• synonyms


adjective, larg·er, larg·est.
  1. 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.
  2. on a great scale: a large producer of kitchen equipment.
  3. of great scope or range; extensive; broad.
  4. grand or pompous: a man given to large, bombastic talk.
  5. (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.
  6. famous; successful; important: He's very large in financial circles.
  7. Obsolete. generous; bountiful; lavish.
  8. Obsolete.
    1. unrestrained in the use of language; gross; improper.
    2. unrestrained in behavior or manner; uninhibited.
  9. Nautical. free(def 33).
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  1. Music. the longest note in mensural notation.
  2. Obsolete. generosity; bounty.
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  1. Nautical. with the wind free or abaft the beam so that all sails draw fully.
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  1. at large,
    1. free from restraint or confinement; at liberty: The murderer is still at large.
    2. to a considerable extent; at length: to treat a subject at large.
    3. as a whole; in general: the country at large.
    4. Also at-large.representing the whole of a state, district, or body rather than one division or part of it: a delegate at large.
    5. 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.
  2. in large, on a large scale; from a broad point of view: a problem seen in large.Also in the large.
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Origin of large

1125–75; Middle English < Old French < Latin larga, feminine of largus ample, generous
Related formslarge·ness, nouno·ver·large, adjectiveul·tra·large, adjectiveun·large, adjective
Can be confusedlarge largess



1. small.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for larges

Historical Examples

  • And we hadd the dansing beares, unto whom the gesse gave aboue xx taies for a larges.

    Diary of Richard Cocks, Volume II

    Richard Cocks

British Dictionary definitions for larges


  1. having a relatively great size, quantity, extent, etc; big
  2. of wide or broad scope, capacity, or range; comprehensivea large effect
  3. having or showing great breadth of understandinga large heart
  4. nautical (of the wind) blowing from a favourable direction
  5. rare overblown; pretentious
  6. generous
  7. obsolete (of manners and speech) gross; rude
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  1. at large
    1. (esp of a dangerous criminal or wild animal) free; not confined
    2. roaming freely, as in a foreign country
    3. as a whole; in general
    4. in full detail; exhaustively
    5. ambassador-at-large See ambassador (def. 4)
  2. in large or in the large as a totality or on a broad scale
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  1. nautical with the wind blowing from a favourable direction
  2. by and large
    1. (sentence modifier)generally; as a ruleby and large, the man is the breadwinner
    2. nauticaltowards and away from the wind
  3. loom large to be very prominent or important
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Derived Formslargeness, noun

Word Origin

C12 (originally: generous): via Old French from Latin largus ample, abundant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for larges



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with larges


see at large; big (large) as life; by and large; cog in the (a large) wheel; in some (large) measure; loom large; writ large.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.