIE root *meg- "great." Mega began to be used alone as an adjective by 1982.
High-speed computer stores 2.5 megabits [headline in "Electronics" magazine, Oct. 1, 1957]
"Jewish doctor of religious law," early 14c. (in late Old English in biblical context only, as a form of address); in Middle English as a title prefixed to personal names, also "a spiritual master" generally; from Late Latin rabbi, from Greek rhabbi, from Mishnaic Hebrew rabbi "my master."
This is formed from -i, first person singular pronominal suffix, + rabh "master, great one," title of respect for Jewish doctors of law. This is from the Semitic root r-b-b "to be great or numerous" (compare robh "multitude;" Aramaic rabh "great; chief, master, teacher;" Arabic rabba "was great," rabb "master").
"exaggerated eloquence, loftiness of speech or expression," 1620s, from Latin magniloquentia "elevated language, lofty style," from magniloquus "pompous in talk, vaunting, boastful," from combining form of magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + -loquus "speaking," from loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak").
c. 1200, deliten, intransitive, "to have or take great pleasure;" c. 1300, transitive, "to affect with great pleasure," from Old French delitier "please greatly, charm," from Latin delectare "to allure, delight, charm, please," frequentative of delicere "entice" (see delicious). Related: Delighted; delighting.
great tree of the universe, 1770, from Old Norse ygdrasill, apparently from Yggr, a name of Odin + drasill "horse."
Latin plural of fungus. In biology, in reference to one of the lowest of the great groups of cellular cryptograms.
place in Egypt, from Arabic Er-ges-her "beside the high," i.e., the Great Pyramid.
Australian state, founded 1859 and named for Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Related: Queenslander.
1949, proprietary name of a popular brand of cellulose or plastic adhesive tape in Great Britain.