Definition of large in English:



  • 1Of considerable or relatively great size, extent, or capacity:

    ‘add a large clove of garlic’
    ‘the concert attracted large crowds’
    ‘the jumper comes in small, medium, and large sizes’
    • ‘The current study would only be able to detect a relatively large mortality difference.’
    • ‘There's a large outside balcony area which faces South over the city centre rooftops.’
    • ‘At first the boy was deemed to be too large to be considered for the operation.’
    • ‘We have a considerably large Asian community in our school, many of whom are Muslims.’
    • ‘Preterm infants get cold quickly because of their relatively large surface area.’
    • ‘I have a large cardboard box the size of a tea chest with an aperture in front which people can see through.’
    • ‘At points I was considering getting a large hammer and knocking most of my own teeth out.’
    • ‘As in hurling, the playing field is about the size of a large football pitch, with a goal at either end.’
    • ‘Not being inordinately large in size, he had the advantage of being an amateur boxer.’
    • ‘After all, it's a relatively large number and one reliant on a difficult definition.’
    • ‘This is a very cheap yet effective way of loading up these large capacity reels.’
    • ‘It's a tattoo, not a bloody button - get it sized large enough to have a bit of impact.’
    • ‘In front of each god was a miniature steel plate and a tumbler the size of a large thimble.’
    • ‘The unexplainable fact is, the cul-de-sac is of ample size for even a large van to turn round.’
    • ‘Is there a relatively large group of people or an area that could be swayed by such arguments?’
    • ‘Even the language of large sizes discriminates against the women who wear them.’
    • ‘A relatively large sum of money is required from members and friends of the club.’
    • ‘It was about one metre tall with long arms and a skull the size of a large grapefruit.’
    • ‘The only area where a large sample has been taken is in the city of Termitau in Kazakhstan.’
    • ‘He drank and smoked far too much and obviously indulged in unhealthy eating given his large size.’
    big, burly, heavy, tall, bulky, thickset, heavyset, chunky, strapping, powerfully built, hefty, muscular, muscle-bound, brawny, muscly, husky, solid, powerful, sturdy, solidly built, broad-shouldered, strong, big and strong, rugged, herculean
    abundant, copious, plentiful, ample, liberal, generous, lavish, profuse, bountiful, bumper, boundless, teeming, overflowing, good, considerable, superabundant, opulent, handsome, galore, sufficient
    big, great, huge, of considerable size, sizeable, substantial, immense, enormous, colossal, massive, mammoth, vast, cosmic, goodly, prodigious, tremendous, gigantic, giant, monumental, stupendous, gargantuan, elephantine, titanic, mountainous, monstrous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Pursuing a commercial activity on a significant scale:
      ‘many large investors are likely to take a different view’
      • ‘Being a large economy, the euro zone is much less open than individual member states.’
      • ‘The fate of rival bids for NatWest rest in the hands of the faceless large investors.’
      • ‘The difficulties of regional distribution add to the problem of building a market large enough to sustain the industry.’
      • ‘China's economy is now the seventh largest in the world, eclipsing Canada.’
      • ‘The basic cause of the changed activities of large businesses is a matter of debate.’
      • ‘Britain is a Trillion Pound economy, still the fourth largest in the world.’
  • 2Of wide range or scope:

