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A.Word.A.Day--big brother

Pronunciation RealAudio

big brother (big BRUTH-uhr) noun

  1. An older brother.

  2. A man who assumes the role of an older brother, as by providing guidance or protection.

  3. Also Big Brother. An omnipresent, seemingly benevolent figure representing the oppressive control over individual lives exerted by an authoritarian government. A state, an organization, or a leader regarded in this manner.
[Sense 3, after Big Brother, a character in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Also see Orwellian.]

"When all states comply with the federal mandates currently being enacted, there will exist a nationwide network that will make Big Brother look like Baby Huey."
Fay Faron; Technology Keeps Heat on Deadbeat Dad; The Dallas Morning News; Aug 23, 1996.

This week's theme: eponyms from fiction.


I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter. -Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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