American English

Definition of large adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (larger, largest)
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  1. 1big in size or quantity a large area/family/house/car/appetite a large number of people very large sums of money He's a very large child for his age. A large proportion of elderly people live alone. Women usually do the larger share of the housework. Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee. Who's the rather large (= fat) lady in the hat?
  2. 2(abbreviation L) used to describe one size in a range of sizes of clothes, food, products used in the house, etc. small, medium, large
  3. 3wide in range and involving many things a large and complex issue Some drugs are being used on a much larger scale than previously. If we look at the larger picture of the situation, the differences seem slight. Which Word?big / large / greatThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:
    big ~large ~great ~
    Large is more formal than big and should be used in writing unless it is in an informal style. It is not usually used to describe people, except to avoid saying “fat.” Great often suggests quality and not just size. Note also the phrases:a large amount of a large number of a large quantity of a great deal of in great detail a person of great age.
  4. Idioms
    1. 1(used after a noun) as a whole; in general the opinion of the public at large
    2. 2(of a dangerous person or animal) not captured; free Her killer is still at large.
    by and large
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    used when you are saying something that is generally, but not completely, true By and large, I enjoyed my high school years. Language Bankgenerallyways of saying “in general” Women generally earn less than men. Generally speaking, jobs traditionally done by women are paid at a lower rate than those traditionally done by men. In general/By and large, women do not earn as much as men. Certain jobs, like nursing and cleaning, are still mainly carried out by women. Senior management posts are held predominantly by men. Most senior management posts tend to be held by men. Women are, for the most part, still paid less than men. Economic and social factors are, to a large extent, responsible for women being concentrated in low-paid jobs.
    in large part, in large measure (formal)
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    to a great extent Their success is due in large part to their determination.
    (as) large as life (humorous)
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    used to show surprise at seeing someone or something I turned around and there was my favorite movie actor standing right next to me, (as) large as life.
    larger than life
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    looking or behaving in a way that is more interesting or exciting than other people, and so is likely to attract attention He's a larger-than-life character. synonym flamboyant
    to be worrying or frightening and seem hard to avoid The prospect of war loomed large.
      writ large (literary)
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    1. 1easy to see or understand Mistrust was writ large on her face.
    2. 2(used after a noun) being a large or obvious example of the thing mentioned This is deception writ large.
noun [uncountable]