Definition of heavy adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhevi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhevi//
    (heavier, heaviest) Texture of food, Describing a story, Materials and properties, Types of vehicle, Body shape
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    weighing a lot
  1. 1  weighing 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)? (especially North American English) Many young people today are too heavy (= fat). (figurative) Her father carried a heavy burden of responsibility. opposite light See related entries: Body shape
  2. worse than usual
  3. 2  more 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 somebody/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 See related entries: Materials and properties
  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 lorries/trucks See related entries: Types of vehicle
  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. 8  hard, especially because it requires a lot of physical strength heavy digging/lifting
  16. fall/hit
  17. 9  falling or hitting something with a lot of force a heavy fall/blow
  18. meal/food
  19. 10  large in amount or very solid a heavy lunch/dinner a heavy cake Avoid heavy foods that are difficult to digest. opposite light See related entries: Texture of food
  20. drinker/smoker/sleeper
  21. 11  [only before noun] (of a person) doing the thing mentioned more, or more deeply, than usual a heavy drinker/smoker a heavy sleeper
  22. sound
  23. 12  (of a sound that somebody makes) loud and deep heavy breathing/snoring a heavy groan/sigh
  24. using a lot
  25. 13heavy on something (informal) using a lot of something Older cars are heavy on gas. Don't go so heavy on the garlic.
  26. serious/difficult
  27. 14(usually disapproving) (of a book, programme, style, etc.) serious; difficult to understand or enjoy We found the play very heavy. The discussion got a little heavy. See related entries: Describing a story
  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's very heavy—I think there'll be a storm.
  32. soil
  33. 17wet, sticky and difficult to dig or to move over
  34. strict
  35. 18(of a person) very strict and severe Don't be so heavy on her—it wasn't her fault.
  36. Word OriginOld English hefig, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hevig, also to heave.Extra examples Her car’s very heavy on petrol. I didn’t find it too heavy to carry. My suitcase was beginning to feel very heavy. Paul tends to go quite heavy on the garlic. She felt her eyelids growing heavy= she was getting sleepy. The bottles of wine made the bag even heavier. The rain was getting quite heavy. The traffic’s really heavy on the bypass. Things were starting to get a bit heavy so I decided to leave. You’re getting too heavy to carry! A gardener comes in to do the heavy work for me. He was tall and strong with heavy features. How heavy is it? Several sailors drowned in heavy seas off the eastern coast. The heavy Atlantic swells pounded the beach. The suitcase was too heavy for me to carry. a wide range of engines and heavy machinery heavy digging/​lifting heavy goods vehiclesIdioms (informal) 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.
    have a (heavy) cross to bear
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    to have a difficult problem that makes you worried or unhappy but that you have to deal with We all have our crosses to bear.
    used to describe somebody/something that is difficult to deal with or understand She's a bit heavy going. I found the course rather 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 feeling of great sadness She left her children behind with a heavy heart. (British English, informal) a group of strong, often violent people employed to do something such as protect somebody
    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 somebody/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 American Dictionary entry: heavy