    ‘we can afford to take a larger view of the situation’
    • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
    • ‘It will be seen from this that Bellavitis worked on a large range of mathematical topics.’
    • ‘It has been happening on a very large scale in manufacturing industry in Britain.’
    • ‘I'm not quite sure how this would work on a large scale, but at least it's an idea.’
    • ‘The leaves were selected from different parts of the plants to span a large range of mass, area and age.’
    • ‘He was very grand and extreme, very artistic; everything he did was on a large scale.’
    • ‘If an attacker staged such an assault on a large enough scale, the root servers would be unusable.’
    • ‘This large range in ripe grapes is an important source of variation in quality.’
    • ‘The forces were now effectively only capable of coping with one large scale operation at a time.’
    • ‘Their effort had grown too large to be managed out of a rented house in Nong Khai.’
    • ‘Had it done so, pain and tragedy and loss on a very large scale could have been avoided.’
    • ‘We had to lop a year off that, as it would clearly be impossible to get actors to cover that large an age range.’
    • ‘It has the infrastructure in place and knows the logistics of large scale delivery systems.’
    • ‘This is the purposive activity of craving on a large scale, as it embraces all sentient life.’
    • ‘The trouble is that that has now been tried on a large scale and the anger still seethes.’
    • ‘Hence we should treat them instead with a large range of pharmaceutical agents.’
    • ‘He soon realised he had to go about the programme on a large scale to make it really useful.’
    • ‘It was when the latter came on board that we started to see the acceleration of large scale changes.’
    • ‘Secondly, from a structural point of view it pervades large parts of the language system.’
    • ‘However, on a large scale, the way in which the primes are distributed is very regular.’
    wide-reaching, far-reaching, wide-ranging, wide, sweeping, large-scale, broad, extensive, comprehensive, exhaustive, wholesale, global
    View synonyms


[NO OBJECT]large it
  • Enjoy oneself in a lively way with drink or drugs and music:

    ‘Bez is known in clubland for his capacity for larging it’
    ‘people cannot large it for three or four nights a week and expect not to experience something negative’
    • ‘And when I say we didn't go clubbing, I just mean we weren't larging it on a week night.’
    • ‘And if they are not actually hideous, then they're larging it with the lads - kit wraps them in hideousness.’
    • ‘They did what they had to do, and then told me to go out and large it.’
    • ‘Fans know we're real supporters, so it's a case of ‘you're one of us and you're doing alright’ rather than ‘it's him off the telly larging it.’’
    • ‘It's the one night of the week when every young hip dude in the country is out on the town larging it (as I believe the younger generation say).’
    • ‘I pass a rabble of rampant orange-clad Dutch fans dressed as boy scouts wearing huge cartoon clogs, larging it up, singing and laughing.’
    • ‘After several days with the system it became apparent that it's a brilliant compromise between a manual box and an auto, but it's no substitute for a stick when it comes to larging it.’
    • ‘You are a superstar DJ, thank you, and are still larging it so often your eyes fall out, you jealous little git.’


  • at large

    • 1(especially of a criminal or dangerous animal) at liberty; escaped or not yet captured:

      ‘the fugitive was still at large’
      • ‘Please stay off the streets while these criminals are at large.’
      • ‘The four assailants were not captured and are still at large.’
      • ‘Police caught one of the thieves but the other eluded capture and is still at large.’
      • ‘That commander was believed to be one of the last few senior-level Nazi war criminals still living at large.’
      • ‘Finally, a power of entry is given to recapture a person who is unlawfully at large and whom the police officer is pursuing.’
      • ‘The other three suspects escaped and are still at large.’
      • ‘The prosecution are entitled to raise it and it is their duty to do so rather than allow a dangerous person to be at large.’
      • ‘It also signifies fugitives and runaways, including known criminals who are at large such as escaped convicts.’
      • ‘As for the wolf, there were claims that three animals had been at large, one killed by a train, another caught in a trap and a third still at liberty.’
      at liberty, free, on the loose, on the run, fugitive
      View synonyms
    • 2As a whole; in general:

      ‘there has been a loss of community values in society at large’
      • ‘The duty is owed not to the world at large (as a duty in criminal law would be), but only to an individual within the scope of the risk created, that is, to a foreseeable victim.’
      • ‘The public at large believes criminals should be punished.’
      • ‘He faces massive revolts in his own party and in the nation at large over a whole range of issues.’
      • ‘Society at large obviously doesn't value their education either.’
      • ‘Like members of the public at large, the judge does not instruct jurors in a criminal case on what to think.’
      • ‘And for another, society at large will not in general desire that its members should be victims of cruelty, and so its desires in this respect will be frustrated too.’
      • ‘I only hope that I am able to restrain them before these unutterable terrors escape into the world at large.’
      • ‘There must be a frank, honest dialogue with the public at large, so that society as a whole learns to have realistic expectations and to accept that death is part of life.’
      • ‘The act required unclassified reports in order to inform Congress as a whole and the public at large.’
      • ‘When I send you one, you take it from me, generalise it at a glance, bestow it thus generalised upon society at large, and make me the second discoverer of a known theorem.’
      as a whole, as a body, generally, in general, in the main
      View synonyms
    • 3In a general way; without particularizing:

