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’
    • ‘He drank and smoked far too much and obviously indulged in unhealthy eating given his large size.’
    • ‘The unexplainable fact is, the cul-de-sac is of ample size for even a large van to turn round.’
    • ‘The only area where a large sample has been taken is in the city of Termitau in Kazakhstan.’
    • ‘I have a large cardboard box the size of a tea chest with an aperture in front which people can see through.’
    • ‘At first the boy was deemed to be too large to be considered for the operation.’
    • ‘It was about one metre tall with long arms and a skull the size of a large grapefruit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is a very cheap yet effective way of loading up these large capacity reels.’
    • ‘Even the language of large sizes discriminates against the women who wear them.’
    • ‘The current study would only be able to detect a relatively large mortality difference.’
    • ‘We have a considerably large Asian community in our school, many of whom are Muslims.’
    • ‘It's a tattoo, not a bloody button - get it sized large enough to have a bit of impact.’
    • ‘After all, it's a relatively large number and one reliant on a difficult definition.’
    • ‘Not being inordinately large in size, he had the advantage of being an amateur boxer.’
    • ‘Is there a relatively large group of people or an area that could be swayed by such arguments?’
    • ‘There's a large outside balcony area which faces South over the city centre rooftops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A relatively large sum of money is required from members and friends of the club.’
    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’
      • ‘China's economy is now the seventh largest in the world, eclipsing Canada.’
      • ‘The difficulties of regional distribution add to the problem of building a market large enough to sustain the industry.’
      • ‘Britain is a Trillion Pound economy, still the fourth largest in the world.’
      • ‘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 fate of rival bids for NatWest rest in the hands of the faceless large investors.’
  • 2Of wide range or scope.

    ‘we can afford to take a larger view of the situation’
    • ‘It has been happening on a very large scale in manufacturing industry in Britain.’
    • ‘The forces were now effectively only capable of coping with one large scale operation at a time.’
    • ‘We had to lop a year off that, as it would clearly be impossible to get actors to cover that large an age range.’
    • ‘Had it done so, pain and tragedy and loss on a very large scale could have been avoided.’
    • ‘This is the purposive activity of craving on a large scale, as it embraces all sentient life.’
    • ‘However, on a large scale, the way in which the primes are distributed is very regular.’
    • ‘Secondly, from a structural point of view it pervades large parts of the language system.’
    • ‘The leaves were selected from different parts of the plants to span a large range of mass, area and age.’
    • ‘Their effort had grown too large to be managed out of a rented house in Nong Khai.’
    • ‘It has the infrastructure in place and knows the logistics of large scale delivery systems.’
    • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
    • ‘It was when the latter came on board that we started to see the acceleration of large scale changes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm not quite sure how this would work on a large scale, but at least it's an idea.’
    • ‘This large range in ripe grapes is an important source of variation in quality.’
    • ‘If an attacker staged such an assault on a large enough scale, the root servers would be unusable.’
    • ‘It will be seen from this that Bellavitis worked on a large range of mathematical topics.’
    • ‘Hence we should treat them instead with a large range of pharmaceutical agents.’
    • ‘He was very grand and extreme, very artistic; everything he did was on a large scale.’
    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’
    • ‘And if they are not actually hideous, then they're larging it with the lads - kit wraps them in hideousness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You are a superstar DJ, thank you, and are still larging it so often your eyes fall out, you jealous little git.’
    • ‘I pass a rabble of rampant orange-clad Dutch fans dressed as boy scouts wearing huge cartoon clogs, larging it up, singing and laughing.’
    • ‘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.’’


  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That commander was believed to be one of the last few senior-level Nazi war criminals still living at large.’
      • ‘It also signifies fugitives and runaways, including known criminals who are at large such as escaped convicts.’
      • ‘The four assailants were not captured and are still 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.’
      • ‘Police caught one of the thieves but the other eluded capture and is 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In our second feature, editor at large Alision Stein Wellner shows us how this postponement of adulthood is affecting other parts of society.’
      • ‘Editors at large publishing houses think they're inundated with manuscripts; what they're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.’
      • ‘He will be like an ambassador at large, without portfolio.’
      • ‘Mr. Yates is editor at large of Car and Driver magazine.’
      • ‘Sean Wilsey, an editor at large for McSweeney's quarterly, was born in San Francisco in 1970.’
      • ‘Neil Hickey is editor at large at the Columbia Journalism Review.’
      • ‘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
  • in large measure (or part)

    • To a great extent.

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


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