There’s not a lot to like when it comes to today’s word pair. Mean is defined as “offensive, selfish, or unaccommodating.” A person might get mean when they don’t get their way. As unpleasant as that may be, today’s synonym is even worse: malicious means “full of, characterized by, or showing malice,” that is, a desire to inflict injury, harm or suffering on another. The difference is a matter of intent. Whereas a person can be mean out of pettiness or bad temper, reflexive qualities that aren’t necessarily targeted at anyone in particular, malicious behavior is done with the clear intent to cause pain or damage to someone or something.
The adjectives large and enormous both imply great magnitude. Large is defined as “of more than average size, quantity, or degree,” and enormous is defined as “greatly exceeding the common size or extent.” The main difference between these two descriptors is that large operates within the boundaries of what is average or standard (I don’t want the small skillet; I need the large one!); enormous applies to what is out of the norm or unusual (the young singer has enormous potential). You may have noticed the word norm right there in the middle of the word—that's no coincidence, and it's a good reminder of the mold-breaking nature of the term. Usually when we use enormous, it is to emphasize that something stretches the limits of what seems possible or that it goes beyond what was expected or imagined.