[From Swift's Gulliver's Travels via the famous paper On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace by Danny Cohen, USC/ISI IEN 137, dated April 1, 1980]
adj. 1. Describes a computer architecture in which, within a given multi-byte numeric representation, the most significant byte has the lowest address (the word is stored 'big-end-first'). Most processors, including the IBM 370 family, the PDP-10, the Motorola microprocessor families, and most of the various RISC designs current in mid-1991, are big-endian.
See little-endian, middle-endian, NUXI problem.