heavy

Definitions

General English

  • adjective weighing a lot

Banking

  • adjective large or in large quantities
  • adjective used to describe a share which has such a high price that small investors are reluctant to buy it (in which case the company may decide to split the shares so as to make them more attractive: in the UK, a share price of £10.00 is considered ‘heavy’, though many shares have higher prices than this)
  • adjective having too many investments in the same type of share

Cars & Driving

  • adjective having a stiff operation, e.g. requiring considerable effort to turn the steering wheel

Law

  • noun a strong man employed to frighten people

Military

Publishing

  • adjective thick or bold

Slang

  • adjective violent, oppressive, intimidating, powerful
  • noun a thug, minder, someone employed for their intimidating physical presence rather than their intellectual qualities. Originally an Americanism, the term has spread to world English via crime fiction and films. In current British colloquial speech it is sometimes used in the phrase ‘come the heavy’, meaning to act in a threatening manner.
  • verb to intimidate, threaten or pressurise (someone). The verb forms (expressed as ‘to heavy someone’, ‘to heavy someone into (doing) something’ or to ‘come the heavy’) postdate the adjective and noun forms.

Theater

  • In theatrical parlance, an actor who specializes in playingvillains, especially in melodrama. see stock company.

Wine

  • used to describe an unsubtle wine that has an obviously high alcohol content

Origin & History of “heavy”

From the prehistoric Germanic verb *khabjan ‘lift’ was derived the noun *khabiz ‘weight’. this in turn was the source of the adjective *khabiga- ‘weighty’, from which have come Dutch hevig and English heavy (the other Germanic languages once had related forms, but have long since abandoned them in favour of other ways of expressing ‘heaviness’).
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