      ‘he served as an ambassador at large in the Reagan Administration’
      • ‘Michael Elliott is editor at large for ‘Time’ magazine here in New York City.’
      • ‘He will be like an ambassador at large, without portfolio.’
      • ‘Eric Hotung was appointed ambassador at large of East Timor last year and has been active in charitable and humanitarian work.’
      • ‘In our second feature, editor at large Alision Stein Wellner shows us how this postponement of adulthood is affecting other parts of society.’
      • ‘He's now an editor at large at U.S. News and World Report.’
      • ‘Neil Hickey is editor at large at the Columbia Journalism Review.’
      • ‘Editors at large publishing houses think they're inundated with manuscripts; what they're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.’
      • ‘Sean Wilsey, an editor at large for McSweeney's quarterly, was born in San Francisco in 1970.’
      • ‘Mr. Yates is editor at large of Car and Driver magazine.’
      • ‘Carol Iannone is editor at large of Academic Questions..’
    • 4At length; in great detail:

      ‘writing at large on the policies he wished to pursue’
      • ‘The column quoted veteran Carnival music-provider DJ Hurricane George, who detailed female Jouvert frustrations at large.’
      in detail, with full details, exhaustively, at length, extensively
      View synonyms
  • have (or give) it large

    • informal Go out and enjoy oneself, typically with drink or drugs; go clubbing:

      ‘are you still having it large every weekend?’
      • ‘It was the sound of having it large, having a laugh and having the musical ‘x’ factor to match the headline-grabbing boasts.’
      • ‘The Pixies are back out and giving it large on the phonogram thingy.’
      • ‘Yes, middle England and the Outer Hebrides was there, united as one, in a scene not witnessed since last time I was at Glastonbury, sitting in a tent, listening to Primal Scream giving it large.’
      • ‘Some celebs were actually earning a crust rather than just living it up and having it large.’
      • ‘The privileges were returned, and Irish players were often seen giving it large on both sides of the Blackthorn bar.’
      • ‘They are giving it large with their renditions.’
      • ‘No one wants to see gran and gramps in hot pants, nose jewellery and clip-on pony tails giving it large down the disco.’
      • ‘Despite the setbacks, both front tyres have no problem dispersing the power, even giving it large from a standstill, it barely bites back with any torque steer.’
      • ‘I'm 43, and anyway she's the one that's out all the time, giving it large with her bridge club homies, experimenting with herbal infusions.’
      • ‘Dark, sleek, minimalist and atmospheric bordering on sinister, this is the kind of club where you might see Darth Vader having it large.’
  • in large measure (or part)

    • To a great extent:

      ‘the success of the conference was due in large part to its organizers’
      • ‘The rise of the credit card industry is due, in large part, to this data sharing.’
      • ‘This was due in large part to the fact that security staff were unable to process passengers in time.’
      • ‘With lay-offs, how people take it is due, in large part, to how the company treats the event.’
      • ‘The Russian economy is growing fast as well, due in large part to the surge in world energy prices.’
      • ‘That's due, in large part, to designers who understand what it takes to make things.’
      • ‘Yet still, the show was a success due in large part to its sexy interludes and charming leads.’
      • ‘But it made clear the failures were due in large part to the system under which they work.’
      • ‘The debate over whether or not commercial whaling should resume turns in large measure on the extent to which whale stocks have recovered.’
      • ‘The sales of combine and silage harvesters dropped slightly, due in large measure to the difficult working conditions of the previous year.’
      • ‘The drop in the surplus is due in large part to the tax rebate checks going out to millions of Americans.’
  • (as) large as life

