What does embiggen mean?


Embiggen is another word for "enlarge" or "expand." It has its origins in a couple different pop culture properties: The Simpsons and Marvel Comics' Ms. Marvel.

Where did embiggen come from?

Embiggen's first notable use was in The Simpsons episode Lisa the Iconoclast, which aired on February 18, 1996. In the episode, Springfield's town motto is said to be "a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." Writer Dan Greany coined the word embiggen, which was intended to sound high-minded while also being completely made-up.

Some Simpsons fans, of course, quickly began using embiggen in real life. These fans usually intend embiggen to mean "enlarge" or "expand." For example, a Simpsons fan building a snowman might say "We have to embiggen the snowman's head." if they want to make the snowman's head bigger.

In 2014, Marvel Comics released a new Ms. Marvel series written by G. Willow Wilson, which starred a new Ms. Marvel named Kamala Khan. Kamala's powers allow her to change shape, and when she grows in size, she often shouts "Embiggen!" Wilson has said she did not watch The Simpsons growing up, and the first time she encountered the word embiggen was in reference to resizing JPEGs. Only years later did Wilson learn about embiggen's origin on The Simpsons.

Who uses embiggen?

The Simpsons and Ms. Marvel fans are most likely to use embiggen, and they're most likely to deploy the word on social media or via text or chat message. However, embiggen has become popular enough that it may be used by those other than The Simpsons and comics superfans. In 2018, Merriam-Webster added embiggen to its dictionary of the English language, recognizing the word's prevalence and semi-common usage.


I really wish I could embiggen this hamburger. It's so good, and I'm so hungry

Related Slang


Updated March 25, 2021

Embiggen definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Embiggen" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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