1. greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.; huge; immense: an enormous fortune.
  2. outrageous or atrocious: enormous wickedness; enormous crimes.


  1. unusually large in size, extent, or degree; immense; vast
  2. archaic extremely wicked; heinous

1530s, from Latin enormis “out of rule, irregular, shapeless, extraordinary, very large,” from ex- “out of” (see ex-) + norma “rule, norm” (see norm), with English -ous substituted for Latin -is.

Meaning “extraordinary in size” is attested from 1540s; original sense of “outrageous” is more clearly preserved in enormity. Earlier in same sense was enormyous (mid-15c.). Related: Enormously.

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