- of more than average size, quantity, degree, etc.; exceeding that which is common to a kind or class; big; great: a large house; a large number; in large measure; to a large extent.
- on a great scale: a large producer of kitchen equipment.
- of great scope or range; extensive; broad.
- grand or pompous: a man given to large, bombastic talk.
- (of a map, model, etc.) representing the features of the original with features of its own that are relatively large so that great detail may be shown.
- famous; successful; important: He's very large in financial circles.
- Obsolete. generous; bountiful; lavish.
- unrestrained in the use of language; gross; improper.
- unrestrained in behavior or manner; uninhibited.
- Nautical. free(def 33).
- Music. the longest note in mensural notation.
- Obsolete. generosity; bounty.
- Nautical. with the wind free or abaft the beam so that all sails draw fully.
- at large,
- free from restraint or confinement; at liberty: The murderer is still at large.
- to a considerable extent; at length: to treat a subject at large.
- as a whole; in general: the country at large.
- Also at-large.representing the whole of a state, district, or body rather than one division or part of it: a delegate at large.
- Also at-large.having a general, as opposed to a specific, role in an organization or project: She’s the magazine’s editor-at-large.
- in large, on a large scale; from a broad point of view: a problem seen in large.Also in the large.
Origin of large
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- having a relatively great size, quantity, extent, etc; big
- of wide or broad scope, capacity, or range; comprehensivea large effect
- having or showing great breadth of understandinga large heart
- nautical (of the wind) blowing from a favourable direction
- rare overblown; pretentious
- obsolete (of manners and speech) gross; rude
- at large
- (esp of a dangerous criminal or wild animal) free; not confined
- roaming freely, as in a foreign country
- as a whole; in general
- in full detail; exhaustively
- ambassador-at-large See ambassador (def. 4)
- in large or in the large as a totality or on a broad scale
- nautical with the wind blowing from a favourable direction
- by and large
- (sentence modifier)generally; as a ruleby and large, the man is the breadwinner
- nauticaltowards and away from the wind
- loom large to be very prominent or important
Word Origin and History for at large
c.1200, "bountiful, inclined to give or spend freely," also, of areas, "great in expanse," from Old French large "broad, wide; generous, bounteous," from Latin largus "abundant, copious, plentiful; bountiful, liberal in giving," of unknown origin. Main modern meanings "extensive; big in overall size" emerged 14c. An older sense of "liberated, free from restraining influence" is preserved in at large (late 14c.). Adjective phrase larger-than-life first attested 1937 (bigger than life is from 1640s).
A descriptive term for the election of public officials by an entire governmental unit rather than by subdivisions of the unit. For example, a delegate at large does not represent any specific district or locale, but speaks instead for a much wider group of people.
Idioms and Phrases with at large
Free, unconfined, especially not confined in prison, as in To our distress, the housebreakers were still at large. [1300s]
At length, fully; also, as a whole, in general. For example, The chairman talked at large about the company's plans for the coming year, or, as Shakespeare wrote in Love's Labour's Lost (1:1): “So to the laws at large I write my name” (that is, I uphold the laws in general). This usage is somewhat less common. [1400s]
Elected to represent an entire group of voters rather than those in a particular district or other segment—for example, alderman at large, representing all the wards of a city instead of just one, or delegate at large to a labor union convention. [Mid-1700s]