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’
    • ‘There's a large outside balcony area which faces South over the city centre rooftops.’
    • ‘It's a tattoo, not a bloody button - get it sized large enough to have a bit of impact.’
    • ‘I have a large cardboard box the size of a tea chest with an aperture in front which people can see through.’
    • ‘It was about one metre tall with long arms and a skull the size of a large grapefruit.’
    • ‘He drank and smoked far too much and obviously indulged in unhealthy eating given his large size.’
    • ‘After all, it's a relatively large number and one reliant on a difficult definition.’
    • ‘The unexplainable fact is, the cul-de-sac is of ample size for even a large van to turn round.’
    • ‘Preterm infants get cold quickly because of their relatively large surface area.’
    • ‘A relatively large sum of money is required from members and friends of the club.’
    • ‘Is there a relatively large group of people or an area that could be swayed by such arguments?’
    • ‘The current study would only be able to detect a relatively large mortality difference.’
    • ‘In front of each god was a miniature steel plate and a tumbler the size of a large thimble.’
    • ‘At first the boy was deemed to be too large to be considered for the operation.’
    • ‘The only area where a large sample has been taken is in the city of Termitau in Kazakhstan.’
    • ‘Not being inordinately large in size, he had the advantage of being an amateur boxer.’
    • ‘This is a very cheap yet effective way of loading up these large capacity reels.’
    • ‘At points I was considering getting a large hammer and knocking most of my own teeth out.’
    • ‘We have a considerably large Asian community in our school, many of whom are Muslims.’
    • ‘As in hurling, the playing field is about the size of a large football pitch, with a goal at either end.’
    • ‘Even the language of large sizes discriminates against the women who wear them.’
    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
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Pursuing a commercial activity on a significant scale.
      ‘many large investors are likely to take a different view’
      • ‘The difficulties of regional distribution add to the problem of building a market large enough to sustain the industry.’
      • ‘The fate of rival bids for NatWest rest in the hands of the faceless large investors.’
      • ‘Being a large economy, the euro zone is much less open than individual member states.’
      • ‘China's economy is now the seventh largest in the world, eclipsing Canada.’
      • ‘Britain is a Trillion Pound economy, still the fourth largest in the world.’
      • ‘The basic cause of the changed activities of large businesses is a matter of debate.’
  • 2Of wide range or scope.

    ‘we can afford to take a larger view of the situation’
    • ‘Their effort had grown too large to be managed out of a rented house in Nong Khai.’
    • ‘The trouble is that that has now been tried on a large scale and the anger still seethes.’
    • ‘The forces were now effectively only capable of coping with one large scale operation at a time.’
    • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
    • ‘He was very grand and extreme, very artistic; everything he did was on a large scale.’
    • ‘We had to lop a year off that, as it would clearly be impossible to get actors to cover that large an age range.’
    • ‘Hence we should treat them instead with a large range of pharmaceutical agents.’
    • ‘This is the purposive activity of craving on a large scale, as it embraces all sentient life.’
    • ‘This large range in ripe grapes is an important source of variation in quality.’
    • ‘The leaves were selected from different parts of the plants to span a large range of mass, area and age.’
    • ‘It has been happening on a very large scale in manufacturing industry in Britain.’
    • ‘However, on a large scale, the way in which the primes are distributed is very regular.’
    • ‘He soon realised he had to go about the programme on a large scale to make it really useful.’
    • ‘Had it done so, pain and tragedy and loss on a very large scale could have been avoided.’
    • ‘If an attacker staged such an assault on a large enough scale, the root servers would be unusable.’
    • ‘It has the infrastructure in place and knows the logistics of large scale delivery systems.’
    • ‘It was when the latter came on board that we started to see the acceleration of large scale changes.’
    • ‘I'm not quite sure how this would work on a large scale, but at least it's an idea.’
    • ‘Secondly, from a structural point of view it pervades large parts of the language system.’
    • ‘It will be seen from this that Bellavitis worked on a large range of mathematical topics.’
    wide-reaching, far-reaching, wide-ranging, wide, sweeping, large-scale, broad, extensive, comprehensive, exhaustive, wholesale, global
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[NO OBJECT]large it
  • Enjoy oneself in a lively way with drink or drugs and music.

    ‘he's known in clubland for his capacity for larging it’
    • ‘I pass a rabble of rampant orange-clad Dutch fans dressed as boy scouts wearing huge cartoon clogs, larging it up, singing and laughing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You are a superstar DJ, thank you, and are still larging it so often your eyes fall out, you jealous little git.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘And when I say we didn't go clubbing, I just mean we weren't larging it on a week night.’


  • another term for free (sense 2 of the adverb)


  • at large

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

      ‘the fugitive was 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.’
      • ‘Finally, a power of entry is given to recapture a person who is unlawfully at large and whom the police officer is pursuing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Police caught one of the thieves but the other eluded capture and is still at large.’
      • ‘The other three suspects escaped and are still at large.’
      • ‘Please stay off the streets while these criminals are at large.’
      • ‘That commander was believed to be one of the last few senior-level Nazi war criminals still living at large.’
      • ‘The four assailants were not captured and are still at large.’
      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’
      • ‘Society at large obviously doesn't value their education either.’
      • ‘He faces massive revolts in his own party and in the nation at large over a whole range of issues.’
      • ‘The public at large believes criminals should be punished.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The act required unclassified reports in order to inform Congress as a whole and the public at large.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like members of the public at large, the judge does not instruct jurors in a criminal case on what to think.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘Neil Hickey is editor at large at the Columbia Journalism Review.’
      • ‘Sean Wilsey, an editor at large for McSweeney's quarterly, was born in San Francisco in 1970.’
      • ‘Michael Elliott is editor at large for ‘Time’ magazine here in New York City.’
      • ‘He's now an editor at large at U.S. News and World Report.’
      • ‘Carol Iannone is editor at large of Academic Questions..’
      • ‘In our second feature, editor at large Alision Stein Wellner shows us how this postponement of adulthood is affecting other parts of society.’
      • ‘Mr. Yates is editor at large of Car and Driver magazine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Editors at large publishing houses think they're inundated with manuscripts; what they're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.’
    • 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
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  • 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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No one wants to see gran and gramps in hot pants, nose jewellery and clip-on pony tails giving it large down the disco.’
      • ‘Some celebs were actually earning a crust rather than just living it up and having it large.’
      • ‘It was the sound of having it large, having a laugh and having the musical ‘x’ factor to match the headline-grabbing boasts.’
      • ‘They are giving it large with their renditions.’
      • ‘The Pixies are back out and giving it large on the phonogram thingy.’
      • ‘The privileges were returned, and Irish players were often seen giving it large on both sides of the Blackthorn bar.’
      • ‘Dark, sleek, minimalist and atmospheric bordering on sinister, this is the kind of club where you might see Darth Vader having it large.’
      • ‘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.’
  • in large measure (or part)

    • To a great extent.

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


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