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3 definitions found
 for big band
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Band \Band\ (b[a^]nd), n. [OE. band, bond, Icel. band; akin to
     G., Sw., & D. band, OHG. bant, Goth. bandi, Skr. bandha a
     binding, bandh to bind, for bhanda, bhandh, also to E. bend,
     bind. In sense 7, at least, it is fr. F. bande, from OHG.
     bant. [root]90. See Bind, v. t., and cf. Bend, Bond,
     1st Bandy.]
     1. A fillet, strap, or any narrow ligament with which a thing
        is encircled, or fastened, or by which a number of things
        are tied, bound together, or confined; a fetter.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Every one's bands were loosed.        --Acts xvi.
                                                    26.
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     2. (Arch.)
        (a) A continuous tablet, stripe, or series of ornaments,
            as of carved foliage, of color, or of brickwork, etc.
        (b) In Gothic architecture, the molding, or suite of
            moldings, which encircles the pillars and small
            shafts.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     3. That which serves as the means of union or connection
        between persons; a tie. "To join in Hymen's bands."
        --Shak.
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     4. A linen collar or ruff worn in the 16th and 17th
        centuries.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. pl. Two strips of linen hanging from the neck in front as
        part of a clerical, legal, or academic dress.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. A narrow strip of cloth or other material on any article
        of dress, to bind, strengthen, ornament, or complete it.
        "Band and gusset and seam." --Hood.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. A company of persons united in any common design,
        especially a body of armed men.
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              Troops of horsemen with his bands of foot. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     8. A number of musicians who play together upon portable
        musical instruments, especially those making a loud sound,
        as certain wind instruments (trumpets, clarinets, etc.),
        and drums, or cymbals; as, a high school's marching band.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     9. (Bot.) A space between elevated lines or ribs, as of the
        fruits of umbelliferous plants.
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     10. (Zool.) A stripe, streak, or other mark transverse to the
         axis of the body.
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     11. (Mech.) A belt or strap.
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     12. A bond. [Obs.] "Thy oath and band." --Shak.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     13. Pledge; security. [Obs.] --Spenser.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     Band saw, a saw in the form of an endless steel belt, with
        teeth on one edge, running over wheels.
  
     big band, a band that is the size of an orchestra, usually
        playing mostly jazz or swing music. The big band typically
        features both ensemble and solo playing, sometimes has a
        lead singer, and is often located in a night club where
        the patrons may dance to its music. The big bands were
        popular from the late 1920's to the 1940's. Contrasted
        with combo, which has fewer players.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  big band \big band\,
     A band that is the size of an orchestra, usually playing
     mostly jazz or swing music. The big band typically features
     both ensemble and solo playing, sometimes has a lead singer,
     and is often located in a night club where the patrons may
     dance to its music. The big bands were popular from the late
     1920's to the 1940's. Contrasted with combo, which has
     fewer players.
     [PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  big band
      n 1: a large dance or jazz band usually featuring improvised
           solos by lead musicians

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