    • Used to emphasize that a person is conspicuously present:

      ‘he was standing nearby, large as life’
      • ‘Here he was today in Parliament, large as life, and there was not one single question on the Order Paper from the Leader of the Opposition.’
      • ‘In their original testimony, they claimed to have been working when he wandered in, large as life, in the company of a man resembling the person described by her as their attacker.’
      • ‘The scar is still on my hip, large as life and on our wall next to the front door is a picture of Angela, Alex and me in the hospital, posing for a picture.’
      • ‘Suddenly Peggy just appeared at the side door as large as life.’
      • ‘A cheetah bounds into a picture, large as life, head thrown back and maw wide, roaring or yawning over a rib cage.’
      • ‘But when they lined up for the team picture before their Champions League semi-final, there he was, large as life, and preserved for posterity.’
      • ‘I doubt that you would sanction drinking and gambling on such a scale, but there you are as large as life, directly above the club's reception desk.’
      • ‘‘They were in again last night, large as life,’ he murmured.’
      • ‘Even sadder was the mid-2002 suddenness with which Our Man Geoffrey, large as life, disappeared from the small screen.’
      • ‘The Case of the Missing Elephant is soon solved, for, behold, five pages further on there is the selfsame caption with the correct picture, and the elusive pachyderm large as life in the foreground.’
  • larger than life

    • see life
      • ‘Hollywood's most robust character actor left a larger-than-life screen legacy’
      • ‘He's hard to miss with that unmistakable voice and his larger-than-life presence on the screen.’
      • ‘These sequences will be accentuated by the use of space, dazzling costumes, larger-than-life props and choreography.’
      • ‘Do you find that the larger-than-life villain types are easier to play on film, or easier to play on stage?’
      • ‘He was one of these larger-than-life Brits like Sir Richard Francis Burton or Lord Byron.’
      • ‘Before we knew it, characters in the audience were shouting abuse at the screen and the larger-than-life film actors were bursting into the auditorium.’
      • ‘Even the larger-than-life romantic heroes have recognizable human emotions.’
      • ‘It's an odd fit for a man who has become a larger-than-life guru of improvisation.’
      • ‘But, as ever with this larger-than-life figure, it is difficult not to return again and again to questions of arrogance and laziness.’
      • ‘Both are fond of big ideas and larger-than-life gestures.’
    • 1(of a person) attracting special attention because of unusual and flamboyant appearance or behaviour:

      ‘he was a larger-than-life character on and off the pitch’
      • ‘They came from all parts of the country and overseas to bid their fond farewells to a man who was larger than life and who worked so hard for his constituents in his beloved Roscommon.’
      • ‘It was meant to be, like, noir sort of style, so it's set in a completely unreal universe that doesn't represent anything in the world, and all the people are larger than life.’
      • ‘He was a larger than life character - jovial, outgoing, hugely personable.’
      • ‘And it was as if he was suddenly larger than life, a living breathing projection of my own wilted self-image.’
      • ‘He is a colourful character, larger than life, fun, friendly and always joking.’
      • ‘But he can't make himself larger than life, and neither can his cult followers, no matter how hard they try.’
      • ‘‘It's about the last time that you believe in people as larger than life,’ he says.’
      • ‘The larger than life owner attracted some of the biggest acts of the 60s and 70s to a grateful Leigh, as well as raising thousands of pounds for local charities.’
      • ‘He's got that movie star quality happening - there's something larger than life about his frame, his presence.’
      • ‘Perhaps being ‘one note’ is what makes them memorable & larger than life.’
      1. 1.1(of a thing) seeming disproportionately important:
        ‘your problems seem larger than life at that time of night’


Middle English (in the sense ‘liberal in giving, lavish, ample in quantity’): via Old French from Latin larga, feminine of largus copious.