Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin largus


1 adjective
large1 S1 W1 comparative larger, superlative largest
1 big in size, amount, or number [≠ small]:
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US.
The T-shirt comes in Small, Medium and Large.
a large ovenproof pan
large sums of money
those who drink large amounts of coffee
A large number of students have signed up for the course.
see usage note big1
2 a large person is tall and often fat [≠ small]

be at large

if a dangerous person or animal is at large, they have escaped from somewhere or have not been caught:
The escaped prisoners are still at large.

the population/public/society/world etc at large

people in general:
The chemical pollution poses a threat to the population at large.

the larger issues/question/problem/picture

more general facts, situations, or questions related to something:
The book helps to explain the larger picture in the Middle East.

in large part/measure

formal mostly:
Their success was due in large part to their ability to speak Spanish.

(as) large as life

British English spoken used when someone has appeared or is present in a place where you did not expect to see them:
I turned a corner and there was Joe, as large as life.

larger than life

someone who is larger than life is very amusing or exciting in an attractive way

by and large

used when talking generally about someone or something:
Charities, by and large, do not pay tax.

➔ loom large

at loom1 (3)

➔ writ large

at writ2

big, large, great
big and large have the same meaning, but large is slightly more formal and more likely to be used in written than spoken English a big lunch a large houselarge is used with quantity words such as 'number' and 'amount' large amounts of money a large proportion of the studentsgreat is not usually used to talk about size but it can be used in literary writing to describe very large and impressive things Before them stood a great palace.great is used with length, height, and age, and in the expression a great deal (=a lot) The grass had reached a great height. a great deal of moneyWORD CHOICE: big, tall, highbig is not used just to describe a person's height. It is used to describe a child who is growing, or a person who is heavy, with a lot of fat or muscle on their body.tall is used to describe a person's height. It can also be used to describe trees, buildings, or other things that are narrow and measure a long distance from bottom to top She is tall and thin. the tallest building in Londonhigh is used to describe things or places that are a long way from the ground a high shelf the highest mountain in the worldSee also big

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