enormity

An enormity is something extreme or huge, almost beyond comprehension. If you call having to paint the house all by yourself an enormity, your friends might take pity on you and show up with brushes and rollers.

Something that's enormous can be good — a huge paycheck! — or bad, such as a tumor. But when it comes to enormity, some word lovers are up in arms. The word originally meant "a crime," so some people think it should only be used to describe wickedness or lack of morals. Others can't resist the word's similarity to enormous and apply it to anything vast, positive or negative.

Definitions of enormity
  1. noun
    the quality of extreme wickedness
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    type of:
    nefariousness, ugliness, vileness, wickedness
    the quality of being wicked
  2. noun
    the quality of being outrageous
    synonyms: outrageousness
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    type of:
    indecency
    the quality of being indecent
  3. noun
    an act of extreme wickedness
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    type of:
    atrocity, inhumanity
    an act of atrocious cruelty
  4. noun
    vastness of size or extent
    “in careful usage the noun enormity is not used to express the idea of great size”
    “universities recognized the enormity of their task”
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    type of:
    enormousness, grandness, greatness, immenseness, immensity, sizeableness, vastness, wideness
    unusual largeness in size or extent or number
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