Fully relativistic first-principles calculations based on density functional theory are performed to study the spin-orbit-induced spin splitting in monolayer systems of the transition-metal dichalcogenides MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2. All these systems are identified as direct-band-gap semiconductors. Giant spin splittings of 148–456 meV result from missing inversion symmetry. Full out-of-plane spin polarization is due to the two-dimensional nature of the electron motion and the potential gradient asymmetry. By suppression of the Dyakonov-Perel spin relaxation, spin lifetimes are expected to be very long. Because of the giant spin splittings, the studied materials have great potential in spintronics applications.