Abstract Bulk metallic glasses have a frozen-liquid structure comprising multi-component elements. Plastic deformation of bulk metallic glasses is highly localized into shear bands. As the shear band propagates, excess free volume is generated and spontaneously coalesced, leading to the formation of nanometer-scale voids. The voids evolve to be cracks that immediately cross the whole sample area causing a catastrophic fracture even under compression. Therefore, to prohibit the catastrophic failure, atomic clustering kinetics should be retarded. Here, we report a new monolithic zirconium-base metallic glass that is highly deformable without global failure under compression. Due to high thermal activation energy for the atomic movement, the crack formation attributed to void coalescence within shear bands can be prevented exhibiting extraordinarily high ductility under compression.