Definition of heavy adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



heavier, heaviest

weighing a lot

1 weighing a lot; difficult to lift or moveShe 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. antonym light

worse than usual

2 more or worse than usual in amount, degree, etc.the noise of heavy trafficheavy frost/rain/snowthe effects of heavy drinkingThere was heavy fighting in the capital last night.The penalty for speeding can be a heavy fine.She spoke with heavy irony. antonym light

not delicate

3 (of someone/something's appearance or structure) large and solid; not delicatebig, dark rooms full of heavy furnitureHe was tall and strong, with heavy features.


4 (of the material or substance that something is made of) thickheavy curtainsa heavy coat antonym light

full of something

5 heavy with something (literary) full of or loaded with somethingtrees heavy with applesThe air was heavy with the scent of flowers.His voice was heavy with sarcasm.She was heavy with child (= pregnant).


6 [usually before noun] (of machines, vehicles, or weapons) large and powerfula wide range of engines and heavy machineryheavy trucks


7 [usually before noun] involving a lot of work or activity; very busya heavy scheduleShe'd had a heavy day.


8 hard, especially because it requires a lot of physical strengthheavy digging/lifting


9 falling or hitting something with a lot of forcea heavy fall/blow


10 large in amount or very solida heavy lunch/dinnera heavy cakeAvoid heavy foods that are difficult to digest. antonym light

using a lot

11 heavy on something (informal) using a lot of somethingOlder cars are heavy on gas.Don't go so heavy on the garlic.


12 [only before noun] (of a person) doing the thing mentioned more, or more deeply, than usuala heavy drinker/smokera heavy sleeper


13 (of a sound that someone makes) loud and deepheavy breathing/snoringa heavy groan/sigh


14 (usually disapproving) (of a book, program, style, etc.) serious; difficult to understand or enjoyWe found the play very heavy.The discussion got a little heavy.


15 dangerous because of big waves, etc.strong winds and heavy seas


16 hot and lacking fresh air, in a way that is unpleasantIt feels very heavy—I think there's going to be a storm.


17 wet, sticky, and difficult to dig or to move over


18 (of someone's accent) very noticeableShe has a heavy British accent.
noun [uncountable]

get heavy

(informal) to become very serious, because strong feelings are involvedThey started shouting at me. It got very heavy.Then he got heavy and tried to kiss me.get heavy

heavy going

used to describe something that is difficult to deal with or understand
I found the course to be heavy going.heavy going

heavy hand

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 managementheavy hand

a heavy heart

a feeling of great sadness
She left her children behind with a heavy heart.a heavy heart

a heavy silence/atmosphere

a situation when people do not say anything, but feel embarrassed or uncomfortable
a heavy silencea heavy atmosphere

make heavy weather of something

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.make heavy weather of

take a heavy toll (on someone/something)


take its toll (on someone/something)

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.take a heavy tolltake a heavy toll on