- Informal. the highest or most important level in any profession or occupation: She’s a talented violinist, but she’s not ready for the big time.
- Slang. a very good time.
- Theater. (in vaudeville) any highly successful circuit of theaters that produces two performances daily.
- the big timethe highest or most profitable level of an occupation or profession, esp the entertainment business
- (as modifier)a big-time comedian
“upper reaches of a profession or pursuit,” c.1910 from vaudeville slang; the phrase was common in colloquial use late 19c.-early 20c. in a broad range of senses: “party, shindig, fun, frolic.”
An enjoyable or exciting time, as in The children came home exhausted but happy; they really had a big time at the circus. [Mid-1800s]
The highest or most important level in any enterprise, as in I knew that when I made it through the last audition, I was finally in the big time. [Colloquial; c. 1900] Also see big league.