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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, (def 33).
Music. the longest note in mensural notation.
Obsolete. generosity; bounty.
Nautical. with the wind 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.
Contemporary Examples

Will it win seats in the elections, provide a real voice for women, and make a large impact on gender equality in Hebron?
Hebron’s Independent Women, Part I Simran Sachdev October 16, 2012

“When I first stepped into Elaine’s, in 1964, it was simply one large, permissive room,” Jack Richardson says.
Hostess to the Stars A. E. Hotchner December 2, 2010

For large swaths of the second half, Oklahoma City played a maddening brand of one-on-one ball.
Youth Dooms OKC Thunder to Game 3 Loss vs. Miami Heat in NBA Finals Jesse Singal June 17, 2012

We had a large home, and we took them in and sheltered them for six months, maybe longer.
‘Jews Are God’s People Like Us’ Norman H. Gershman February 20, 2009

He has risen in large part to fill a void created by the collapse of other candidates.
Warning Signs GOP Has Overreached Heading Into 2012 Elections Jill Lawrence November 15, 2011

Historical Examples

If so, you must have one of each—a large one, I said—what the devil’s the use of that?
Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker

She called them the Montmorencys, when she did not call them the large Family.
Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett

He had a large old library, a great part of which he inherited from his father.
The Book-Hunter in London William Roberts

But that is a large subject: let us leave it till after tea.
Deerbrook Harriet Martineau

There is a large clump of bushes, behind which you will stand.
Jack O’ Judgment Edgar Wallace

having a relatively great size, quantity, extent, etc; big
of wide or broad scope, capacity, or range; comprehensive: a large effect
having or showing great breadth of understanding: a 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 (sense 4)

in large, 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 rule: by and large, the man is the breadwinner
(nautical) towards and away from the wind

loom large, to be very prominent or important

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 thousand dollars; big one, grand: with new Beverly Hills asi wheels going for fifty large (1980s+)

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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