American English

Definition of heavy adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (heavier, heaviest)
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    weighing a lot
  1. 1weighing a lot; difficult to lift or move She was struggling with a heavy suitcase. My brother is much heavier than me. He tried to push the heavy door open. How heavy is it (= how much does it weigh)? My sister has gotten a little heavy (= fat). (figurative) Her father carried a heavy burden of responsibility. opposite light
  2. worse than usual
  3. 2more or worse than usual in amount, degree, etc. the noise of heavy traffic heavy frost/rain/snow the effects of heavy drinking There was heavy fighting in the capital last night. The penalty for speeding can be a heavy fine. She spoke with heavy irony. opposite light
  4. not delicate
  5. 3(of someone/something's appearance or structure) large and solid; not delicate big, dark rooms full of heavy furniture He was tall and strong, with heavy features.
  6. material
  7. 4(of the material or substance that something is made of) thick heavy curtains a heavy coat opposite light
  8. full of something
  9. 5heavy with something (literary) full of or loaded with something trees heavy with apples The air was heavy with the scent of flowers. His voice was heavy with sarcasm. She was heavy with child (= pregnant).
  10. machines
  11. 6[usually before noun] (of machines, vehicles, or weapons) large and powerful a wide range of engines and heavy machinery heavy trucks
  12. busy
  13. 7[usually before noun] involving a lot of work or activity; very busy a heavy schedule She'd had a heavy day.
  14. work
  15. 8hard, especially because it requires a lot of physical strength heavy digging/lifting
  16. fall/hit
  17. 9falling or hitting something with a lot of force a heavy fall/blow
  18. meal/food
  19. 10large in amount or very solid a heavy lunch/dinner a heavy cake Avoid heavy foods that are difficult to digest. opposite light
  20. using a lot
  21. 11heavy on something (informal) using a lot of something Older cars are heavy on gas. Don't go so heavy on the garlic.
  22. drinker/smoker/sleeper
  23. 12[only before noun] (of a person) doing the thing mentioned more, or more deeply, than usual a heavy drinker/smoker a heavy sleeper
  24. sound
  25. 13(of a sound that someone makes) loud and deep heavy breathing/snoring a heavy groan/sigh
  26. serious/difficult
  27. 14(usually disapproving) (of a book, program, style, etc.) serious; difficult to understand or enjoy We found the play very heavy. The discussion got a little heavy.
  28. sea/ocean
  29. 15dangerous because of big waves, etc. strong winds and heavy seas
  30. air/weather
  31. 16hot and lacking fresh air, in a way that is unpleasant It feels very heavy—I think there's going to be a storm.
  32. soil
  33. 17wet, sticky, and difficult to dig or to move over
  34. accent
  35. 18(of someone's accent) very noticeable She has a heavy British accent.
    noun [uncountable]
  37. Idioms
    get heavy (informal)
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    to become very serious, because strong feelings are involved They started shouting at me. It got very heavy. Then he got heavy and tried to kiss me.
    heavy going
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    used to describe something that is difficult to deal with or understand I found the course to be heavy going.
    a way of doing something or of treating people that is much stronger and less sensitive than it needs to be the heavy hand of management
    a heavy heart
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    a feeling of great sadness She left her children behind with a heavy heart.
    a heavy silence/atmosphere
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    a situation when people do not say anything, but feel embarrassed or uncomfortable
    make heavy weather of something
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    to seem to find something more difficult or complicated than it needs to be People in this country make such heavy weather of learning languages.
    take a heavy toll (on somebody/something), take its toll (on somebody/something)
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    to have a bad effect on someone or something; to cause a lot of damage, deaths, suffering, etc. Illness had taken a heavy toll on her. The recession is taking its toll on the housing markets.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: heavy