a. A person or thing of great size.
b. A person or thing of extraordinary power, significance, or importance: a giant in the field of physics; automotive industry giants.
a. Greek Mythology One of a race of humanlike beings of enormous strength and stature who were destroyed in battle with the Olympians.
b. A being in folklore or myth similar to one of these beings.
3. A gymnastic maneuver in which the body is swung, fully extended, around a horizontal bar.
Marked by exceptionally great size, magnitude, or power: a giant wave; a giant impact.
[Middle English, from Old French geant, jaiant, from Vulgar Latin *gagās, gagant-, from Latin gigās, from Greek.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.