Definition of at large in English:

at large

See synonyms for 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.’
    • ‘The other three suspects escaped and are still at large.’
    • ‘Please stay off the streets while these criminals are at large.’
    • ‘The four assailants were not captured and are still at large.’
    • ‘Police caught one of the thieves but the other eluded capture and is still at large.’
    • ‘That commander was believed to be one of the last few senior-level Nazi war criminals still living 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.’
    at liberty, free, on the loose, on the run, fugitive
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  • 2As a whole; in general.

    ‘there has been a loss of community values in society 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He faces massive revolts in his own party and in the nation at large over a whole range of issues.’
    • ‘The act required unclassified reports in order to inform Congress as a whole and the public at large.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The public at large believes criminals should be punished.’
    • ‘Like members of the public at large, the judge does not instruct jurors in a criminal case on what to think.’
    • ‘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
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  • 3

    (also at-large)
    US In a general way; without particularizing.

    ‘the magazine's editor at large’
    • ‘Mr. Yates is editor at large of Car and Driver magazine.’
    • ‘He's now an editor at large at U.S. News and World Report.’
    • ‘Michael Elliott is editor at large for ‘Time’ magazine here in New York City.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He will be like an ambassador at large, without portfolio.’
    • ‘Editors at large publishing houses think they're inundated with manuscripts; what they're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Eric Hotung was appointed ambassador at large of East Timor last year and has been active in charitable and humanitarian work.’
  • 4 dated At 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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