Definition of large in US English:



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

    ‘add a large clove of garlic’
    ‘the concert attracted large crowds’
    ‘the sweater comes in small, medium, and large sizes’
    • ‘It was about one metre tall with long arms and a skull the size of a large grapefruit.’
    • ‘We have a considerably large Asian community in our school, many of whom are Muslims.’
    • ‘A relatively large sum of money is required from members and friends of the club.’
    • ‘There's a large outside balcony area which faces South over the city centre rooftops.’
    • ‘After all, it's a relatively large number and one reliant on a difficult definition.’
    • ‘The current study would only be able to detect a relatively large mortality difference.’
    • ‘Preterm infants get cold quickly because of their relatively large surface area.’
    • ‘In front of each god was a miniature steel plate and a tumbler the size of a large thimble.’
    • ‘He drank and smoked far too much and obviously indulged in unhealthy eating given his large size.’
    • ‘Not being inordinately large in size, he had the advantage of being an amateur boxer.’
    • ‘It's a tattoo, not a bloody button - get it sized large enough to have a bit of impact.’
    • ‘As in hurling, the playing field is about the size of a large football pitch, with a goal at either end.’
    • ‘This is a very cheap yet effective way of loading up these large capacity reels.’
    • ‘The unexplainable fact is, the cul-de-sac is of ample size for even a large van to turn round.’
    • ‘At first the boy was deemed to be too large to be considered for the operation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The only area where a large sample has been taken is in the city of Termitau in Kazakhstan.’
    • ‘At points I was considering getting a large hammer and knocking most of my own teeth out.’
    • ‘I have a large cardboard box the size of a tea chest with an aperture in front which people can see through.’
    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 an occupation or 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 basic cause of the changed activities of large businesses is a matter of debate.’
      • ‘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 fate of rival bids for NatWest rest in the hands of the faceless large investors.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘The forces were now effectively only capable of coping with one large scale operation at a time.’
    • ‘Had it done so, pain and tragedy and loss on a very large scale could have been avoided.’
    • ‘It will be seen from this that Bellavitis worked on a large range of mathematical topics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If an attacker staged such an assault on a large enough scale, the root servers would be unusable.’
    • ‘He was very grand and extreme, very artistic; everything he did was on a large scale.’
    • ‘It was when the latter came on board that we started to see the acceleration of large scale changes.’
    • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
    • ‘It has the infrastructure in place and knows the logistics of large scale delivery systems.’
    • ‘This large range in ripe grapes is an important source of variation in quality.’
    • ‘Secondly, from a structural point of view it pervades large parts of the language system.’
    • ‘This is the purposive activity of craving on a large scale, as it embraces all sentient life.’
    • ‘Hence we should treat them instead with a large range of pharmaceutical agents.’
    • ‘However, on a large scale, the way in which the primes are distributed is very regular.’
    • ‘Their effort had grown too large to be managed out of a rented house in Nong Khai.’
    • ‘I'm not quite sure how this would work on a large scale, but at least it's an idea.’
    • ‘The trouble is that that has now been tried on a large scale and the anger still seethes.’
    • ‘He soon realised he had to go about the programme on a large scale to make it really useful.’
    • ‘We had to lop a year off that, as it would clearly be impossible to get actors to cover that large an age range.’
    wide-reaching, far-reaching, wide-ranging, wide, sweeping, large-scale, broad, extensive, comprehensive, exhaustive, wholesale, global
    View synonyms
  • 3Sailing

    another term for free (sense 8 of the adjective)


[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’
    • ‘They did what they had to do, and then told me to go out and large it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I pass a rabble of rampant orange-clad Dutch fans dressed as boy scouts wearing huge cartoon clogs, larging it up, singing and laughing.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You are a superstar DJ, thank you, and are still larging it so often your eyes fall out, you jealous little git.’


  • 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’
      • ‘It also signifies fugitives and runaways, including known criminals who are at large such as escaped convicts.’
      • ‘The other three suspects escaped and are still at large.’
      • ‘Police caught one of the thieves but the other eluded capture and is still at large.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Please stay off the streets while these criminals are at large.’
      • ‘The four assailants were not captured and are 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 prosecution are entitled to raise it and it is their duty to do so rather than allow a dangerous person to be 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like members of the public at large, the judge does not instruct jurors in a criminal case on what to think.’
      • ‘The public at large believes criminals should be punished.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Society at large obviously doesn't value their education either.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He faces massive revolts in his own party and in the nation at large over a whole range of issues.’
      • ‘I only hope that I am able to restrain them before these unutterable terrors escape into the world at large.’
      as a whole, as a body, generally, in general, in the main
      View synonyms
    • 3In a general way; without particularizing.

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

    • To a great extent.

      ‘the success of the conference was due in large part to its organizers’
      • ‘This was due in large part to the fact that security staff were unable to process passengers in time.’
      • ‘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 Russian economy is growing fast as well, due in large part to the surge in world energy prices.’
      • ‘With lay-offs, how people take it is due, in large part, to how the company treats the event.’
      • ‘The rise of the credit card industry is due, in large part, to this data sharing.’
      • ‘Yet still, the show was a success due in large part to its sexy interludes and charming leads.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That's due, in large part, to designers who understand what it takes to make things.’


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